Gerald (“Jerry”) Kagan of Vineyard Haven died on March 1, 2018, at the age of 81.
Jerry lived an eclectic life. A graduate of Syracuse University, his career path included working as a Fidelity Investments stock analyst, lawyer, judge and “Today” show credit expert. After retiring from a successful legal career, Jerry worked as an administrator at Yale New Haven Hospital. Some of his most memorable times were living in St. John, USVI, and Key West, assisting his sons Rob and Andy in their retail business, and finally as an enthusiastic Uber driver. Jerry loved talking to people, telling “Jerry” stories, and was always available to help out friends. He was very much intertwined in his sons’ and family’s lives, and was always on hand with support and advice.
Jerry was an ubiquitous figure all over town; whether on a moped or sitting on the dock or wharf watching the boats move through the harbor. Usually, the first words out of someone’s mouth when Jerry’s name came up was, “He is a character.” And that is just how he liked it.
Rob and Andy would like to thank the following organizations that made Jerry’s final years on Martha’s Vineyard enjoyable. Elder Services, with their many services that made it possible for Jerry to continue to live independently in his own apartment, on his own terms. Barbara and the staff at Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, who provided him a home. The staff at the Dialysis Center at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, as well his doctors and staff in Hyannis. They were all rock stars in Jerry’s eyes, and made every effort to make his treatments go smoothly. And finally, the McCarthy House, a hospice facility in East Sandwich, which was an oasis in an otherwise difficult time. A private on-demand kitchen, visiting piano players, service dogs, and other caring volunteers along with a dedicated staff created an ambiance where life was celebrated. Jerry’s final days at the McCarthy House were happy ones, and he left this world with a smile on his face and strawberry shortcake in his stomach. Memorial donations in memory of Jerry can be made to any of these organizations.
Jerry was the beloved father of Andrew Kagan, his wife Wendy, Robert Kagan, his wife Melissa, and adored grandfather of Zachary, Ilana, Olivia, and Sasha.
There will be a private memorial service on Chappaquiddick in the Spring, where his ashes will be put to rest. He will be missed.