Obituary: Gerald Tuchow

Gerald Tuchow

Gerald Tuchow, a prominent lawyer in Detroit and the downriver community of Flat Rock where he practiced law for more than 50 years, died on Aug. 4. He was 85.

At the time of his death, Tuchow was working on a collection of stories about practicing law in Detroit during the 1960s and 1970s titled “Murder, Rape and the Evil Eye.” Family members said Tuchow also was 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 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.

Among many other contributions, he ran as the Democratic Party’s nominee for Michigan State Board of Education in the early 1960s. 

Tuchow served the community in many capacities: he was chairman of the first Ethics Commission of the City of Detroit, chairman of the Teachers Tenure Commission of the State of Michigan, chairman of the First Historic Preservation Advisory Commission of the City of Detroit and chairman of the National Affairs Committee of the Michigan Democratic Party.

He also served as an elected Michigan delegate to Democratic national conventions in the 1960s and 1970s, and was president and a longstanding member of the Rotary Club in Flat Rock.

Tuchow 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, Tuchow 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, Tuchow established an annual award for students at Wayne State University for interpretative reading of poetry and for theatrical excellence.

He was 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.

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

In place of flowers, the family suggested gifts in Tuchow’s 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.

Funeral services were held Aug. 7 at Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield.

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