Alan J. Wolfe

Alan WolfeAlan Jay Wolfe, 78, of Okemos, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away on November 2, 2023. Born and raised in Baltimore, he graduated from the University of Baltimore. He immersed himself in his adopted community serving as president of Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Chair of the Cemetery Fund, Treasurer of the Michigan Wrestling Club and on the Meridian Township Board in multiple roles. He founded and owned Meridian Auto Parts and worked in other sales, radio, and real estate businesses. A devoted family man with an infectious laugh, he delighted in the happiness of others. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Gail (Sommers) Wolfe; children Rustin (Allison Kaplan) Wolfe, Kyle (Heydy) Wolfe, Lauren (Casey) Lamb, and Kami (David) Schneider; grandchildren Oscar, Ezra, Aiden, Claire, Austin, Colton, Josie, Nolan, Wesley, Zelda, Quinton; brother Harvey (Elaine) Wolfe; Crystal and Krieger families, and many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by parents Ethel Wolfe-Cohen and Benjamin Wolfe, mother and father-in-law Helen and Abraham Sommers, and grandson Benjamin Lamb. Funeral Service Noon Monday, Nov. 6 at Shaarey Zedek, 1924 Coolidge Road, East Lansing, with interment to follow in Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations preferred to  Shaarey Zedek Sisterhood (for the Ethel Wolfe Kitchen Fund) or the American Heart Association.

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8 Messages to “Alan J. Wolfe

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Brian Scriber (with Kerry and Alexandria Scriber)
November 3, 2023 at 3:17 pm

Alan’s sense of humor was epic – delighting in both bad puns and dad jokes, but also stories that didn’t even seem funny until he started laughing at it himself and you couldn’t help but laugh along, not even knowing the punchline yet. I recall his campaign slogan of “enough is enough!” and when asked about that, he’d ask you what you were frustrated with, and then ask if you thought we’d had enough of that already – brilliant! So much love to the Wolfe family – you’ve been family to me and close in my heart since we met in the mid-80s.

Cantor Josh Breitzer
November 4, 2023 at 8:07 am

A mensch beyond compare. I fondly recall riding in the Hebrew school carpool with Alan behind the wheel and a box of Entenmanns close at hand. May his memory always be for sweetness and blessing.

Bev Levy
November 4, 2023 at 8:10 am

Dear Wolfe family,
We considered Alan a dear friend. He was fun and kind and would go out of his way for anyone. His loss is huge. He life truly was a blessing.
Sending caring thoughts and prayers to all of you, Bev and Chuck Levy

Regan Johnson
November 4, 2023 at 9:46 am

To the loving Wolfe family.
I know that the loss of your husband, dad and grandfather is overwhelming to all of you. I want you to know how overwhelming it is to so many of us that loved him. His quirky sense of humor, his loyalty as a friend, his passion for doing what was right and his devotion to his family were all things to be admired. To me, personally, he was the guy I looked for at the onegs to sit with. It was always entertaining. He was my Sunday morning bowling partner for over 20 years and my Thursday night dinner friend for more than 25. When my flight was canceled for a conference in Pittsburgh where I was to speak, he said I’ll drive you. What? I’ll drive you and stay with my brother and bring you back. He did this. A wonderful man. A true mensch. Chuck’s Friday lunch buddy. Loved by my daughters. We will so miss him. Love to your family. Regan and Chuck Johnson

Ken and Jeanette Achterberg
November 4, 2023 at 12:29 pm

Dear Gail and family,
It has been a joy sharing life with you and Alan and your kids. Alan always had a treat for my funny bone. His service to his faith and community was an inspiration. I treasure the time we worked together to upgrade the Evergreen cemetery. Now his family will enjoy his labors. He was a “gitterdone” guy that made things happen. May God give you comfort and peace during this time, and know you are surrounded by friends that love you and are just a call away.

Rita Rebecca Craig
November 4, 2023 at 5:02 pm

We met Al when he came to work in real estate at Real Estate One. Our common discussions included conversing about the spiritual beliefs in Christian and Jewish faiths. He was a kind and caring individual and gave respect to others and also showed caring compassion. Love, Rita and John Craig

Laura Johnson
November 4, 2023 at 8:54 pm

To the Wolfe Family,

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Alan. The entire Johnson family loved him dearly. Heather and I grew up with Rustin, Kyle, Lauren, and Kami and attended Sharey Zedek religious school and Okemos Public Schools together. I was reflecting on the first time I met Alan alongside of Grandma Ethel and my Grandma Dolly. My earliest memory is approximately around 5 years old at one of the temple onegs and lunches out at Jacobsons. I remember for many years Alan was the go to guy at Sharey Zedek and most certainly the man to ask for any questions on Meridian Township, community events, or the latest news around town. I will never forget the many years of the bowling league at Marvelanes (now City Limits), and dozens of MOT Thursday night meals. I also can never forget the many pool parties over the years, weddings, and bar/bat mitzvah celebrations. Your entire family have been such wonderful friends of my family for multiple decades. Please know our hearts, prayers, and love are with you all in your grief. I did want to pass along the sincerest of condolences as well from my relatives out in Arizona. Please accept the condolences of my Aunt, Cindy Vaneste, daughter of Dolly Grund and my birth Father, Michael Grund, son of Dolly Grund. May Alan’s memory forever be a blessing. I will be there to pay my respects on behalf of the Johnson family at the service Monday. You’re all in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Sincerely, Laura Johnson

Doug Ruben
November 6, 2023 at 12:57 pm

An unspeakable loss, a peaceful sadness after his medical struggles these past few years. Alan was and will always be remembered as a pillar of truth. I was privileged to see him in so many different places for over 30 years, in each personifying his no-nonsense, straightforward but comedic touch on life’s inconveniences. He told you the way it was, and he never let matters get out of hand. He spoke honestly with a little sugar coating. It was his humor. His wit and cleverness were unmatchable. Jewish humor is one thing. Alan Wolfe’s humor was another. It was infectious. He was so funny, and so spontaneous, with quips and jokes accompanying that wink of an eye as if to say, “I know you get the it’s okay to laugh aloud.” When I was bowling in the Sunday morning leagues with him, I’d walk off the lanes and he pull me aside and say, “come here, I got to tell you another funny one.” Who could resist? I couldn’t. I was his fan. I twice served on the synagogue board when he was twice president. I saw him and Gail routinely squeeze through row AA, where we all sat for shows at the Wharton Center. Row AA was the only row in Wharton Center that tested your slenderness. What a joy to see Alan, to listen to his wisdom on politics and local issues, and to feel enriched around him. He was a solid pillar of truth, whose genius and finesse held together the sometimes fragile and loose fabric of our synagogue family. Alan’s smile was reassuring, and his promises were always met. He leaves us aching for more of his friendship. Thank you, Alan, for being everybody’s friend.


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