Remembrance from Louis J. Briskman

Dear Marciarose,

I wanted to compose my thoughts before writing to you.

First, the service was just beautiful. The eulogies were so touching. I rearked to Justice Alella that just about all in attendance had the very same story: how Jerry, this great and god man, had taken time out to call them, to help them, to make them feel special. What a undefined quality, what a unique quality. Almost forgotten in all of this, is Jerry was one of the finest trial lawyers in the United States, but still- somehow, managed to be so kind and warm to so many others. How he could do so much and always so well is just a miracle.

The two of you were so good at that warmth and gracious kindness. Whether it was Georgetown University Law School, the delicious Blue fish you would serve me or later Send to me on ice or just interacting with friends. You two were always the dynamic duo. You always made me so proud of group W. PA – The Georgetown Corporate Institute. You two always made me smile. That is no easy thing!

I do not think I have cried this much since I lost my beautiful wife Maureen. I am very lucky to have met such warm and lovely people. You, Jerry Maureen and my wife Karen. I am blessed and I am able to appreciate and be thankful for the wonderful friendship and hours of happiness, which you and Jerry have shared with me.

Thank you,

Louis J. Briskman

Executive Vice President

General Counsel CBS

Remembrance from Sara and Robert Owen

Dearest Marciarose,

It has taken me so long to write this e-mail to you and I am ashamed. I wake in the night and find that I am thinking back on all the good and funny times we had with Jerry and yourself and how, recently, I have been kina dreading to hear your voice on the phone to tell me what you did.  I miss him and think of the world as a smaller place. How much more you must do so.  You must also have such deeper and longer memories of him, which I hope help and sustain you.

I read and re-read the eulogies. Whow! I loved the one that said that if Jerry had not found you he would have looked for you until he did find you, and that you made such a giving, sparkling couple; charismatic, available for each other and touching all around you to such good benefit and fun. That Jerry made such difference to many, all around the world, not just in his own home town, that’s something to be proud of, I hope he was and realized it.

I remember sitting next door to a young Russian lawyer, was it Dmitry who gave an eulogy, when we met at the dinner Barbara Judge gave in her high rise flat. He showed me how Jerry mentored the young and displaced, and the effect he had had on this young man. I advised him to go live in Weybridge, Surrey with his family!

And of course in reading the eulogies, I learnt so much about Jerry that had gone before we met. His model for the disappeared persons for the Human Rights organization he did so much work for, and just what a provocative and genuinely enquiring thinker he was, but so tied to his strong values. We need people like him right now in the world! I was listening to Michael Portillo, an ex-Conservative politician turned journalist giving a series on the radio about capitalism, is it working or ripe for a rethink. He made the point that capitalism only works when allied to social and moral concerns for those who fall below.

I loved the Holy Trinity of Human Rights, Marciarose and jokes! Got him in a phrase! I told you that we were on a boat in Sicily when I picked up your call, and we had been talking about you and Jerry just the evening before, what fun we had with you both, what a lawyer Jerry was, and his jokes… Bob often retells the one about the drunken husband returning home… “I’ll take questions from the floor”

I really loved the eulogy given by Rosalie Abella, so deft in the writing, with humor and strength, just like Jerry, a fitting tribute and friend.

Dear Marciarose, I think of you in your beautiful flat so full of life, but missing jerry. He was wonderful and we think ourselves blessed to have met him and been touched by him.

All our love,

Sara and Sir Robert Owen (High court judge)

Remembrance from Lori Cohen

Dear Marciarose,

I returned home from Singapore last week to the sad news of Jerry’s passing.  Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. After reading all of the beautiful tributes, including David Smith’s poignant eulogy, the world agrees that Jerry was indeed a wonderful gift to us all.

Jerry encouraged and empowered everyone around him to relentlessly pursue scholarship, invest themselves in their community and the world at large, and finally, to life live with an intrepid spirit and outpouring of goodwill.

Both you and Jerry have been wonderful mentors to me and our friendship is something I will always cherish.

