Joe W. Gerstein, 91, died suddenly on Aug. 24, 2018, in Highlands, N.C. He was born on July 29, 1927, in Atlanta to parents Tena (Hartman) and Arthur Gerstein. Joe grew up in Covington and enjoyed his small-town roots. He enlisted in the Navy in his teens and served as a medic in Bethesda, Md., where he determined that medicine was not for him. He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and also obtained his J.D. from Duke, where he graduated the top of his law school class.
He had a stellar career as an estate planning lawyer and was regarded as one of the top attorneys in his field, with numerous awards and accolades. He served on the executive committee, fiduciary section of the Georgia Bar Association. He was vice president of Atlanta Estate Planning Council. He was past president and lifetime member of the North DeKalb Rotary Club. He was a master in the Fulton Masonic Lodge. Joe was vice president of Gate City B’nai B’rith.
Joe was a great example of a son of immigrant parents who overcame many of life’s obstacles and was humbled by his success. He was a proud American and faithful to his Jewish heritage. Joe enjoyed the game of golf, to travel, and he never met a stranger. He was known for his amazing sense of humor and entertained so many with his talent for joke and storytelling.
Most of all, Joe loved his family, which grew through his marriage to Sheila, and was proud to be “Papa Joe” to his 12 grandchildren and three new great-grandchildren and many extended family and friends. Joe was preceded in death by his parents and first wife, Doris Florsheim Gerstein. He is survived by his sister, Miriam Gerstein Frank. He is also survived by his loving wife, Sheila Kamensky Gerstein; four daughters: Ellen Gerstein, Kim Gerstein Wainer (Bobby), Carla Kamensky Zion (David), Robyn Kamensky Freedman (Kenneth); 12 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross or Temple Sinai. Graveside service was Aug. 27 at Arlington Cemetery. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, Atlanta.