Lifecycles | Obituaries

Gerald Vegodsky

Gerald “Jerry/Big D/Grand D” Vegodsky (1929 – 2019)

Gerald Vegodsky was born Feb. 12, 1929 in Brooklyn, New York. He married the love of his life, Ruth, in 1950. He was a proud veteran of the Army and did his military service from 1951-1953. He and Ruth moved to Tucson with their two small children in 1959 where he originally worked with his father in the slipcover business. He worked for many years in Tucson as a very successful salesman in the floor covering and interior design business.

It is impossible to think of Jerry without smiling. He was a kind, gentle soul who loved to laugh and make others laugh with his good-natured humor and mischievous practical jokes. He was called upon for many years by family and friends to emcee weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, which he did for the love of giving.

In retirement, Jerry and Ruth shared adventure and traveled the world, making lasting friends on several continents. Jerry loved volunteering. He taught grade school kids art. He helped prepare meals for the homeless at the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen and he worked as a professional patient at the University of Arizona to help instruct medical students. In his free time he loved deep-sea fishing, playing poker (he won several tournaments), flying kites (and giving them away to children), feeding the birds, and especially enjoying his children, grandchildren, family, and friends.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 69 wonderful years, Ruth; his sister, Barbara; his brother-in-law, Alan; his sister-in-law, Bonnie; his son, Steve; his daughter, Ellen; his daughter-in-law, Maureen; his son-in-law, Rene; his additional “adopted” children, Gary, Amy and Ellen; by his five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, and by many nieces and nephews.

Jerry passed in his sleep on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. A memorial service will be held Sunday, March 1, at 1 p.m. at Villa Hermosa. For more information contact

Jerry was an original and a gem. He will be missed.