Three or four times a year Jerry would stop in the gallery just for a visit. He would come by usually in the afternoon with the pretense of strategizing about business, but after a while, his visits would be consumed with finding information on an esoteric historical event, person or place… What was the first map to show Mother Bethel’s Church? How many Jews were living in Philadelphia in the 1780’s? Any engravings of Ben Franklin’s favorite instrument, the glass armonica? Any books by Argentine writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges? I will miss those visits and will forever be grateful to have spent those afternoons with Jerry.

I recall one visit in Particular that always charmed me. One of our clients from Minnesota was visiting and their son, a physically and mentally challenged young man was waiting patiently as his parents sifted through our maps. He was trying to name all of the sate capitals as he looked at a modern day map from his school. Jerry was quite taken with Chris and sat with him. Together, they proceeded to work their way across the country. Jerry would offer up clues and Chris would guess the capital. At one point, the doorbell rang and one of Philadelphia’s most prominent businessman walked in and immediately said hello to Jerry. Jerry greeted him warmly and shared the ongoing project with him. Jerry encouraged the gentleman to sit with them and in Jerry’s words, “we have just crossed the Mason-Dixon line and could use your help.” It was so lovely, so Jerry.

Marciarose, I hope in the coming weeks and months you will take comfort in the wonderful marriage and life you & Jerry shared. I hope you will always know that I care and am always here for you.

Love,

Lori Cohen

Arader Books

Remembrance from David H. Marion

Dear Marciarose:

I know you have read and heard many expressions of praise, respect and admiration for Jerry. Permit me to add my personal memories of the friendship and help I received from him. I regarded Jerry as a mentor and source of advice and assistance, and he never let me down. I also have great admiration for you, and I hope you take comfort from the knowledge of how much the love and support of his beautiful and talented wife meant to him!

More than seven years ago, I had occasion to send a not to Jerry congratulating him on one of the many honors he had received. He sent me a thank you note dated April 14, 2004, which I have kept on my desk since (copy enclosed). Typical of Jerry’s brilliant mind and his gracious and unselfish nature, in one brief sentence he turned my praise of him into his praise of me.

Jerry was a giant, blessed with huge talent and the love of a talented woman. No one who spent any time with him will ever forget him.

Sincerely,

David H. Marion

Remembrance from Sarah and Dan Walford

Dear Marciarose,

We think of you often and pray that the out pouring of support and love from friends and your wonderful family is helping to sustain you during the difficult period of Jerry’s loss. We were so touched by all the marvelous remembrances expressed at the funeral service and at the Shiva service we attended. We hope it was some comfort (and Jonathon’s remarks were an absolute stitch!) We came away with an even richer appreciation of and admiration for Jerry’s remarkable life and your partnership together than we already had. What a mark on the world he has made and left for us!

We loved the various tributes and hope you can capture them and maybe even corral them into one document.  When we lost Claire it was very cathartic to do something like that. We wanted something to savor and enjoy later. I thought you might like to have a copy of what we did for Clare as an example of such an idea in case it inspires.

We were sorry to leave the shiva service before it ended but we had to pick up our son, Andrew. If we had the chance to speak we would have remarked on the intensity and lively cross section of people gathered in your home- all sharing in common their love for you and Jerry- and how similar a feeling it was to the many wonderful July 4th gatherings we have enjoyed at your home over the years. A real gift that the two of you had for bringing people together that way.

We are thinking of you.

Love,

Sarah and Dan Walford

Remembrance from Judge Norma L. Shapiro

Maricarose dear,

Words cannot express my sorrow at the loss of Jerry, while not unexpected and perhaps inevitable, it is still so difficult to face. Jerry and I met over 50 ears ago when I was a young associate and he was already an experienced, well-recognized and respected attorney. He taught me so much in sharing his practical wisdom. But most importantly, he encouraged me by showing me respect as that I had hope that someday some way being female would not be a disadvantage. His egalitarian attitude and advocacy for civil rights is a legacy not just for me bur for our city and nation.

