June 11, 1940 – June 27, 2020
Nathan Sheldon Lerman, born June 11, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois to his father Irving Lerman and mother Lena Lerman. Nathan, or Nate as he liked to be called, was raised by his loving mother Lena and both grandparents, after the passing of his father Irving when Nate was very young. At an early age, Nate and Lena moved west to Southern California where there were better opportunities for his mother. Throughout Nate's life, he was a wonderful son to his mother Lena and they shared a special close bond.
After Nate finished High School at North Hollywood High he joined the U.S. Coast Guard where he served a year of active duty and 7 years of reserve duty where he attended every Monday night. While on active duty in the Coast Guard he worked in the kitchen which he loved because he got to be close to the food which he also loved. He loved food.
Nate attended mortuary school and spent 10 years at Groman Eden Mortuary as a mortician. He loved helping people and found it rewarding to help them through their grieving process while he worked at Groman.
After leaving Groman, Nate worked for a big company in the collections department. He played softball on the company softball team and was a very good catcher and hitter. He loved deep sea fishing and would join in on fishing trips with his fellow workers. Nate was a very hard worker and spent most of his working life in sales. He was a very good salesman. He enjoyed the ladies apparel business where he traveled and made many friends at the clothing stores he sold to. He would always say, "Out of all the no's there is going to be a yes in there somewhere." He had patience in the sales business.
Nate had two sons, Gary and Brian, who he always expressed his proudness of. Nate loved his children, grandchildren and great grandchild very much. He also considered his cat, Willow, as one of his children.
Nate was a very generous person. He always gave birthday gifts to his family. His thing was to send out $100.00 checks to them. Also, he always wanted to pick up the tab when going out to eat. He loved to go out to eat. He would pick up the tab but also let you know he is going to go broke someday and if he needs money he knows where to get it, meaning from his kids. When we would enter the restaurant, or anywhere else, he would hold the door open like a gentleman and be the last one in. As he entered last, he would always say "Jesse James got his in the back." He also loved to go out to eat breakfast and lunch with his buddies.
Nate's favorite dessert was ice cream. He loved ice cream.
Nate was married to Carol Lerman who he met while working at Groman Eden Mortuary. They were married for 24 years and had two children, Gary and Brian. Nate's second marriage was to Gail who he met while on his walks in the neighborhood. They were married for several years before they divorced. For the past 25 years, Nate has been enjoying his life with his longtime girlfriend Edna and her entire family which became his extended family. He loved spending time with her at home and taking her out to eat. He loved the Philippine culture which she shared with him. Edna took wonderful care of him in his later years when his health was declining. They were very devoted to each other.
Nate loved watching sports. He enjoyed watching the Dodgers and Lakers. Even more then pro teams, he loved watching the U.C.L.A. Bruin's sports teams- most of all, Bruin's football and basketball teams. He would talk about the Bruin's coach John Wooden, Dodger's manager Tommy Lasorda and Laker's announcer Chick Hearn. Nate enjoyed going to Dodgers games with his children and was always fascinated by sports stadiums and arenas.
After Nate retired, he volunteered his time to Kaiser Permanente in Woodland Hills which he loved. It gave him such purpose and he met many friends there. As a greeter, he would smile and say good morning to everyone who walked through the door. He would always get to work early. Too early, hours early, and it was his goal to get everyone to smile and say good morning. This was like a sport to him and he would say, "I broke another one down, they finally said good morning." He was a expert unpaid professional greeter.
Nate volunteered at Kaiser until the Covid 19 crisis started and Kaiser postponed their volunteer program. This is about the same time his health started to fail and he was limited to staying at home. He would spend his days at home watching cooking shows, which he loved, and reading the Sunday newspaper, cover to cover. Sometimes it would take him all week to read it cover to cover but he would. He also enjoyed the internet and would read jokes and then send them off to his friends. Joke after joke after joke. Nate loved comedy. He loved to watch comedians and comedies on television. Sometimes he would laugh so hard while watching comedy he would be crying. He also had a very dry sense of humor which some people liked and some people didn't. For the people that really didn't like it, he didn't seem to care.
Nate's slang term for dying was "kicking the bucket." He would mention when he kicks the bucket he will be buried next to his mother up on the beautiful hill (at Groman) above the 405 freeway looking down at all of the people going to work.
- Brian Lerman, Son