Gerald Lawrence Arffa

September 25, 1928 ~ April 24, 2020 (age 91)


Gerald Lawrence Arffa


Longtime Indianapolis and Carmel resident passed away on April 24, 2020 at the age of 91. Gerald was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, proud veteran of the US Army and Air Force, distinguished professor and member of the Jewish community.


Gerry was born in Syracuse, New York on September 25, 1928 to Emanuel and Ida Arffa. Education was especially important to Gerry. He was a graduate of Nottingham High School in Syracuse, NY (1946), Broome Community College in Binghamton, NY with an AAS in Chemical Technology (1950), Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY with a BS in Chemical Engineering (1955), Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY with an MBA in Production Management (1958) and Union College, Schenectady, NY, with a PhD in Administrative & Engineering Systems (1980).


Gerry was a respected and lauded professor, department chair and assistant dean at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology in Indianapolis. He served as department chair from 1979-1983 and as professor in the department of organizational leadership and supervision from 1979-1993. In 1992, Gerry received the Distinguished Professor Award and became Professor Emeritus in 1993.


He was truly a Renaissance man, with varied interests and hobbies. One cousin described Gerry as possessing a “gentle intelligence” and his children, extended family and wealth of friends will remember him for his humor, kindness, and commitment to family and community. He enjoyed reading, current events, gardening, computers, travel and progressive thought.


Gerry and his late wife of 65 years, Elaine, were active leaders and devoted members of Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation. Gerry was a former President, board member, and fundraiser for the congregation and Elaine was an administrator there. Gerry has said that his values of family and Judaism were “inseparable.”


He is survived by his beloved children Lauren T. (Jim) Wolf, Adam S. (Helen) Arffa and Naomi B. (Michael) Swiezy; grandchildren Griffin, Amy, Sally, Andrea, Sarah and Jacob; and great grandchildren Liam, Grayson, Eli, Wesley, and Oliver.


Private family services will be held at the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation Cemetery North on Sunday, April 26, 2020.  Memorial contributions may be made to Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation,


The family will be receiving friends in a Zoom room from 1-8pm on Sunday following the funeral: .  A minyan will be held at 7pm.

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Funeral Service


Graveside Service
April 26, 2020

11:00 AM
IHC North Cemetery
161st Street and Meridian Street
Westfield, IN 46074


Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation
6501 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis IN 46260
Tel: 1-317-255-6647

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