An iconic legend in the lighting industry, Sy Gerber passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on Sunday, November 13. He was 94 years old.
Born in Chicago, Sy’s lighting career began at F&G Electric Supply, where he worked in sales. After relocating to California, he worked for ceiling fan manufacturer Air King Fans before co-founding recessed lighting company Capri Lighting with his brother and Bert Finmark. In 2005, Sy founded GM Lighting, and later passed the reins to his son, Rob, who leads the company today.
Two years ago, he was inducted into the Lighting Hall of Fame, recognized by the American Lighting Association (ALA) for his contributions to the organization and to the industry as a whole.
The ALA noted that one of Sy’s most noteworthy achievements was the development of critical safety standards for recessed lighting that were a result of his work with the federal government.
“I’ve had three mentors in my work life and Sy Gerber was one of them,” noted industry veteran Eric Borden, President of Pathfinder Consultants. “Sy taught me many things, but the most important thing he taught me was humility. No matter how successful you are, remaining humble was a most important attribute and he lived his life by this rule. I will miss his wisdom, mentorship, and friendship.”
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Gretchen, and their children Robert (Rob), Steven, and Helen.