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July 19, 2002 - Image 129

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-07-19

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Obituaries are updated regularly and archived on JN Online:

A Life Of Courage And Integrity

Special to the Jewish News

ailment worsened. "The nature of his
until after her death. "He cared for
getting Lip that's hard."
passing is reserved for those rare indi-
her and gave her courage, and stayed
Ironically, with the onset of his ill-
viduals, who live a life of special good-
with her until her last breath," said
artin M. Doctoroff, for- ness and caring ... with clean hands
Judge Doctoroff had to park next
mer chief judge of the
to Judge Gage — and use the
and a pure heart," said Rabbi Syme.
Judge Doctoroff, born in Cambridge,
Michigan Court of
handrails he had installed for her. "I'll
Members of Judge Doctoroff's fami- Mass., received his law degree at the
Appeals, was an
really miss him," she said. "It won't be
ly gave their own eulogies before an
University of Michigan in 1957 and
admired leader in both the legal pro-
the same around here."
overflow audience at the Ira Kaufman
in the state to marry Allene.
fession and the Jewish community.
U.S. District Judge Paul D. Borman
Chapel in Southfield. Attending were
He was an FBI agent for three years
But after his death July 9, 2002,
Judge Doctoroff for 25 years as
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
before starting to practice law.
Judge Doctoroff was thought of most
a fellow jurist and a friend who always
(whose deputy mayor is the judge's
Son Mark Doctoroff, attending a
fondly as a loving husband, father and
came outside to talk to him when
son, Daniel Doctoroff), Michigan
culinary school in New York state after Judge Borman walked his dog past
brother and, as Rabbi Daniel Syme of
Attorney General Jennifer Granholm,
working for companies in Russia, told
Temple Beth El said,
Judge Doctoroff's house in
former Gov.
how his father glided through the
"a real man ... of
Birmingham, where the latter lived for
Blanchard and for-
chaos of having four sons in the
courage and integri-
35 years. "He was bright, kind and
mer Detroit Mayor
house, always keeping his wit and
ty, who brought a
highly respected," said Judge Borman.
Dennis Archer.
attending all school functions, exhibit-
rare gift of love into
"I never heard anyone say a bad word
Seated in a special
ing his prowess as a little league base-
the world."
him as a judge or a person."
section were more .
ball manager, chaperoning a canoe
Speaking at the
In the 1970s, Judge Doctoroff
than 50 judges from
trip, and even trying to build a
funeral, Rabbi Syme
served as public administrator and
around the state,
Derby wooden race car.
said, "The memory
special prosecutor for Oakland
dressed in their judi-
Andrew Doctoroff of Huntington
of Martin Doctoroff
County and special assistant attorney
cial robes.
Woods, an attorney with the Detroit
with his goodness,
general for Michigan. He also served
law firm of Honigman, Miller,
decency and integrity
on the state Attorney Discipline
Schwartz and Cohn, described his
will remain with us
Board, and belonged to numerous
Zest For Life
father's honored reputation in the legal committees of the American Bar
as an abiding bene-
Judge Doctoroff's
community and his strong adherence
Association, as well as state and local
two brothers,
to an exacting moral code.
After a three-year
associations. He held several positions
Michael and Dr.
"He always treated attorneys courte- with the Anti-Defamation League,
battle with amy-
ously when they came before him in
otrophic lateral scle- Judge Martin M Doctoro
and he belonged to Temple Beth El.
told of their close
the courtroom, and he even tried to
rosis (ALS), Judge
Rabbi David Nelson of
relationships with
reconcile couples in divorce cases," he
Doctoroff, 69, died in his sleep at his
Congregation Beth Shalom, who also
their older sibling. "He was a terrific
said. "He always rendered non-ideo-
Troy residence. He was remembered at big brother ... my mentor," said
officiated at the funeral, noted that
logical, clear-eyed opinions. When all
his funeral as a man of unusual grace,
Judge Doctoroff always enjoyed visits
Stephen. "He had a zest for life in
of us in the family are confronted with by friends, which were especially
courage and wit who lived life to the
sickness and in health.
problem, we ask: What would dad
fullest and remained active until his
important during his illness. "He
Judge Doctoroff's son, Thomas, an
have done?
last days despite the adversity of ALS
say, 'Thanks, pal ... thanks for
international advertising executive
"My dad died with the satisfaction
— a debilitating, degenerative disease
stopping by,'" said the rabbi. "To him,
based in Shanghai, China, quoted
of not just having a good life, but of
of the muscles and nervous system —
we now say, 'Thanks, pal ... thanks for
Gehrig's famous comment on July 4,
having accomplished what he wanted
also known as Lou Gehrig's disease,
stopping by.' Martin Doctoroff will be
1939, when baseball honored him
to do in his life."
after the New York Yankees slugger
with us forever."
with a special day: "I consider myself
Daniel Doctoroff, deputy mayor of
who succumbed to it in 1941.
Judge Martin Doctoroff is survived
to be the luckiest man on the face of
York City, mentioned how his
Judge Doctoroff, a. self-styled "JFK
by his sons and daughters-in-law,
the earth." Thomas said: "Our whole
father always told the sons, after a
Democrat," was appointed to the
Daniel L. and Alisa Doctoroff, Mark
family was fortunate to have had our
visit, to "stay in touch." He added:
Michigan Court of Appeals by former
H. and Irena Doctoroff, Andrew S.
father for so long."
"Now, staying in touch [in spirit] will
Gov. James Blanchard in 1987, then
and Stacy K. Doctoroff, and Thomas
Thomas described his father's 43-
be the easiest thing in the world."
elected five times on his own. He was
D. Doctoroff; grandchildren, Jacob,
year marriage to his mother, Allene, as
chosen chief judge of the Court of
Ariel, Jenna, Sophia, Nicole, Alana
a "1950s Hollywood romance." It
Appeals by his colleagues on that
and Simone; brothers and sisters-in-
began when she went on a date with
Judicial Colleagues
bench in 1992 and 1994 and re-
law, Michael and Honey Doctoroff of
him while visiting Harvard University,
Appeals Court Judge Hilda Gage, who Natick, Mass., and Dr. Stephen and
appointed by the Michigan Supreme
where he received a BA degree in
had been Judge Doctoroff's colleague
Court in 1996 when the duty to
Aimee Doctoroff of West Hartford,
1954. "Theirs was a partnership of
and a good friend since the mid-
appoint switched to the high court. As equals,""Thomas said. "He respected
1970s, worked down the hall from
chief judge, he won plaudits in the
He was the beloved husband of the
her in her own career as a psycholo-
him. She also has a debilitating dis-
legal community for significantly
late Allene Doctoroff
ease, multiple sclerosis, that affects her
reducing the backlog of Court of
Interment was at Beth El Memorial
Allene Doctoroff died at age 64 of a
mobility. As chief judge, he arranged a
Appeals cases.
Park. Contributions may be made to
rare form of cancer in 1999, around
parking space for her close to the
Despite the debilitating effects of his the same time that Judge Doctoroff
ALS of Michigan, 21311 Civic Center
building and had handrails installed in
illness, he continued serving on the
Drive, Suite 200, Southfield 48034.
was experiencing his first symptoms of the hallways. "Falling down is no
court, resigning only last month as the ALS, but he waited to seek a diagnosis
Arrangements by Ira Kaufman
problem," said Judge Gage. "It's the




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