Gary Elliot Lerner most recently from Southbury, formally of Waterbury passed on January 20, 2023. He is survived by his sister Melissa Lerner, nephew Jordan, niece Lisa and their children JJ, Leo, and Tenley. Born March 2, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York, Gary graduated from Brooklyn College with a BA in Fine Arts and attended graduate school obtaining two MA degrees in Special Education and obtained a teaching license in the City of New York. He was known for his creative and most effective teaching style in his specialty area, where he influenced the lives of many students. One notable instance in particular was where one intractable case arose and he shattered the log jam opening the pathway to the child’s mental growth by utilizing his own concrete conceptual approach rendering a revolutionary difference in the student’s cognitive progress.
Gary was active in synagogue affairs at Beth El and B’nai Israel in Southbury and served as an active productive member of the Board of Directors. Gary was universally appreciated for his outstanding sense of humor, far-reaching empathy, and high intellect. His humor was unceasing and made us appreciate the ironies of life and let us realize there were many episodes in life where we must not take ourselves too seriously to the point of even laughing at ourselves for which he was a living example in that kind of elevating humility.
He was also a most talented artist and follower of art of many forms, especially combining the natural and abstract. He was well read in both fiction and scientific literature of the most contemporary nature. Gary easily made friends throughout life which in recent years involved friends Bob McGarry and Howard Zik where they breakfasted together and indulged conversations of cosmic range. These included purpose in life, meaningful religious experience as well as the relationship between science and religion. He also harbored along with these friends a firm belief in an afterlife. Further he along with these friends possessed a deep appreciation of classical old movies dating from the early 1930’s. Although he possessed a strong Jewish identity, he had an active interest and respect for other world religions especially Christianity and Buddhism.
Gary once wrote he wished to be remembered by his sense of humor and self-improvement. All who know him can attest on both fronts he succeeded royally.
Rest in peace Gary Learner, we deeply miss you but are most thankful for the gift of your presence in this world.
Funeral Services will be Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. at B’nai Israel, 444 Main Street North, Southbury CT., 06488. A memorial gathering will take place Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 2:00 PM at Grace Meadows Community Center, 380 North Poverty Rd. Southbury, CT. 06488
Munson Lovetere Funeral Home assisted with the arrangements. To leave an online condolence please visit www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com
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