Gerald Sanford Spear


Gerald Sanford Spear, 93, passed away peacefully on April 11, 2021, in Newport Beach, California. He was the beloved husband of Ilene Slass Spear for nearly 57 years. Born in Providence, RI, the fourth son of Alfred Spear and Esther Marcus Spear, he lived in Newport Beach for the past 44 years where he was a distinguished Professor of Pathology at the University of California Irvine, retiring in 2005. Prior to this, he lived in Baltimore, Maryland, where he had been a member of the faculty of the Department of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital since 1958. He graduated Harvard College in 1948 and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1952.

Devoted father of Alison Spear Ullendorff (David) of Pacific Palisades, CA; Alfred Spear (Shellie), of Windermere, FL; and Jillian Spear (Jerrold Spector), of Rancho Santa Fe, CA. Loving grandfather of Jonah, Caleb, Nathan, Abigail, Rachel, Henry, Sophie, and Gabriel.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gerald S. Spear JHU-UCI Medical Student Pathology Fellowship, Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital Carnegie 428, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287-641, Attn: Sandra Markowitz or The Senior Rabbi Fund, Temple Bat Yahm, 1011 Camelback Street, Newport Beach, CA 92660.

Funeral services were held Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. EST in Lincoln Park Cemetery, 1469 Post Road, Warwick, RI.

To view a recording of the funeral, please Click Here.



  1. Patti Rosenthale
    Apr 14, 2021

    Ilene, my thoughts are with you at this most difficult time. Jerry was a brilliant, dedicated, and devoted man. His love and admiration for you was only perhaps equaled by his adoration for
    Alison, Alfie, Jillian and all of your grandchildren. Jerry was so immensely proud of you all. He was truly the patriarch of your family and his loss will leave an enormous void. I hope the warm memory of his love, caring and his distinguished life will be a comfort that will help you to find peace in the long days ahead. Jerry will be missed by the entire community. Please know that I am there with you in spirit and here for you when you return.

  2. Cantor Arië Shikler
    Apr 14, 2021

    Ilene and family, I’m so sorry to see Jerry’s beautiful smile in the LA Times today. I’ll always remember him as a mentch and always was happy to meet him. A warm and wonderful man! He was a blessing to all.
    I will pray for his soul’s safe journey toward the light.
    Much love,

  3. Fritz and Helen Lin
    Apr 14, 2021

    We send you our deepest condolences and sorrow at the news of dear Jerry’s passing. We trust that you will find comfort that he had contributed and worked toward giving a useful life to others in his community.

    We feel honored and blessed to have had him in our life.

    Peace and love to you and your family.

    Fritz and Helen

  4. B. H. Choi
    Apr 15, 2021

    We are saddened to learn passing of our dear friend Jerry. We lost a great teacher and scholar, a gifted musician and most of all a great compassionate human being. Deepest condolence to Ilene and family. Ben and Pearl Choi

  5. Maria and Luis M. de la Maza
    Apr 15, 2021

    Ilene and family, our deepest condolences go out to you. We offer our thoughts, prayers and well-wishes during this very difficult time in your life.

    Having Jerry as a friend and colleague was a privilege and he always will be in our hearts.


    Maria and Luis

  6. Linda and Hy Algazi
    Apr 16, 2021

    Condolences to Ilene and her entire family. We always admired Jerry for his intellect and for love he demonstrated to all of you. I loved seeing Jillian’s little boy in Temple when he spotted his grandpa on the Bima and burst forth to join him.
    May his memory be a blessing.
    Love, Linda and Hy

  7. Barbara Migeon
    Apr 17, 2021

    Dear Ilene,

    I was sad to learn that Gerry was no longer with you. Claude died three year s ago and so I know how you feel to lose your best friend.

    A I am, you are blessed to have children and grandchildren to bring back all those marvelous memories. It does get better! I send my thoughts and best wishes to you.


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