Jerry Rivlin
  • Date of birth: Mar 18, 1947
  • Place of birth:
    Wheeling, West Virginia, United States
Let the memory of Jerry be with us forever
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Jerry Rivlin, . We will remember him forever.
Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Sylvia Sutton on 18th March 2015

"Happy birthday, Jerry, wherever you are...You were such a caring and thoughtful person, though your numerous unconventional actions made you so misunderstood...There was always a positive to offset any negative!! Hope you're resting in peace with family.."

This tribute was added by Aviva Radbord on 18th March 2015

"Thinking of Jerry Rivlin today...May he rest in peace. He will always be remembered for a certain "flair" -- and for his enjoyment of people and basketball. How appropriate to think of him, in the midst of "March Madness"!"

This tribute was added by Max Bleiweiss on 16th November 2014

"Just heard about Jerry's passing the other day from my old high school buddy George.  I had the pleasure of meeting Jerry for the first time right on the basketball court. What a great guy and player he turned out to be.  I know that he's in the best place possible and maybe even running some fast breaks there :)   (Nice to see some old familiar names posting their tributes here)"

This tribute was added by Billy Tepper on 7th October 2014

"I met Jerry on his first day at Fairfax High. He and I played two-on-two against another player and Coach Chuck Sands, who was in his mid-30s at the time.  Before the game, it appeared as if I my "squad" was at a disadvantage--I was a 10th grader and my teammate looked like the least basketball-ish guy in the gym.  As soon as the game began, the 5'9", bespectacled, West Virginian basketball genius of Jerry Rivlin, was revealed to--in fact, unleashed on--the westside of Los Angeles.  He looked like a Yeshiva student who could dribble and pass like Bob Cousy.  Thanks to my talented teammate with the two-handed jumpshot, we won the game.  But, after the last basket, no one wore a bigger smile than Coach Sands, who thought he'd died and gone to point guard heaven.  
I knew Jerry for 50 years. That Jerry went through some difficult passages in his life never belied the sweetness at the center of his being.  He was a sweet and generous and enthusiastic friend.  I'm truly saddened by his early exit.    Billy Tepper"

This tribute was added by Bobby Fullove on 26th September 2014

"Jerry Rivlin was many things to a lot of people. A common thread i found that ran through his relationships was that whatever his friends' problems were , he was genuinely concerned with supplying a solution for them. He was my assistant coach at W.L.A.C. and it was there that i was fortunate enough to experience, first-hand, this virtue.

We were coming home from a tough road loss{ one of the few losses we suffered in the '73-'74 season}, when I remembered, far down the road, that I had left my brand knew converse All-STAR game shoes in the locker room. Jerry was driving us, and when i mentioned it he said he would call to see if anyone from the staff at Hancock C.C., had discovered them, and that I shouldn't worry about it. Every one at the school had probably gone home for the night anyway.

I had no other shoes and had only gotten my shoes a day or two before the game, so I knew better than go in and ask for ANOTHER pair for my irresponsibility! Time was limited because we had another game within 2 days against the defending STATE CHAMPS Jerry searched high and low up until minutes before it was time to go to the game. several phone calls were unfruitful. Further saddened by my own irresponsibility was the fact that like like the game @ Hancock, was the fact that I was going to be in the starting line-up- if I could   get some shoes A rare occurrence that season

Jerry came through in the nick of time. I asked him where he found them? He said that at the last minute he remembered HIS DAD wore my same size so he drove to his house and there they were. Probably hadn't been worn in at least 25 years, but they fit like a glove. Even better than the new ones I had recently lost.

Long story short ,I started the game, we SQUASHED Compton the biggest margin ever. My stats were unremarkable; mainly a defensive contribution. After the jubilation of winning the game settled down Jerry's sister {who was by now familiar with the debacle} came up and put it all in perspective by reminding me "Bobby, it was the shoes, it was the shoes " !!! To this day I believe that victory was the single biggest victory the school has ever had. All because of the relentless pursuit of aiding another in need of help, from Jerry, when he didn't have to be involved at all. That was the kind of guy Jerry was, many times over to many different people. And Sherryl, Maybe it WAS the shoes as well !

