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SAVANNAH, GEORGIA – Allan Cotler, age 91, quietly passed away after a long illness with his family by his side Tuesday October 20th.

Allan was born on June 25th 1918 to Anna and Samuel Cotler in Brooklyn New York, the youngest of their 4 children.

He attended Erasmus Hall high school in Brooklyn and then City College, which he left before graduation to join the newly formed US Army Air force.  He became a navigator flying in B-24 Liberators.  He participated in many missions in the Pacific Theater flying bombing raids out of New Guinea and Australia on Japanese Imperial targets.  He was awarded many Presidential citations for his bravery and was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by President Roosevelt.

When he completed his tours of duty abroad he was stationed at Chatham Field becoming an instructor for new bomber teams.  It was while stationed in Savannah he met Rosalie Goldberg, who soon became his wife of 63 years.  Rosalie predeceased him on July 7th 2008.

Allan was a prominent fixture at the Rosalie Cotler School of Dance and her right hand man after retiring from his business, Goldberg Amusement Company.  He and Rosalie taught dance to thousands of Savannahians until they closed the school in 1996.

Following that he and Rosalie continued in dance education helping people through the St. Joseph’s Candler outreach program for seniors for several more years.

Allan was an active member of the Agudath Achim synagogue for many years serving as vice president of the congregation for a number of years in the 1960’s though the 1980’s.

He is survived by his only son, Richard and his daughter in law, Judy, of Hollywood, Florida; his two grandchildren, Justin and Amanda, and many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to give special thanks to his caregivers, Carlos Tate and Melissa Early as well as everyone associated with Island Hospice.

The funeral service will be held at 11 o’clock Friday morning at the graveside, Bonaventure Cemetery, conducted by Rabbi Kenneth R. Leitner.

The family requests all donations in his honor be made to Agudath Achim Synagogue or Island Hospice.

The family will be sitting Shiva at his home in Savannah following services and invite friends and family to attend.

Online Condolences

  1. Elizabeth Barry Loper says:

    I have such good memories of Mr. Cotler. I took dance classes from his wife from the time I was 4 until I was 10. We had so much fun riding in the station wagon singing “Sea Cruise” and many other songs. He was so sweet to all of us kids and had such patience with us all. He really made the whole experience at the dance school special!

  2. Dee Mullis says:

    My deepest sympathy to Richard and family. Mr. Cotler was such a sweet, kind man. I have so many fond memories of him coming to update the record collection on the juke box at The Canton Restaurant back in the 70’s and 80’s. He always had a smile and demeanor about him that was so friendly. Later both me and my daughter took dance lessons from your mother and they were such a team! Those recitals! She couldn’t have done it without him!All the children loved both of them and I know you and your family will miss them very much.

  3. Betty Lee says:

    Allan was a special person. I took tap dancing from Rosalie when I was in my 60’s. Allan was right there dancing with us. I thought a lot of both of them. May you and your family find peace during this sad time.

  4. Royce Northcutt - also Savannah says:

    Dear Richard and all:I don’t think I ever met your father, but we had lots in common. I was also a B24 Navigator, altho in the European theater. I went through the Chatham Field Transition school while your father taught there. As he was a navigation teacher I no doubt was in his classes but that was 65 years ago and my 85 year old memory does not read that close that far. Condolences to you and yours.

  5. Joyce Shanks Bella's Italian Cafe says:

    Dear Richard,My fondest memory of your dad was when he came to the restaurant and I asked him to teach me the tango. It was a busy night and we danced across the floor! Lovely.My sincere condolences to you and your family.

  6. Edward Rosenzweig says:

    Richard,It is unfortunate that it takes the loss of your father for me to make contact after all these years. I heard last night about your father and wanted to send my condolences to you. It has been many years… I remember your parents fondly – they lived a rich and full life. My warmest regards to you and your family.

  7. Andria Sibilio Dent says:

    Wow where to begin. Mr. Cotler took me back and forth from Calvary from the time I was 5 until age 14 in that station wagon one million times and we loved every minute of it. My fondest memory would be when Mr. Cotler would put the boxes out and we had to jump over them like they were ponds of water and try to do it gracefully. What a wonderful kind and gentle man he was and always very caring of Ms. Rosalie.

  8. Caitlin Taylor says:

    There are so many fond memories I have of Mr. Cotler. I took dance with his wife for many years, even though my mother brought me to and from dance class I always wanted to ride in his station wagon when he took the other girls home. He was such a wonderful man, so sweet and caring. I will always remember him as such.

  9. Michele Smith says:

    So many memories…. Mr. Cotler was always there to lend a helping hand when I couldn’t get my shoes tied after ballet tap jazz and toe at the studio. If I remember correctly he taught me the bunny ear technique. I have the fondest memories of both he and Mrs. Cotler and what a legacy they have left not only in family but also an extended family of dancers. My deepest heart felt condolences. I will never forget the impact they both had on me.

  10. Jenny Koch says:

    Dear Richard,My deepest sympathy to you and your family. You know how I felt about your father. I had the pleasure of spending some really great times with Allan and Rosalie over the past 15 years. I know Allan is in a wonderful place with the wife he loved most all of his life and is now in peace.My prayers are with you.Sincerely,Jenny Koch

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