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1937 Jerome 2023

Jerome Friedman

August 17, 1937 — July 6, 2023

Jerome Friedman, a dedicated and loving father, passed away on July 6, 2023, at the age of 85. Better known as Jerry, he was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 17 1937, he was one of four brothers, and grew up in NW Indiana. After attending Emerson High School in Gary Indiana and earning his MBA from Indiana University, he married Joy Waitkus and soon welcomed their only child Jeffrey into the world and settled in Skokie Illinois. After working a few years at Boeing, Jerry spent most of his career at the Quaker Oats Company in downtown Chicago. He loved the city, frequenting Chicago Blackhawks games, Cubs and Sox games, and loved going out to see live jazz shows.


After a divorce, Jerry met Becky Kelly whom he would spend the next 30+ years with, retiring in 1993 and moving to rural Leelanau County Michigan. Jerry made the most of his retirement, learning to love nature, camping, biking, and kayaking. They visited Ireland many times and went on several European river cruises. Becky passed away unexpectedly in 2014 from cancer, and Jerry then lived alone in their Michigan cottage until succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease and relocating to Bainbridge Island, Washington, in 2022 to be near his son Jeff and his family.


Jerry is one of a kind, courageous soul who always sought to better himself, learn, and accept without judgement. His curiosity, intellect, generosity, and sense of humor brought joy to those who were fortunate enough to know him. He always had a smile and a joke ready and loved to get to know people. He loved touring the Irish pubs, sipping on a Guinness, shooting a game of pool, and chatting it up with the locals.


He loved his family and was loved unconditionally in return. He lives on in the hearts and minds of all who knew him and will be greatly missed.


A memorial and celebration of life will be scheduled in the Spring of 2024 in Leelanau County Michigan. Details will be posted on this site shortly. 


Arrangements entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerome Friedman, please visit our flower store.

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