Jerome “Jerry” Danenberg
DANENBERG: Jerome “Jerry” Danenberg, a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, died peacefully on Monday, July 23, 2012 at Forbes Hospice surrounded by his loving family, he was 88 years old. He is survived by his caring and devoted wife of 62 years, Gertrude E. “Trudi” Danenberg; he was the beloved father of Robert M. (Judy) Danenberg of Pittsburgh and Eric J. “Rick” Danenberg of Los Angeles, CA; he was the son of the late Alex and Ida Danenberg; he was the twin brother of the late Bernard (late Phyllis) Danenberg, brother of the late Honey (late Al) Flitman, and late Goldye (late Ben) Astrov; adored grandfather “Bucky” of David B. and Adam S. Danenberg; cherished uncle of Alex J. Danenberg and his children Alicia and Matt. Jerry owned and managed the well-regarded Berkeley Hills Pharmacy in North Hills for more than 30 years and was a business innovator, selling (then) Western Pennsylvania’s largest selection of organic and natural source vitamins and minerals and operating an in-store Post Office Substation and Greyhound ticket office. Weightlifters and professional wrestlers frequented the store for hard-to-find nutrition products. Jerry’s knowledgeable advice and personable customer service kept the store thriving even when discount chain pharmacies opened nearby. Jerry was also a successful real estate entrepreneur in the Pittsburgh area, and generously shared his expertise with friends and family members. Jerry was an author with a wonderful wit, entertaining people with his jokes and stories. His published book, “My Heart & I: The True Story of a Personal Resurrection” was written after a serious bout with heart disease in his mid 50’s. His doctors at the time said his condition was “incurable” and advised a heart transplant, but Jerry refused the diagnosis. Having studied yoga, macrobiotics, mind control and various Eastern philosophies and healing arts, he instead devised a program of nutrition, exercise, mind-body work and visualization that brought him back to health and functionality. “My Heart & I,” a highly personal “medical biography,” explains the techniques he used to overcome his illness. He wrote other books and screenplays including “The Pharmacist’s Fantastic Quick Weight Loss Diet,” “A Home For Harry,” and a “psychic” spy novel entitled “The Mentalist,” not to be confused with the popular television series. A sometimes corny sense of humor was a standby for Jerry – he liked to tease Trudi that she was his “first wife,” explaining that the designation “kept her on her toes.” Jerry graduated first in his class in 1948 from the Pittsburgh College of Pharmacy (now University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy) with Highest Honor, winning the J.H. Beal Scholarship, the Mendelson Prize and the Lehn and Fink Civilian Medal, a gold medallion that Trudi cherished and wore for many years. This medal for the advancement of Pharmaceutical Science was well-earned – Jerry routinely corrected his somewhat chagrined chemistry professor’s textbook. Jerry was a decorated World War II veteran serving in the Philippine Islands and was in the Army of Occupation in Japan on Ie Shima, part of the Ryukyu Islands, and also at Chitose Air Field on Hokkaido, Japan’s second-largest island. He drove ambulances and served in field hospitals as a pharmacy, medical and surgical technician. As part of the Philippine Liberation Campaign, he drove a weapons truck, coming under Japanese fire from surrounding caves. In typical understatement, Jerry said “it sounded a lot more heroic than it was.” One of his favorite wartime jobs was teaching survival skills to fellow servicemen who might find themselves swimming through burning gasoline or oil in open water. Whatever his assignment, Jerry found an affinity for healing and saving lives. Growing up in the Depression and raised by a widowed (and sometimes impoverished) mother looking after four children, Jerry had compassion for others and was consistently kind, ethical and honest throughout his business career and his life. Congratulations Jerry; adored husband, father and grandfather, on a truly magnificent life. Services were held at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc.; Interment Homewood Cemetery, Star of David Section. Contributions may be made to Hebrew Free Loan Assoc., 4307 Murray Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217, United Jewish Federation, 234 McKee Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, The Salvation Army, PO Box 742, Carnegie, PA 15106, or Forbes Hospice, 4800 Friendship Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224. www.schugar.com.