Jerome Handler died in Evanston, Ill., on July 14, 2020, not of Covid but because he was 93 years old.

Husband to Barbara for 68 years. Father of four: Bob (Dawn Harris), Alan (Patricia Eastman), Peter (Mary Beth Sova), and Liz (Steve Krupkin). Grandfather of a dozen: Amy, Drew, Rachel, Jordan, Maggie, Kathryn, Claudia, Austen, Quinn, Billy, George and Molly Jo. Brother to Ron.

And doctor to thousands over a 60-year career.

Jerry was born in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood. He attended Roosevelt High School and the University of Illinois at Navy Pier.

While driving an Army ambulance in Germany in 1946, he was shot at by Russian border guards. The thrill of the medical practice never left him after that. He later attended Chicago Medical School and practiced medicine for years on Chicago’s North Side, where he was known for his attentive bedside manner and his willingness to accept knitted scarves and mittens in lieu of monetary payment. He also once accepted a barrel of pickles from a restaurant-owning patient who had no cash.

Jerry was a fierce believer in science, while sometimes being open to the mysteries that surround us. He was a lover of life and thought everyone should embrace it while talking, exercising, reading, learning, and engaging in some artistic activity.

He was an avid painter and a lifelong fan of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which he attended as a teenager by buying 10 cent nose bleed seats and as an adult by buying season tickets on the main floor. 

He often exercised multiple times a day, and belonged to at least four gyms at any one time. He ran his first marathon in his 50s, and in that same decade took up golf and skiing. 

He had a wide-ranging curiosity, he read constantly, he was good at asking questions and he was capable of filling you in on all the knowledge he thought you should have.

He is already missed. Services are pending.


The family is encouraging donations to the Evanston YMCA in memory of their father: Giving now, when we need community more than ever. | The McGaw YMCA