Friends and family say Reuben Gutoff was a larger-than-life character whose many interests kept him busy and engaged through his final days. He passed away on April 6 as a result of complications due to COVID-19.

He was born on Aug. 5, 1927 to Samuel and Lillian Gutoffin in The Bronx, N.Y.

After earning a bachelor of science degree in 1948 in chemical engineering from Columbia University, he launched his career at General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y.

Two years later, he married Simone Firestone. The young couple and their two daughters moved to Westport, Conn., while Gutoff climbed the professional ladder. He rose to senior vice president of strategic planning at General Electric.

In 1979, he founded an independent management-consulting firm, Strategy Associates, specializing in corporate planning in New York.

Gutoff remarried in 1981 to Judyth Bernstein.

He was a natural traveler, visiting major international cities like London and Paris, and yet an equal admirer of the American Heartland and West.

Gutoff skied and played tennis well into his 80s, and was an avid sports fan, favoring home teams such as the New York Knicks and the New York Yankees. He also liked to attend the Olympics, wherever they were held in the world.

He enjoyed reading, learning and education, and was known to be debonair, always dressed for the occasion. Friends and family said he deeply valued the time spent with them, with one mourner describing him as a “stand-up guy.”

Gutoff is survived by his daughters, Deborah and Bija; as well as stepchildren and grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife.

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