Gerson Asrael was born in Baltimore, Md. in 1934 to Samuel and Rose Asrael. He met Wilma Fisher on his first day of high school and they enjoyed a 62-year adventure after they wed in 1960. Gerson went to college at the University of Maryland, received his medical degree from University of Maryland at Baltimore, did a surgical internship at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, and completed a urology residency at Baylor in Houston.
He spent two years at the Bethesda Naval Hospital as a Navy lieutenant commander under the Berry Plan and joined the Nalle Clinic in Charlotte, N.C. Gerson practiced urology for 35 years, as he said, “fixing plumbing,” and displayed characteristic license plates such as 2PCME.
He served as the unofficial mohel of the Charlotte Jewish community, working with a rabbi on hundreds of circumcisions across multiple generations. Gerson retired in 1996, and he and Wilma spent almost 25 years traveling throughout the U.S. and the world (often with their “hiking group” of four men who had been friends since elementary school and their spouses).
Gerson and Wilma moved to Atlanta nine years ago to be closer to family. His Jewish faith was always central to his life; he and Wilma were active members of Temple Israel in Charlotte, contributed to innumerable charitable organizations, and Gerson served as the president of the Charlotte Hebrew Academy. Gerson loved classical music and was quiet by nature, but when he did speak up, it was always with kindness and camaraderie, and occasionally with an absolutely hysterical anecdote delivered in classic deadpan style.
He enjoyed playing golf since he was a teen, with extra-long left-handed clubs, and no substantial improvement that his golf partners could discern. Gerson was most proud of the family that he and Wilma created, developing special relationships with each of his progeny and quietly kvelling over the achievements of his wife, his children, and his grandchildren. He put a priority on education, and he and Wilma provided substantial support for the schooling of their children and grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Wilma, sister, Bonnie Abeles; children, Michele, and her husband, Mitch Garber, Mindy Asrael, Joel, and his wife, Jill Asrael, and David, and his wife, Jill Asrael, and his grandchildren: Robert, Evan, and Samantha Garber; Daryn and Sophie Asrael; and Rose and Noah Asrael.
A funeral for Gerson was held at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, at Arlington Memorial Park. Contributions can be made in his memory to Jewish charities including the Anti-Defamation League and Hillel International, or to the National Park Foundation. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
- Gerson Asrael
- Wilma Fisher
- University of Maryland
- Michael Reese Hospital
- Bethesda Naval Hospital
- Berry Plan
- Nalle Clinic
- Temple Israel
- Charlotte Hebrew Academy
- Arlington Memorial Park
- Anti-Defamation League
- Hillel International
- National Park Foundation
- Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care