As long as we live, he too will live, for he is now a part of us, as we remember him. - Jewish Proverb
  • 96 years old
  • Born on September 26, 1922 .
  • Passed away on January 20, 2019 .

This memorial website was created in memory of Jerry Gurin, our beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, colleague, and friend. We will remember and love him forever.


A memorial brunch with remembrances for Jerry will be held on Sunday, May 12, 2019 from 10am to 1pm at the Michigan League Ballroom. 911 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Please RSVP here.

The family asks that contributions in Jerry’s memory be sent to the following organizations:

  • J Street: The political home of pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans. Donate here
  • Jews for Racial & Economic Justice. Donate here. 
  • University of Michigan Program on Intergroup Relations. Donate here.
Posted by Phillip Bowman on 5th February 2019
I will always remember Jerry as a true mentor with a compelling intellect, strong indignation for racial injustice, positive spirit, and genuine respect for human dignity....
Posted by Ronald Brown on 4th February 2019
I will always remember Jerry’s warm greetings, smiles, laughter, and insights he brought to our discussions. I will cherish the fellowship around our dinner-book discussions about humanity, skepticism and faith.
Posted by David Schoem on 4th February 2019
Jerry was a brilliant scholar and a force for social and racial justice, of course, but he was also such a kind, caring, gentle, loving man. He always had a big smile for others, was a great intellectual and social justice mentor to many, and an inspiration to all. He lives on in our memories and our bettered lives, and in the life of his beautiful family.
Posted by Gail Wolkoff on 2nd February 2019
Dear Jerry~ You are kind and compassionate person. I am blessed to have you in my life~ You are loved, in all times of good and sad~ Until we meet again.
Posted by Thomas A. Gordon on 31st January 2019
Jerry --and Pat --showed up for us late-'60s and '70s U-M psych students: They offered up superior intellect, comfortable energy, critical reflection/inspection space, fellowship, food, exquisite listening, affirming exchange, laughter, and a willingness to shine hot lights on the social justice challenges of the day. Jerry --and Pat --showed up collegial, informed, focused, and flexibly available. They helped us to take on the proverbial "elephants in the room" thoughtfully, substantively, balanced and prepared. Amazingly, they were never grumpy. Jerry could prompt, even lead, us to take a deeper, more comprehensive dive --smiling right through the entire nudge. Jerry was patient with robust conversations. No panic, no pressure. I always left the Gurins more pumped to participate, not only on the U-M doctorate journey, but in society at large and on the world stage. RIP.
Posted by Halford Fairchild on 31st January 2019
Jerry Gurin is a reminder of (wo)man's immortality, for he lives in me. Jerry and Pat Gurin were the shoulders we stood on at The U of M in the early to mid 1970s. A life well lived.
Posted by Vonnie McLoyd on 31st January 2019
Jerry was an amazing person on so many levels. He was remarkably kind, generous, gracious, and joyful-- eager to embrace all that life had to offer. I admired the loving relationship that he and Pat had, and how remarkably attentive, patient, and involved he was with his children and grandchildren. He was an absolutely brilliant, learned, and accomplished man who called out social injustices, but was never hesitant to show a playful side. I have many fond memories of times spent with Pat and Jerry in Ann Arbor, New York, and Vermont. At Christmas time, when we’d read and act out August Wilson’s plays, Jerry would choose a role and play it with gusto with his big, booming voice! He lived a very full and principled life, brought happiness to so many, and did so much good in the world! I will surely miss his presence, but his compassionate spirit will live on….
Posted by Shervin Assari on 29th January 2019
Jerry has been and will be a role model for me. In June 2016 (PRBA reunion), I approached him and told him that "50 years ago Pat and himself had shown that high locus of control does not mean the same thing for Whites and Blacks". "Now 50 Years later, I have found that similar constructs (self-efficacy, perceived control, etc) predict mortality for Whites but not Blacks", I explained. Then I told him how much I admire him and then: "I wanted to come to you, take a picture with you, and tell you that your research has informed my work 50 years later". " You should send an email and tell Pat as it will make her very happy" he said. I will never forget him. What he wrote half a century ago made my findings understandable to me.... I shared that photo on this website.... Rest in piece Jerry!
Posted by Jackie Simpson on 29th January 2019
Dr. Jerry Gurin, a brilliant man, a kind spirit, a youthful and wise soul. I miss you. Thank you for officiating my and jeanine's wedding. You were the only one we thought of to do it and are grateful that you agreed. We wanted your clean energy and aura of love that you always carried with you. I loved the many meals you, Pat, Jeanine and I had together--our great conversations where we shared our hopes, dreams, and struggles. You would often be the more quiet one in the group and yet, when you spoke your words would somehow make everything OK. Be well my friend - you not only planted many seeds in this world, you left a huge forest.
Posted by Abby Stewart on 29th January 2019
Jerry was a truly beautiful human being. He made my world so much better and in so many ways. I think of every conversation we ever had--they always started with his outrage at some new injustice just uncovered, or an old one confirmed, and soon moved into a brilliant analysis of what was at stake, and sooner than seemed imaginable we were laughing and remembering the joy of friendship, of conversation, of being on the right side of history, and of love . Jerry was a presence in this world--he made it better. I miss him, but am so aware of all the loving, wonderful people he left behind--the family he adored, and his many friends and colleagues whose lives he touched. May it be true in all we do and are that he is truly "a part of us."
Posted by Louella Levey on 28th January 2019
When I first met Jerry over 40 years ago at their home in Ann Arbor, I was dumbstruck. Like cousin Jesse, I first 'knew' Jerry when I was an undergrad. He was the author of one of my favorite political science books on parties and politics in America, which influenced my choice as a poly sci major. Meeting him in person added so many more dimensions! I will miss his wonderful spirit, his sense of humor and the joy he found in his family and in life.
Posted by Lorraine Gutierrez on 27th January 2019
Jerry was one of the most wonderful and inspirational people I have ever had the fortune to know. It is hard for me to believe that he is no longer physically with us. I do know he is living on in his legacy -- his wonderful family, his scholarship, and his justice work. My best memory of him is when he met my father in law, Harry Peyser, and they discovered they had both attended DeWitt Clinton in the Bronx and they broke out into singing the school song.

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