June 4, 2018 ~ 21 Sivan 5778
Passed away peacefully on June 4, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Penny Miller, and children, Donna (Glenn) Garfinkel, Michael (Lori) Harris, and Jeffrey Harris, as well as grandchildren Marni Garfinkel, Ross Garfinkel, Maya Harris, Jada Harris and Josie Harris. He is pre-deceased by his previous wife, Marilynne Harris, and his sister, Esther David.
Stuart was gregarious and outgoing, and always eager to strike up a conversation with anyone who happened to be in earshot. He was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated from the Pharmacy School of the University of Kentucky in 1959. He was a successful businessman as the owner and CEO of a wholesale drug company in Louisville, and in a separate wholesale drugstore merchandising business with a nationwide presence.
Throughout his years in Louisville, Stuart was a passionate advocate for Orthodox Judaism. His true love was the synagogue. It was not easy to be observant in a southern community with few Orthodox Jews and no kosher restaurants and butcher shops. As a teenager, he raised money so that the Jewish youth clubs would provide kosher meals at some of their dances. For nearly half a century, Stuart was a driving force in all things financial at Congregation Anshei Sfard, the only Orthodox shul in Kentucky. He served for many years as Anshei Sfard’s President and Treasurer. As President of the VAAD, he fought the powerful establishment to ensure that the Four Courts Nursing Home would remain kosher. As a long-term board member of the Louisville Jewish Community Center, he served for years as chair of the House Committee. Stuart was a strong supporter of Eliahu Academy Jewish Day School, where his children matriculated. He served as the school’s Treasurer during difficult financial times. Over the years, Stuart received several honors from the various organizations in which he participated.
In 2006, Stuart and Penny moved to Bal Harbour, Florida. There, Stuart was able to enjoy a vibrant Orthodox Jewish community and plenty of Kosher restaurants from which to choose for his nightly dinners out with friends. He and Penny became valued members and leaders at Young Israel of Bal Harbour, where Stuart was the Chair of Kiddush.
Graveside services will be 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 6th at Anshei Sfard Cemetery, 721 Locust Lane. Expressions of sympathy may be made to Young Israel of Bal Harbour, 9580 Abbott Avenue, Surfside, FL 33154.