Morris Gerald (Gerry) Panovka, 91, of Atlanta, beloved husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather, passed away Oct. 2.
Gerry was born in Springs, South Africa, on Dec. 29, 1926, the son of Jewish Lithuanian immigrants, Rachel and Meyer Panovka. He grew up in Brakpan, South Africa. Gerry, called “the professor” by his teachers at a young age, and unable to afford a traditional law school education, learned the law through a correspondence course and became a practicing lawyer by age 20. He quickly became one of South Africa’s leading lawyers and went on to practice law in Israel and later the United States.
In 1961, he married the love of his life, Hilly Panovka (nee Zulman). Soon after, they emigrated to Herzliya Pituach, Israel, where they lived for 11 years before returning to South Africa. They emigrated in 1979 to Atlanta, where Gerry practiced law and ran an investment business. He became a U.S. citizen in 1985.
Known for his wit, wisdom and kindness, Gerry was beloved by many. He always had a joke at the tip of his tongue, laced with wisdom appropriate for the occasion. Many sought his advice and guidance. He was a hardworking, brilliant, funny, warm, loving and caring family man who will be sorely missed. Gerry continued to practice law, his mind sharp as ever, until the end. The week before he died, he went to work, stopped for a workout and then went to the symphony. He lived life to the absolute fullest. He was extraordinary.
In addition to his heartbroken wife, Gerry is survived by his three adoring children and their spouses, Alon and his wife Sheri; Robin and his wife, Alexandra Korry; and Tamar and her husband, Mark Stern; and seven loving grandchildren, Rebecca, Ariel, Julia, Sarah, Daniel, Alexander and Oren.
Shiva was held at Hilly and Gerry’s home at 7 p.m. Oct. 4.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to ORT America or any other charity of your choice. The funeral was held on Oct. 3 at Arlington Memorial Park. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care.