Bobby Fullove

This tribute was added by Lawrence Cantor on 30th July 2014

"Jerry was huge on the court, we all know the story; but I must say I remember him for his off court persona. He was one of the best men I had the pleasure of knowing. He had a very special essence, a mixture of unpretentious, compassion and friendliness. Not a mean bone in his body. I am sure he will be truly missed."

This tribute was added by diane port on 16th July 2014

"To Jerry's Family!
I am very saddened to hear this news!
I had the privilege of being his friend over 40 yrs ago, and he was my first "guy" friend, after I moved here from Miami.
My sincere condolences -but remember he's playing the one passion in his life, other than his family-his beloved basketball.
Jay Jaffe let me know of Jerry's passing!"

This tribute was added by Scott Blumenthal on 14th July 2014

"It's been a couple years since I saw Jerry last and about a year since I last talked to him. There was no time lapse, no space in between. Just picked up where we left off. It hit me hard to hear he passed last week. There was never a more gracious host than Jerry. He always had a way of making you feel right at home. So much so in fact, I felt like one of the family. There was never a wrong time to call or come by. He always had an ear ready to hear about all the problems in my life. Over and over again he heard them, but listened like it was the first time every time. At the drop of a hat he would offer his patented advice on any subject at any time. We talked forever. We argued viciously. We loved unconditionally. Quite the competitor he was. Everything we played was a challenge to beat him. Cards, basketball, sports betting, pool. You name it he was the one to beat. So many hours we spent together over 25 years time. Wow! No wonder tears burst forth and haven't stopped. God Bless you Jerry! And I'll miss you greatly! You had a tremendous effect on me throughout the years. Thank you for being my friend! All my love to you, Jerry! Oh yeah, there's more to say. He used to come down to our house in Long Beach and do our dishes. Who does that? And then he'd cook up a meal. He invited me and my family to Sedar dinner and listen to my wife and explain the Jewish traditions. After my daughter was born, I take her with me when I went to visit him. He always had goodies and a special treat for her. For me too, but that's another story. He took me to Hollywood Park for the first time and brought me up to speed on horse racing prowess. His insight into basketball has to this day brought me much winnings at the casino. And going to Vegas with him was the best trip there I ever had. Quite a guy. What an impact he made on my life and many others as well. Until we meet again, there will be a void within me. Good bye my friend!"

This tribute was added by Aviva Radbord on 12th July 2014

"I was saddened to learn of the death -- this past week -- of Jerry Rivlin -- a cousin of mine, son of the late, former Marshall University basketball head coach Jule Rivlin and his late wife, Esther Rivlin.

When Jerry was born -- the story is told -- a basketball was placed in his crib -- because there was such love of the game. Jerry became an outstanding player -- in his own right -- at North Carolina State and Cal State Northridge.

But -- Jerry will always be a hero -- in my mind -- for the great, personal caregiving that he provided -- to his parents, for many, many, years -- probably, at the cost of any career or life.

Having recently gone through similar family issues -- though, they pale, in comparison to his -- I have gained a new respect for his courage and determination.

His parents had serious health challenges -- including multiple sclerosis and old age -- that required constant attention.

Jerry's OWN life, unfortunately, took some difficult, personal turns, and there were financial and societal demons that he could not overcome.

I know that his struggle has ended, and hope that he has found peace, and will be rewarded -- for his devotion to his family.

My deepest sympathy goes to sisters Randy, Sherryl Rae, Susan, and Felicia, and cousins Phyllis, Natalie, and Keith.

Jerry, I hardly knew ye, but I thank you for accepting the hand that you were dealt, and doing that best that could be done.

