BU Today

Sports

Jerry Eilberg kept BU hockey in his heart until the end

BU alumnus and ardent hockey supporter dies at 72

Jerry Eilberg. BU Photo Services

Gerald S. Eilberg (SMG’54) died November 18; he was 72. He earned a bachelor’s in accounting from the School of Management and a master’s in business from Columbia. He held various executive positions with companies such as Gillette, EG&G Inc., and Tyco and was CFO at National Datacomputer, Inc., for many years. Born in Boston and raised in Brookline, Eilberg moved to Needham about 40 years ago. He cofounded the Friends of Boston University Hockey and was a men’s hockey season ticket holder. The Friends of Hockey awards the Eilberg Scholarship at the end of each hockey season to the outstanding junior or senior defenseman. Eilberg was a past president of the SMG alumni association, and a former trustee of the University.

Remembering Jerry (Gerald) Eilberg

By Ed Carpenter

I first met Jerry Eilberg during the early days of my arrival at Boston University, in August 1977. He, Al Sidd, and Budd Daniels were three very close friends whose undying support of the University, the athletic department, and the hockey program were unquestioned.

Over the years, Jerry and his wife, Claudine, and my wife, Suzy, and I became very close friends. And each time we would get together, the first topic of conversation was the Terrier hockey team. Certainly he wanted to know about the other teams, but hockey was his first love.

I knew how much Jerry loved the University and how he respected [former president] John Silber. I knew of Jerry’s involvement with the School of Management and the medical school, but he only wanted to talk about the hockey team.

I remember seeing his smiling face on October 6 when he was on hand for the dedication of Jack Parker Rink at Agganis Arena. Claudine brought him to the Arena and escorted him around in his wheelchair. The effects of diabetes had restricted him to a wheelchair for over a year, but he was not going to miss the night they named the rink after Coach Parker.

On Thursday night, November 17, Suzy and I went to visit Jerry in the hospital. He was scheduled to undergo exploratory surgery the next morning to find out why he was having problems breathing. As he sat on the edge of the bed, it was easy to see how he was struggling, but his first question dealt with the hockey team. He knew the team had beaten Maine, but he wanted to know how I felt our chances would be against BC.

Claudine and Suzy talked about other things, such as Thanksgiving, but Jerry wanted to hear about BU hockey.

As we left his room, I shook his hand, gave a thumbs up, and told him that I looked forward to seeing him the following week. At 6 a.m. the next day, we got a call at home from Claudine telling us that Jerry had passed away during the night.

Suzy and I lost one of our closest friends, but the University lost a supporter the likes of whom comes along very rarely.

Ed Carpenter is assistant athletic director at Boston University and a longtime friend of Jerry Eilberg’s.