Leo Chernus, 90, of Strasburg, Pa., died Oct. 4, 2011. Born in Newark, he previously resided in Watchung. Mr. Chernus was a financial and business adviser and financial investor and a residential tract builder of over 500 homes in New Jersey. A member of the New Jersey Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders of the United States, he was the recipient of a citation from the Builders Association of Metropolitan New Jersey, where he served as a director.
He was an Army Air Force veteran of World War II.
He was a member of the Select Committee of Congressman Matthew Rinaldo. He was director of Temple Beth El of Elizabeth, vice president of the Elizabeth Taxpayers Council, Inc., and president of the Roselle Taxpayers Council, Inc. Among his civic activities, he was president of the Elizabeth Retail Merchants Bureau, chairman of the retail division of the Heart Fund and the regional division of the March of Dimes, director of the Urban League and cochair of its membership committee as well as vice president of Elizabeth Big Brothers. He was named “Outstanding Young Man of the Year” by the Chamber of Commerce in 1956. A commissioner of the Elizabeth Parking Authority, he was its chairman for its initial year of operation and was honored with a resolution of dedication of public service. He was also a commissioner of the Mayor’s Commission on Juvenile Delinquency, the Elizabeth Fair Rental Housing Board, and the Union County Mental Health Board and commissioner and vice president of the Elizabeth Board of Adjustments. He was a member of the Elizabeth Police Reserve Special Services and a committeeman of the 3rd Ward, 1st District in Elizabeth. A director on the advisory board of St. Elizabeth Hospital, he had served as planning committee trustee and committee cochair for the new $6.5 million intensive care unit addition. He was also a member of the Mount Nebo Masonic Lodge, now the Masada Lodge 51.
He is survived by his wife, Sonia (Flynn); his son, Steven of Pittsburgh; two daughters, Adriane Chernus of Lakewood and Michelle Alagona of Lancaster, Pa.; a brother, Aaron Chernus of Livingston; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
Services were held Oct. 6 with arrangements by Menorah Chapels at Millburn, Union.