May you rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Jay Jaffe on 11th July 2014

"Jerry and I met day one upon his arrival from W. Virginia. I remember the buzz going around the school about this somewhat quirky kid who was supposed to be an incredible basketball player. Jerry opened eyes the likes of which you've never seen. The dribble, the moves, the head fake, the shot. He was the biggest guy on the court.  Jerry was to basketball what Susan Boyle is to singing. We spent every Friday night going to Hollywood High for basketball, then a double feature at the Pix, finished off by chili dogs at Pink's at 2 a.m. Can't go on. Need to cry out loud. Rest in peace Jer.

This tribute was added by keith scott on 11th July 2014

"It was easy with Jerry.   The "it" was just about everything.   Sure I knew him since I was little, but he was 6 years older so we weren't really paying much attention to each other.   At 16 I went to visit the Rivlins in that far away foreign land known as Porter Ranch.  I wasn't easy, at least I never felt easy.  But in that summer with Jerry, driving over the hill through the canyon in his MG to the Jewish Community Center he showed his core uniqueness, he made it seem easy.  He made me feel easy.  Perhaps that's why he introduced me to Bob Dylan and Lay Lady Lay became the theme song.  

I came to see that everyone's life was easier in Jerry's presence.   Playing basketball with Jerry was easy.  He played with such an awareness and such a natural ability that everyone who played with him just got woven into their best basketball.   Somehow, like driving in the MG you knew on the court that the only thing that would matter was the present moment, he just made it that way.   We played so much basketball together we were even willing to drive from West LA to Magic Mountain Parkway just to play for an hour in a league game.  You gotta really like hanging out with someone to do that.

We lived together in that duplex on Masselin and there was no better model for an easy roomate.   Everything just seemed to work out, whether it was painting his bedroom walls dark brown (who does that), so he could sleep late, or filling the freezer with prime rib or just hanging out on the couch with ruffles and coke.  Even the edgy thing like visiting the bookie in the towel room at the JCC seemed easy and natural.

There was this inclusiveness that emanated from Jerry.   Whenever someone walked in the room he was there to not just offer them something but welcome them.  Any new basketball player was welcomed like he had been playing with us for years.   At the family gatherings he was no spectator, he was in the mix serving up his most valuable currency, a welcoming conversation and drink.  

He would say "hey, want to help me bar tend at Sinai this weekend?".  What the heck did I know about bartending, no worries, Jerry effortlessly showed me the ropes and after one time it was like I had been doing it forever.   He set up the gigs, he did most of the heavy lifting, it was like playing basketball or being in a room with him, he just made it easier for me to be there.   Didn't hurt that those gigs for that 5 or so years paid for my college and supplemented my meager teaching salary.

Then there was midnight basketball played every Sunday night from midnight to 2:00 a.m. by sneaking into the gym at Beverly Hills High.   Who does that?  Somehow, someway Jerry just seemed to make that happen, once again, I showed up and he delivered.  Assist Rivlin.   After the games we'd stay up for an hour or two reliving plays, eating junk food without a care in the world, cause with Jerry on duty we did not need to be.   Sure, we touched the edges of some activities, but hey, no harm no foul.

He was rare and special and our times were rare and special,   When it came to enjoyable times he shot in the high 90% with me, quite a hall of fame talent."

This tribute was added by Joel Schneider on 11th July 2014

"I remember him being a great brother to his sisters and a great son to his Mom and Dad. A very family oriented person. I know he is in Heaven with his Mom and Dad where he is probably playing one on one with Zaideh.  A great basketball player, a great family member  and a  genuinely  nice person.  Jerry you are going to be missed."

This tribute was added by Sylvia Rivlin Sutton on 11th July 2014

"Even though we grew up together in Wheeling, WV, I really got to know Jerry better here in Los Angeles...especially when visiting his mom and dad, my cousins Jule and Esther.  Jerry was always there taking care of fact, Jerry would help anyone who had a problem or needed something, much like his dad...I'm sorry we lost contact a lot of times, but will never forget his devotion to his family.  Miss you, Jerry, and hope you're now shooting hoops with your dad."

