Howard Leslie Kushner

January 23, 1940April 5, 2021

April 5, 2021 - Howard L. Kushner of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Pembroke Pines, Florida, and founder of Kushner & Kushner, PC, a global immigration law practice, died peacefully at the age of 81, surrounded by his immediate family.

Howard was born in Niagara Falls, New York, the son of Lillian (“Laya,” née Sulman) and Abraham R. Kushner and brother of Roger S. Kushner, MD. He is survived by the love of his life and spouse of over 50 years, Mary Jean (née Sass) Kushner and his children Laya (Igor), Mathew (Rachel), and Tina Kushner.

Howard was the connective tissue of his family, building and maintaining relationships across generations as the Kushner, Sulman, and Sass families expanded across the U.S. and internationally. With his easy demeanor and supportive tone, he made everyone feel they were part of the family. Splitting his time between his adopted homes in Charlotte and Pembroke Pines, he supported local teams but remained a devoted fan of the Buffalo Bills.

A 1964 graduate of Georgetown Law and of Cornell University in 1961, Howard returned to his hometown of Niagara Falls, New York, and began practicing law with his father. In the early 1970s, Kushner, Kushner & Roscetti, PC was formed, and Howard’s focus on immigration deepened. A musician stuck at the Canadian/U.S. border, and a conversation with a former JAG attorney at his nephew’s bar mitzvah led to lifelong clients and a reputation as the immigration attorney to the stars.

With a push from Mary Jean and a shove from his children, Kushner and Kushner, PC relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1997, as Howard was joined in practice by all three children, Laya, Mathew and Tina. Howard relished his role as Senior Partner and later mentoring their associates Zach, Brandon and Erin.

As a founding member of its Upstate New York chapter and a frequent speaker, Howard was a proud member and leader of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Each June, Howard used the annual AILA conference as an excuse for a family vacation and a not so subtle chance to introduce his kids to his passion for Immigration and Naturalization law. As he was fond of saying, “if you don’t like something in Immigration, just wait, it’s always changing.”

Over the decades, Howard and Mary Jean loved to travel with family and friends to the far reaches of the globe. Through his business relationships and extended network, Howard and Mary Jean met locals that often became lifelong friends. Often eschewing the traditional routes and locales, they sought a deeper connection in each destination, including traversing the backroads of the Czech Republic without a map. Howard and Mary Jean were able to sample foreign cultures and cuisines, seeking out Jewish communities throughout the World.

Howard was also passionate about his dogs, instilling his love for them in his children, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was devoted to each member of his pack: Schmoogy, Sydney Sue, Patsy Pease, Lola, and Grethel. In his later years, Howard could often be found on a peaceful stroll, with one of his canine companions by his side.

Following Graveside Services on Wednesday, April 7th, Shiva was held in person on Wednesday and Thursday evening at the home of Laya Kushner.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the following organizations:

Jewish Family Services of Greater Charlotte, 5007 Providence Rd., Suite 105, Charlotte, NC 28226 ( or Greater Charlotte SPCA, P.O. Box 77491, Charlotte, NC 28271 (


  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Howard Leslie Kushner

have a memory or condolence to add?

susan eisner

April 8, 2021

Laya and Matthew,

I am very very sorry for your loss.

Susan Eisner.

Dale Araten

April 8, 2021

אבא נהדר, בעל, מנהיג ואדם

Tina , Mathew , Laya & MaryJean i’m so sorry for your loss . May Howard’ s legacy continue thru everyone and i’m sure is proud of having 3 amazing children to do so .

Sincerely ,
Dale Araten

The Steinhorn Family

April 8, 2021

We are so sorry to learn of the sad loss of our dear cousin, Howard. May His Soul Rest in Peace and His Memory Be For a Blessing! At this very difficult and sorrowful time, please know the peace and comfort of hopeful thoughts and heartfelt wishes. Our family is thinking of you and we look forward to sharing only good news, simchas, and many blessings together in the days ahead. Please take care and be well.
Jim, Linda, Mitch and Shari Steinhorn

Linda Ejlali

April 7, 2021

Mary Jean and family please accept our heart felt sympathy in Howard's passing. I have very fond memories of the graciousness shown to me by you and Howard on numerous occasions.
Linda & Hamid Ejlali

Brian and Wendy Malone

April 7, 2021

Mary Jean and Laya - we are so sorry for your loss!

Michael Kranitz

April 7, 2021

Mary Jean and family. I am sorry to hear of Howard's passing. May Howard's memory be a blessing to you all.

Lanny and Diane Liebeskind

April 7, 2021

Dear Mary Jean and Family,
Diane and I were very saddened to learn of Howard's passing. We are grateful for the family times we were able to share together. Howard was one of the "good ones". We hope you find comfort surrounded by loved ones and with memories of Howard.
With love and sympathy, Lanny, Diane, Rebecca, and Daniel

Sandy Kranitz

April 6, 2021

Mary Jean, my sincere condolences to you and the family. May all the wonderful memories bring you peace and Howard’s memory be a blessing.

Sonia Scholl

April 6, 2021

Our family had enjoyed these wonderful neighbors for many many years. Howard and Mary Jean have been like family to us and were so very sweet to our boys when they were growing up. They were taken to basketball games, theater performances, and fancy “steak dinners” (as our kids called them), when my husband and I were traveling abroad and the kids were with the babysitter. They had all these invitations and they loved it. They were sad today when the heard the news. The Kushners have been very special to us. These neighbors are the most considered, easy going, fun and overall the best neighbors any one could wish for. We are going to miss you Howard . A special hug for you MaryJean.
Marc, Sonia, Lucas & Simon

Josie Pascoe (Nunnie's daughter) Pascoe

April 6, 2021

Mary Jean and family. Our sincere condolences to everyone. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Josie and Phil.