Gerald Tuchow

Gerald Tuchow, 85, of Bloomfield Hills, died on August 4.

Tuchow was a prominent lawyer in Detroit and the downriver community of Flat Rock where he practiced law for more than 50 years. He focused his practice on helping the injured and disadvantaged obtain justice in the courtroom. He cared deeply about social justice and passed on this passion to his children. Most cases he took on a contingency and only received compensation if he won. He did win and raised his family on those earnings.

At the time of his death, he was working on a collection of stories about practicing law in Detroit during the turbulent 1960s and 1970s titled "Murder, Rape and the Evil Eye." He was also hoping to establish an organization called "Lawyers for Humanity" to enable and encourage lawyers to give back and to make the world a better place.

Tuchow, along with his wife Marilyn of 58 years, raised five children in Lafayette Park in Downtown Detroit and later in an 1830 farmhouse in Oakland County ("Old Oak"). He always put his family first and enjoyed celebrating holidays and family events at large family gatherings at "Old Oak," and at annual family reunions at Camp Michigania. He also enjoyed traveling around the world with Marilyn to visit family and friends.

Tuchow was a graduate of Central High School in Detroit, received a degree in Speech from Wayne State University and after his military service earned a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1957.

Tuchow cared deeply about contributing to the community and gave magnanimously of his time. Among many other contributions, he ran as the Democratic Party's nominee for Michigan State Board of Education in the early 1960s. He served the community in many capacities: as chairman of the first Ethics Commission of the City of Detroit, as chairman of the Teachers Tenure Commission of the State of Michigan, as chairman of the First Historic Preservation Advisory Commission of the City of Detroit, as chairman of the National Affairs Committee of the Michigan Democratic Party, and served as an elected Michigan delegate to Democratic national conventions in the 1960s and 1970s, and as president and a longstanding member of the Rotary Club in Flat Rock.

He loved theater and poetry. At Detroit Central High School he traveled the state and won awards for interpretive reading of poetry and literature. Later in life he served as president of the Players Club in Detroit, the oldest theatrical group of its kind in Michigan. Together with his brother, actor Michael Tolan, he established an annual award for students at Wayne State University for interpretative reading of poetry and for theatrical excellence. He is fondly remembered by neighbors for dressing up as Uncle Sam in a red, white and blue striped seersucker suit and leading the annual Fourth of July Parade.

Tuchow is survived by his wife Marilyn Alice Spiro Tuchow, his children, Jonathan Tuchow, Matthew and Nicola Tuchow, Lincoln and Kathy Tuchow, Gabrielle and Montgomery Gillard, and Victoria and Leon Mualem, as well as his seven grandchildren: Noah and Jonah Tuchow, Bella and Levi Mualem, and Benjamin, Isabelle and Sophia Gillard.

In place of flowers, the family suggests gifts in his name to either Camp Michigania at the University of Michigan Alumni Association, the Players Club Endowment, or to the Gerald Tuchow Fund at Wayne State University to establish a student scholarship fund for a financially needy student interesting in giving back to the community.

A funeral will be held at Ira Kaufman Chapel, 18325 W. Nine Mile Road in Southfield, on Friday, August 7, at 11 a.m.

Published: Thu, Aug 06, 2015


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