This tribute was added by Ray Schneider on 11th July 2014

"He was fun uncle and will be missed. He's up in heaven right now showing God how to shoot a 3 pointer. I'll never forget all the candy he gave me when we wen to go visit the family. Rest in Peace Uncle Jerry."

This tribute was added by Cliff Weinberg on 11th July 2014

""Moze" will always be a part of me, we always had a close bond, he was the brother I never had.  We originally met through basketball sometime in the mid '70s through my friendship with cousin Keith and he taught me so much about the game. He was an amazing player, always under control, strong, unmatched coordination, amazing dribbling, passing and shooting skills, he understood and knew the game so well!  I remember playing pick up games at UCLA, midnight basketball "MBA" at the Beverly High girls gym, 6' and under leagues, Westside Jewish Community Center leagues.....but through all these games he taught me so much more.  The ultimate team player, he was inspirational support in life, caring so much about doing things for others. He became very close to my family, especially my late dad who loved him, joining us on trips to Hawaii.  Friday night poker games became a tradition. Lakers and Dodgers games, concerts, sushi nights.   Jerry loved kids, I know how much he loved his nieces, and how he happily babysat my son William while I would play gigs until 2 a.m.  So many memories I hope to share with those of you in L.A. sometime soon. I'm sad about the difficult time he had to endure over the past 2-3 years and my sympathies and condolences to Sherryl, Susan and all the Rivlin family members. I truly loved my best pal Mozez and he will always be in my heart.  Love, Cliff"

This tribute was added by Carrie Schneider on 11th July 2014

"Mom, Charles & I are very sorry for your loss.  Our deepest sympathies are with you and your sisters.  Our prayers and thoughts are with you at this time.  Love you...."

This tribute was added by Michael Ross on 11th July 2014

"If there was ever anyone that was always offering a hand with anything, it was Jerry from the day I met him 27 years ago.   I  would have enjoyed knowing him for much longer than I did.  His smile, kindness and genuine concern for others will sorely be missed."

This tribute was added by george linder on 11th July 2014

"Jerry good buddy, you will be greatly missed. We shared some of the most memorable experiences of our lives together in high school at Fairfax. We were teammates on varsity basketball. I will never forget how you tried out for the team being short, wearing glasses, coming from West Virginia. Who is this guy ? Give me a break ! Turns out Jerry was the most incredible and best player on the team. What a talent.
Scores 40 points in a game, makes 1st team all city, dazzles with passes. Amazing. Got know Jules Rivlin his father, great guy, and college coach at Marshall University. The Rivlins supported me, and
showed me kindness. I will forever be grateful. Jerry do a few ally oops up there. Fond memories forever.
George Linder"

This tribute was added by Phyllis Ross on 11th July 2014

"Growing up, Jerry was probably my favorite playmate, cousin and friend. We shared everyday together...feeding the ducks at Wheeling Park, giggling at Sunday School and Shul, singing loudly at Seders, watching all sporting events, playing cowboys and Indians behind the house, playing cards, tag, ball, and hide and go seek. I was sad when he and his family moved from Wheeling to Huntington, WVA and then to Los Angeles. Fortunately, I moved to Los Angeles in 1968.  Jerry and I lived together and again, we were inseparable. We continued to play together, doing similar activities, minus the hide and go seek and playing behind the house. But we continued to sing loud, laugh hysterically and share our lives with our families and friends. Jerry was always the "go to" guy. He made me smile and always had an honest loving word for all who knew him. I will miss his laughter and commentary but he will always be with me."

This tribute was added by chris buchanan on 11th July 2014

"Jerry taught me a lot about courtesy, kindness,and fair-play. I will always remember his humor, his heart and his overall humanity. I have always loved him and will continue to do so no matter what. I also want to thank Susan, Kelley, & Cheryl for providing this space in which to express my deepest sympathies...LOVE, cb"

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