Marvin Jules Lesser, 90, of Sandy Springs, Georgia and formerly of Savannah, Georgia, died Wednesday morning, October 7, 2020, at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Georgia.
A Native of Savannah, Georgia, he attended Savannah (Chatham County ) Public Schools and graduated from Savannah High School Class of June 1947. Marvin graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce in 1951, where he was the Advertising Manager of the Cavalier Daily Student Newspaper.
He joined Lesser’s Mens Quality Shop in June 1951 as Vice President and later became President of the family owned retail business. They operated stores in Downtown Savannah and Oglethorpe Mall until 1988.
Marvin was one of the Founders and a Past President of Menswear Retailers of Georgia. He served on the Board of Directors for six years.
He was elected as a Chatham County Commissioner in 1960 where he served for five years. On the commission he served as Chairman of the Welfare, Zoning, and Finance Committees. As Chairman of the Finance Committee he presented the County Budget to the Grand Jury. Marvin served on the Chatham County Hospital Authority and the Chatham County Board of Health. He also served as Chairman of the Chatham County Department of Family and Children’s Services.
Marvin served as First Vice President of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce where he was a member of the Executive Committee. During that period, the Savannah Convention and Visitors Bureau was established as a separate entity. He also served on the Board of the Historic Savannah Foundation.
During the Civil Rights era, our community encouraged harmonious relationships. City and county governments set a good example. It was important to resolve issues as they came up. Working with the Bi-racial Committee along with good communication and close cooperation with the African-American community was the #1 priority.
He was an active member of the Downtown Merchants Association. Marvin served with Jake Fine and Malcolm Bell as Co-Chairmen of the Mayors Committee for Broughton Street Revitalization which produced a one million dollar street makeover paid for by property owners and merchants. He also served as a member of the Downtown Development Authority of the City of Savannah.
From 1988 to 1992 he worked in Atlanta with Muse’s and H. Stockton. Marvin returned to Savannah in 1992 and joined J. Parker, Ltd. From March 1992 until September 2008 he was involved in sales promotion, merchandising and management.
Marvin moved to the Space Coast of Florida in May of 2004. After a few years with Joseph A Bank, he set up a joint venture, Master’s Clothier Custom and Direct Sales. While there he was an active member of the Melbourne, Florida Chamber of Commerce. He returned to Georgia in July of 2015.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Michael S. Lesser; his daughter, Cynthia L. Daughtry; his sister, Barbara L Barr, and his nephew, Matt Barr.
Surviving are his son, Mark Lesser and his wife, Nancy; his grandson, Sammy Lesser; his granddaughter, Nicole L. Daughtry; his nephews, Gary Barr, Kenny Barr and Eric Barr; his niece, Brianna Barr, and many cousins.
The funeral service will be held at 11 o’clock Thursday morning, October 8, 2020, at the graveside, Bonaventure Cemetery, conducted by Rabbi Avigdor Slatus.
Remembrances: Emory Winship Cancer Institute – 1365-C Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30322 or Congregation Bnai Brith Jacob – 5444 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31405 or Congregation B’nai Torah – 700 Mt. Vernon Highway, NE Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328.