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September 26, 2003 - Image 175

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-26

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Special to the Jewish News


ugene "Gene" Perle had three great pas-
sions in his life: his beloved family, his
successful teaching career and his squash
Mr. Perle, a professor of geography and
urban planning and a national squash
champion, died at his West Bloomfield
home on Sept. 17, 2003, at age 67.
A sports fan and athlete from his child-
hood days in Jersey City, N.J., Mr. Perle
attended Dartmouth College in Hanover,
N.H., on a basketball scholarship. He
earned his master's degree at Syracuse
University and his doctorate at the
University of Chicago.
Mr. Perle began his teaching career at
Indiana University in Bloomington and
subsequently moved to the University of
Pittsburgh. For the last 32 years, he held
the position of associate professor in the
Geography and Urban Planning Department of
Wayne State University. In 1973, he was awarded a
Senior Fullbright Scholarship, which he completed
at Tel Aviv University.
According to his family, he derived his greatest
pleasure and inspiration from conducting research
and advising graduate students. He published sev
eral works, including the book The Demandfbr

Transportation: Regional and Commodity Studies in
the United States, based on a 30-year study of
Detroit urban social ecology.
Mr. Perle caught the "squash bug" at the age of
45 at a weekend doubles tournament in Cleveland.
Although he and his partner lost that match, he
announced to his wife, Sylvia, that
he was going to begin playing com-
petitive squash the following winter. •
In 1984, he joined the national
squash scene in both singles and
In 1994, he won the Canadian
and U.S. national singles and dou-
bles in his age group, becoming the
third person in squash history to
win all four championships in a sin-
gle season. He was a medal-winning
player for the U.S. squash team
at the Maccabiah games in Israel
in 1985, 1989 and 1993.
Since 1990, Mr. Perle won
more national titles than any other squash player
in Michigan; including 11 U.S. national doubles,
four U.S. singles, five world doubles, five
Canadian national doubles and two Canadian
national singles.
Mr. Perle was one of the more vocal squash play-
ers when the Jewish Community Center in West
Bloomfield dismantled its squash courts during the
recent renovation of its health and fitness facilities.

"He thought there was a great squash communi-
ty here, and he was determined to find a way to
make it work," said his daughter, Lisa Perle. He
was instrumental in the building of the squash
court facilities at the Franklin racquet club."
'Squash was a family activity since we were
young," she said. 'All of us played, including our
mother; they won some mixed doubles tourna-
Lisa Perle describes her parents' marriage as
"incredibly fabulous, 40 years strong."
"They were very loving and loyal to each other,
and they had a great sense of adventure, which
they instilled in all of us," she said.
"He had a gift for putting people at ease, and he
was very accepting of everyone, no matter who
they were or what abilities they had," Lisa Perle
said. "He had a ready sense of humor and a strong
sense of loyalty. He made being a mentsh seem
Mr. Perle is survived by his wife, Sylvia; son,
Lawrence Mark Perle, of Denver; daughters and
sons-in-law, Kathryn Perle and Kevin Jones, of
Eugene, Ore., Lisa Perle and Kevin Warner of
Olympia, Wash.; grandchildren Gene Odell Perle-
Jones and Anika Serene Perle-Warner.
Contributions may be made to Friends of
Dartmouth Squash, c/o June Marshall, Dartmouth
College, 6083 Alumni Gym, Hanover, NH 03755.
Arrangements were by Dorfman Chapel. Ei

A Tough Defender

Special to the Jewish News

ack Kraizman was a religious Jew, a patriotic
American and a tough criminal defense
lawyer, who on occasion quoted from the
Torah to make his point in the courtroom.
Mr. Kraizman practiced law for 63 years before
retiring in 1998 at age 88. "He even argued before
the Michigan Supreme Court at age 85," said his
son Sidney Kraizman of Farmington Hills. But as
well .as being a tough advocate, he was also "soft and
warm-hearted," said his son, Sidney Kraizman of
Farmington Hills.
Mr. Kraizman, 93, died of pneumonia Sept. 20,
2003, at his West Bloomfield home. He had been
grief-stricken over the death of his wife of 60 years,
Anne, 85, only three weeks before, said their son.
Mr. Kraizman was president of the former
Congregation B'nai David when the synagogue in
Southfield was being built and later was a staunch
member of Congregation B'nai Moshe in West
Bloomfield. "He vvas a nice, shul-going man, who
was very proud of his wife's charitable deeds, and
also extremely proud of his country," said Rabbi


Elliot Pachter of B'nai Moshe.
Born in Russia, Mr. Kraizman came to the
Detroit area at age 12 and graduated from the
University of Michigan Law School.
"He handled the defense and appeals in many
well-known murder, robbery
and drug cases, and was
highly regarded in court-
rooms throughout the state,"
said his son, also an attorney.
"In one case, he quoted
from the Torah that no man
can be convicted of a capital
offense by his own confes-
sion. Another time, he
defended B'nai David in a
lawsuit over a roadway near
its land by quoting the Torah
again that 'thou shalt not move the landmark of thy
In 1997, he received the William Cahalan Award
of the Metro Detroit Bar Association for his many
contributions to the community.
Mr. Kraizman, who regularly flew a large
American flag at his residence, served in the army in

World War II and was past state commander of the
Jewish War Veterans and former judge advocate for
Michigan veterans.
"Only severe asthma kept him from combat
duty," said Sidney Kraizman, "but he later organized
a successful nationwide campaign to bring kosher
food to a Jewish asthma hospital in Denver, Colo.,
by getting letters of support from many prominent
At Mr. Kraizman's funeral, he was saluted by an
honor guard from Jewish War Veterans posts.
Mr. Kraizman is survived by his son and daugh-
ter-in-law, Sidney and Helen Kraizman of
Farmington Hills; grandchildren, Lisa and Jill
He was the beloved husband of the late Anne
Kraizman; dear brother of the late Esther Gordon,
the late Rose Gruskin and the late Sylvia Dean.
Interment was at Clover Hill Park Cemetery.
Contributions may be made to the Jewish War
Veterans, Department of Michigan. Arrangements
by Ira Kaufman Chapel. ❑


on page 176




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