Gerri Pomerantz

Gerri Pomerantz 9/17/1952-7/19/1998

Family: Gerri's parents were Charles Goldstein, who now lives in Durham, and Zelda (Hilowitz) Goldstein, who predeceased her. She has a brother, Marty, who resides in Manhattan. She was married to Marty Pomerantz and had two children Adam and Seth.

Gerri and husband Marty met and began flirting with each other at Springfield Garden High School in Queens, NY. Upon graduation, they attended Harpur College, now Binghamton University. They married in 1973. She went on to get an M.A. in Environmental Science from Michigan State University and then moved to Chapel Hill where she and Marty lived from 1976 to 1983, while she was a graduate student at North Carolina State University. They then lived for a couple of years in Atlanta while she wrote her dissertation at Emory University and completed her Ph.D. in Zoology from North Carolina State. Following that were five years on the faculty at Cornell University and one year at Texas A. & M. In 1991, they returned to Chapel Hill where she worked as a policy analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency in the Research Triangle.

The couple had two sons, Adam, born in 1980 in Chapel Hill, and Seth, born in 1983 in Atlanta. Most of the boys’ formative years were in Chapel Hill, with most religious school education at Beth El. It was through the school that Gerri and Marty first became involved Beth El members. At present (2008), both sons reside in Chapel Hill.

First diagnosed with cancer in 1992, Gerri battled the disease heroically with some temporarily encouraging treatment here and in Arkansas. It was during this period that her spirituality strengthened. After she took the initiative of seeking solace from Rabbi Sager, he became an important pastoral presence over the last few years of her life. She is remembered as being “straight-forward and knowing what she needed in her approach to her work, her illness, and her relationships. In the end, she left many friends in the community who shared in the sorrow at the premature death of a talented and inspiring woman.