April 17, 1938 – April 4, 2013
Leslie Scherr, age 74, formerly of Potomac, MD, died peacefully on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Leslie was born in the Bronx, NY on April 17, 1938. He graduated from Queens College and received his Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School. Leslie was married to Susan (Auerbach) Scherr on April 8, 1962; they were married for over 50 years. Leslie had a lust for life and knowledge.
He was a first generation American and a self-made man, who worked his way through college and law school while supporting his family. In 1963, shortly after law school, Leslie secured a Presidential Commission as a JAG (Judge Advocate General) officer in the Army. He was quickly promoted to Major, but released early in order to lead the Ford Foundation's Legal Defense Project in Washington, DC. He practiced law as a criminal and civil attorney in the Washington, DC area, but was sought out to litigate cases around the country. He had the honor of arguing before the Supreme Court on a workmen's compensation case. Later in his career, as an adoption attorney, Leslie took great pride in working to change statues in the District of Columbia and Maryland, ensuring that women, gays and lesbians, and single parents had the equal right to foster and adopt children. In the years before retirement, he handled contested adoption cases, many of which were pro bono. Leslie had many passions and enjoyed making them a part of his life. He taught high school, college and law school. He was an avid reader and accumulated an eclectic library. He volunteered in the community - at local libraries; raised money for charities; was a cooking instructor at L'Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland and performed cooking demonstrations at Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma. He loved the New York Times; Jeopardy; opera and all types of music; politics and debate; college basketball; travel; crossword puzzles; chess, bridge, scrabble, and above all - his family and friends. Leslie and Susan moved back to New York in 2004, to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Leslie's return gave him the opportunity to walk the streets of New York City and visit his favorite stomping grounds, such as the Strand Bookstore, Zabar's and The Highline. He also had the opportunity to spend countless hours with his cherished grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Scherr; his son, Sloan Scherr and husband Patrick Moore; his daughter, Nikki O'Connell and husband Jim; his three grandchildren, Ryan, Aidan, and Madison; his sister Norma R. Ascher and husband Harvey; his uncle and aunt, Seymour and Thelma Grossman; aunt Geraldine Grossman; his sister-in-law Dr. Anita Auerbach; his nieces and nephews; his "daughters" Helen Taylor, Kristin Abshire, and Charlotte Gilbert; and the rest of his family and friends.
A Celebration of Leslie's life was held the first weekend of May, 2013 in Washington, DC.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Queens College Foundation, c/o The Leslie Scherr Scholarship Fund, Attn: David D'Amato, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, New York, 11367 or on-line at http://bit.ly/HonorLeslieScherr
Published in The Washington Post on April 9, 2013