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Joseph J. Lerner

Death Date: August 6, 2018

Joseph Lerner, entrepreneur, raconteur, philanthropist, husband, father, grandfather and all around great guy, died Monday at his home in Boynton Beach, Florida. He was 90.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on December 27, 1927, he was the son of Irving and May Lerner. He graduated from Erasmus Hall High School, served in the U.S. Army and earned a bachelor’s degree from Long Island University. He later went to work at the textile printing company, Velourit Corporation, founded by his father. After Irving died, Joe, his brother, Alvin, and their partner, John Viscardi, transformed Velourit into a highly profitable company.

Joe relished nothing more than a good joke or an amusing story, whether he was telling it or hearing it. He was a voracious reader, an avid sportsman and a connoisseur of the finer things in life. When he wasn’t working, he indulged his passions for theater, music, art, literature, stylish automobiles, flying and, first and foremost, his family.

Joe married the enduring love of his life, the former Isabel Isaacs, in 1953. She survives him as do their three children, Preston, Dorian and Craig, daughters-in law Emily and Renée, and three grandchildren, Anna, Elias and Maria. Other survivors include Alvin and Dorine Lerner and Edith and Ed Isaacs. In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be made to two of Joe’s favorite charities – Smile Train and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Chapel Service
August 10, 2018
1:00 pm
Beth Israel Memorial Chapel - Boynton Beach
11115 Jog Road Boynton Beach, FL 33437
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  1. “The Dodgers moved once. And they’re moving again, this time to Boynton Beach, to honor the memory of that other Brooklyn-born phenom, Joey ‘Lox, Stock and Bagel’ Lerner.” –Vin Scully

    “I’ve worked with all the great diplomats of this generation – Dag Hammarskjold, Ralph Bunche, John Foster Dulles, myself, of course. But Joe Lerner is the only person I knew who could have brokered peace in the Middle East and between Nicki Manaj and Mariah Carey.” –Henry Kissinger

    “Not bad – for a white guy.” – Kanye West

    “Everyone talks about the selflessness of Mother Teresa. Feeding the hungry, tending the sick – frankly, it’s like listening to a broken record. But Joseph Jerome? Now there was a saint.” – Pope Francis

    “After I conquer space, fill the world with electric vehicles and provide low-cost solar energy for the masses, I plan to embark on my greatest challenge – to design a navigation system that even Joe Lerner could have operated.” – Elon Musk

    “Hil’s biggest mistake in 2016? Not hiring Joe Lerner as her campaign manager.” – Bill Clinton

    “Not bad – for a guy.” – Caitlyn Jenner

    “Everybody always asks me, ‘Who was the inspiration for Indiana Jones?’ And, of course, it was Joe Lerner. Except that I had to tone down the character in the movie to make him more believable.” – Steven Spielberg

    “As a follow-up to Hamilton, my next Broadway show is going to be a bebop musical. Lerner traces the life of a simple shirtmaker’s son who goes on to tickle the ivories with the likes of Dizzie Gillespie and Charlie Parker.” – Lin-Manuel Miranda

    “What I’ll always remember about Joey was the morning he shot a 62 without ever once using his driver. Of course, that was on the front nine.” – Jack Nicklaus

    “Not bad – for a Jew.” – Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei of Iran

    “Few people know this, but it was Velourit that put Vogue on the fashion map. When we put Audrey Hepburn on the cover in a Christian Dior wedding dress, no one had ever used flocked material for anything but curtains before. The dress sold out, and so did that issue.” – Anna Wintour

    “Was there anyone better at weaving in and out of Manhattan traffic during Friday rush hour? Man, it was incredible. The guy never touched the brakes.” – Mario Andretti

    “It’s a gripping tale of ambition, determination, dedication, ingenuity, innovation and the occasional bounced check: Joe Lerner and the Velourit Corporation!” – David McCullough

    “Not bad – for an old geezer.” – Justin Bieber

    “I desperately wanted Joey to play mixed doubles with me at Wimbledon, but he chose a different partner – Isabel Isaacs, stoop ball champion of Hart Street.” – Billie Jean King

    “I was voted People magazine’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive” two times, but if you ask me, Joe was always the classiest.” – George Clooney

    “I’m redesigning the Guggenheim Bilbao as a monument to Joe Lerner because titanium is so five minutes ago. The plan is to get Christo to wrap the place in a hundred miles of flocked fabric.” – Frank Gehry

    “Not bad – for a short guy.” – LeBron James

    “Joe Lerner was a model for us all. He lived his best life!” – Oprah Winfrey

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