Over the years I have been privileged to get to know you and your loving relationship as husband and wife, parents and grandparents. Welcoming me into your home has meant so much to me. A highlight of my life was being able to support and vote for Jerry as President of the ABA- what a gift to the country that was!

As one who has also lost a dearly beloved, you have my most sincere sympathy. But the wonderful memories will sustain you and help you survive with the exquisite grace and dignity only you possess. As for me and the countless others whom Jerry was as dear, his memory will always be a blessing.

Love,
Norma L. Shapiro

Judge

Remembrance from Nancy Winkleman

My friend, Jerry Shestack

My last conversation with Jerry.

Monday evening, August 15th 2011, in the pavilion at hup.

Jerry was sitting up in a chair, drinking a milkshake and then a strawberry ensure. He looked good.

I pulled my chair very close to him, held his hand as we talked, told him I loved him, and kissed him several times. He wanted me to kiss him on him lips [Jerry!]. We spoke very intimately, with precise eye contact, and many smiles, for 20 minutes or so, he was completely focused.

He immediately got into the Grassley issue. He said he wanted to “poison” or “stab” him. He said that this was a terrible injustice. I thanked him for all he had done for me for believing in me. I said it’s more complicated than just Grassley, it’s Washington politics as a whole, Obama’s weakness. He thought that was a good point – said to the others in the room [Tim, Jon] – did you hear that? Nancy has a good point!

I told him that he has mentored and counseled me at every turn in my career, and how grateful I am for that. I told him that I was having a hard time moving on, moving past this disappointment, and getting re-focused on work. He misunderstood- he said, I know, it’s time for me to move on.

I clarified, told him I was seeking his counsel on how I should handle this turn of events He said, just live, you are going to have a beautiful life with Tim, you have a wonderful career, just live.

Later in conversation, he said- now, let me seek your counsel. Should I let go, or keep holding on? I got very close to his face and said, Jerry, I know you believe in a higher power. This is now in that higher power’s hands.

He said, but I’m worried about Marciarose. I told him that Marciarose [who was now leaning over his shoulder, hearing the conversation] would be fine, that there were so many people who would take care of her – her children, David and Gayle, Raul, on and on. He said, but what if she starts dating? He was teasing, and I teased him back- right, Tim could easily make a move on her! He laughed and laughed.

It was beautiful. We should all be so blessed to have such a chance to say goodbye to someone we love.

Nancy Winkleman

Partner- Head of Litigation

Remembrance from Maya Angelou

My Dear Sweet Sis,

I have been relieved from a couple of days in the hospital, which explains my absences from calling or writing. Let me say I am strong and well and I have overcome an assault of pneumonia.

Dear one, I hope in the highest regard, and continue to pray for you no matter where I am. I think of you and your kindness, and your handsome husband and his kindness, and I always say to the Creator that I am grateful to be on this planet at the same time with you.

I know you know, you have been greatly loved, and I am proud to say you loved greatly.

Love,

Maya Angelou

Remembrance from Judy Vinst

Dear Marciarose,

I was so sorry to read of Jerry’s death. When we last saw each other, you told me he had some serious health issues, but the news that he had died took me aback.

This is a hard reality to deal with, and I don’t have any consoling words that will make it easier. But I will remember Jerry as a brilliant and accomplished man who was so very wise and so very fortunate in his choice of a wife.

Milton and I send you are condolences and our love, along with the hope that our paths will cross again.

Judy Vinst

Remembrance from David Bonanno

Dear Marciarose,

Here’s the September/ October issue with an In Memoriam for Jerry and also the announcement of the 2010 Shestack prize winners.

The service on Sunday was quite moving. And it was clear that your marriage was at the center of that remarkable life. After that extraordinary line-up of speakers Jonathon found the right balance of sadness and humor. I know these long stretches of medical battles are exhausting on a spouse and family so I hope you are also able to find a space to do your own mourning and appreciation.

You have good friends at APR so please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you.

Best,

David Bonanno