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Charles “Charlie” Sidney Grossman was born in New York City on June 6, 1926, the third child of Dora and Morris Grossman originally from London, England. Charles moved to Savannah at an early age, growing up in the downtown area – the hub of the city’s activity in the 1930s – and became extremely knowledgeable about nearly every aspect of the people and the city he loved. He was well acquainted, and a friend of most of the politicians, sports figures, prominent business owners, and local celebrities, and was well-versed on topics ranging from sports, movies, big bands of the era, to national and local politics and world events. Never at a loss for words, nor speaking his mind, his opinions were held in high regard by contemporaries as well as the many generations of the youth he mentored and counseled throughout his long and faithful career at the Jewish Educational Alliance. As Health Club Director, he laid the foundation – by his counsel, advise, and support – for many of Savannah’s future leaders and most outstanding citizens.

“Sir Charles”, as he was often, and fondly referred to, was well known for his many witticisms and one-liners, (“If I wake up, it’s my birthday”, “Rich or poor, we’re all just passing through”, and his most notable, and quotable closing line, “Tootaloo!” So many of his “patients”, at the J.E.A. Health Club confided in him, that he often said he could write a book about the secrets he held in strict confidence because he didn’t know what they would do if he did! Charlie’s logic and wisdom about the world around him, combined with his homespun charm and humor, and the unique manner in which he delivered his observations (to all with-in earshot) have accorded him near-iconic stature in Savannah folklore. Even in his final bout with life he managed to hit the nail on the head. “Death does not discriminate. Rich man, poor man, so be thankful for every day given to you. Tootaloo!”

You were loved by so many and we all pray for you to rest in peace.

A special thank you to the wonderful staff at Buckingham South, especially Wayne, his caregiver, who took doting care of his last days. To John at the BBJ who did a million favors and rides anywhere he needed to go. The amazing doctors and nurses at Memorial hospital and Kindred Hospice. Thank you all.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Jessica Gewirtz and her husband, Henry, and a brother, Peter R. Grossman and his wife, Sophie.

Survivors include three nieces, Mona G. Segall and her husband, Bobby Segall, Dr. Brenda Grossman and her husband, Dr. