Dr. Gerald Kelberman
Date of Passing: November 13th, 2016leave a condolence read condolences
Dr. Gerald Kelberman, 88, of Orlando, FL, formally of Utica, passed away on Sunday, November 13, 2016. Gerry was born January 10,1928, in Brooklyn, NY. He was the youngest of 5 children of the late Blima Schneider and Benjamin Kelberman, who had immigrated to NYC in the early 1900's. He attended City College of New York, and subsequently graduated from the Chicago School of Optometry. He spent a year as an information specialist in the US Army infantry. On May 28th,1950, he was united in marriage to the love of his life, Elaine Pollicove, a wonderful union lasting 65 years, until Elaine's passing in 2015. It was a marriage built on love, trust, and commitment, and served as a wonderful example to their children and younger generations of their large extended family. After starting his professional career as an optometrist in the NYC area, Gerry and Elaine had their first child Karen, and decided to raise their family in Elaine's hometown of Utica, NY. Gerry adopted Utica as his hometown and never looked back, even though many in his family in New York were convinced he had moved to the "fringe of civilization" in the middle of nowhere. He developed a great fondness for Utica, and always felt it was a wonderful place to live and raise his family. Gerry's professional career as an Optometrist blossomed after relocating to Utica, and he became an integral part of the professional workforce that was primarily located on and around Genesee Street in downtown Utica at that time. He had an enjoyable, successful partnership with Dr. Victor Lucia that encompassed most of his career. Gerry's easygoing personality, friendly demeanor, and legendary sense of humor is still to this day remembered by his patients, many of whom were a part of his practice for most of his career. He was a member of many local organizations, including; the Masons, Knights of Pythias, Jewish War Veterans, and a longtime congregant at Temple Emanu-El. After two of his children relocated to Orlando FL, Gerry and Elaine moved there upon retirement, and spent their later years in central Florida. Gerry lived his life as he wanted, never worrying very much about what could have been or might have been. Like many of his generation, as a son of immigrants, he felt he lived the American dream, and left even a better life for his children. His wit and wisdom was a reflection of this, and he was everybody's favorite uncle or relative. He was deeply loved and cherished by his children, as well as the large extended family of his wife Elaine, many of whom considered him the patriarch of the family. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather, and he will be fondly remembered and deeply missed. He is survived by his two sons and daughters-in law, Dr. Michael Kelberman and Jennifer, of New Hartford, and Marshall Kelberman and Lisa, of Orlando, FL; as well as a son-in-law, Stephen Plunkett, of Orlando, FL. He is also survived by six beloved grandchildren, Emily, Caroline, Harrison, Matthew, Megan, and Madison. In addition, he leaves behind his sisters-in-law, Phyllis Raimone, Kit Pollicove, and Helen Pollicove. He was predeceased by his beloved daughter, Karen; as well as his sister, Faye; and brother, Samuel. He was also predeceased by his sisters-in-law, Shirley Nozik, Betty Bekowsky, and Elsie Pollicove; as well as his brothers-in-law, Alan Pollicove, Harvey Pollicove, Leonard Pollicove, Myron Nozik, Harvey Bekowsky, Sabato Raimone, and Milton Gordon. Services will be private at the convenience of the family. Interment will be in the Temple Emanu-El cemetery, New Hartford. In lieu of flowers, please consider remembrances in Gerald's name to the Kelberman Center for Autism, 1020 Mary Street Utica NY 13501. Arrangements are with the Bentz funeral Service, Inc., New Hartford.