“Jerry” Jerome Marvin Smolar
Our devoted husband, father, friend, and colleague, Jerry Smolar, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, surrounded by family.
Jerry’s father, Abraham, and his mother, Rose, immigrated to the U.S. from Poland after World War II. Jerry was born in Detroit, Michigan on November 23, 1949, before the family’s move to the “City of Angels” in 1952. They settled in L.A.’s Westside, where Jerry matriculated through elementary and middle school, Fairfax High School, UCLA, and UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, receiving his MBA.
Jerry spent his childhood kindling his lifelong love affair with his city: dawning a cowboy hat at “Pony Land,” riding bikes down Robertson Boulevard, watching the I-10 being built, and communing with institutional landmarks like Phillipe’s, Du-Pars, Langer’s Deli, and Pink’s Hot Dogs.
He had 70 years of Los Angeles and its environs etched in his mind, creating a treasure map to hikes through Topanga Canyon, snow in Frazier Park, dinners with friends at “Spago” and the “Palm,” summer nights at the Hollywood Bowl, cheering on the Lakers at the Staples Center and, visiting hidden gems like V. Sattui Winery in Napa. Jerry’s interests also included basketball, boating, fishing, tennis, his greatest joy, golf, and travel. He felt fortunate to have visited Italy, Ireland, Spain, Scotland, Italy, Mexico and most cities in the U.S. and hoped to see even more.
Jerry shared the last 30 years with his wife, Barbara Starler. On their first date at Gladstones in Malibu, they shut down the restaurant having talked all night; and they remained together until his passing. Jerry was a good man who loved his family. He was a mentor and guiding star to his son, Ryan, a fatherly figure to Alisa Starler and, reveled in being “Papa” to his grandson, Greyson.
Jerry’s business career was inextricable from his identity. He was hired, out of UCLA, by Arthur Andersen & Co., becoming a manager at 27 years of age. His career flourished as he assumed executive positions at Safeco Insurance, PIP Printing, Image Entertainment, and United Title Insurance Company, where he grew the company by opening offices throughout the region.
In 2005, Jerry established The Chameleon Chair Collection, a special event design and manufacturing firm that's patented chairs went on to become one of the most significant new products in the event design industry. Chameleon's initial foray into the chair business was to provide 1,500 chairs for the 2005 Academy Awards® Governors Ball. Since then, Chameleon Chair went on to become one of the industry's most recognized seating options for weddings and corporate events.
Early in the company's development it received multiple patents and trademarks acknowledging its iconic designs and protecting its structure and delivery system. The Company operates out of its headquarters, showroom, sales office and warehouse in Los Angeles, California and has rental partners throughout the country.
Most importantly, Jerry encouraged those he worked with to reach their potential and valued making employees and business associates treasured friends.
For those who knew Jerry best they will continue to see him at all his favorite places, the line at “Tito’s Tacos,” the party ahead of you on the golf course, and riding in his car listening to the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and some of his favorite songs, “Born to Be Wild”, “Louie, Louie” and, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”
Jerry, Rest in Peace knowing that you always cared for others and strived to do your best for all.