Jerry Mandelstamm, April, 1932 – December, 2020
Jerome Robert “Jerry” Mandelstamm died of natural causes on December 6, 2020 at the age of eighty-eight. He led a life of meaning and purpose, the final 23 years with his wife and best friend, Carolyn White.
Jerry grew up in Clayton, the devoted only child of Henry and Estelle Mandelstamm. A lifelong friend to his schoolmates, he enjoyed a fifty-year weekly doubles tennis game with Carl Lyss, Lou Cohen, and Charles Werner at Shaw Park. After graduating Clayton High School in 1950, he attended The University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School, before enlisting to serve in the U.S. Army for two years. He returned to St. Louis and proudly served as a public defender before moving into private law and then starting his own practice in 1982, serving longtime clients for decades and working to the age of 84.
Jerry built a successful legal career shaped by his commitment to fairness, justice, and dignity for all. He was active as Board Chairman of Legal Service of Eastern Missouri in the 1960’s and served as a St. Louis County Election Commissioner in the 1980’s. He had a strong sense of ethics and remained hopeful and steadfast in his commitment to equitable law, democratic principles, and social justice.
Jerry lived his life with deep appreciation for classical music, travel, and cycling. A talented, trained violinist in his youth, he was concertmaster of the Clayton High School orchestra and on many occasions was a soloist. He was a 40-year patron of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and travelled with Carolyn, a double bassist for the SLSO for 44 years, to concerts around the world. Their marriage was a source of joy and their home was full of music.
He also was an avid cyclist throughout his life, for years waking early to ride through St. Louis before going to work, and on longer weekend rambles. He and Carolyn enjoyed cycling tours in Wisconsin, Maine, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ireland and more.
In addition to Carolyn, Jerry leaves behind his three stepchildren, John Gagliardi, Maria Amundson (Elliot Krane) and Amy Gagliardi (David Coleman) from his first marriage. He was the proud grandfather of Erik and Sophie Amundson and Eli and Ethan Coleman. Jerry was an enthusiastic parent and grandparent who clapped the loudest at their band and orchestra concerts, cheered at countless ball fields, and took keen interest in all their school and sports activities. He taught compassion and loyalty by example.
Jerry’s family held a private burial at New Mt. Sinai Cemetery. A celebration of his life will be held in St. Louis in Summer 2021, when gatherings are allowed. Donations in his name can be made to three of his favorite causes: The St. Louis Area Food Bank, The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and The St. Louis University School of Law. Please visit bergermemorialchapel.com for more information. Berger Memorial Service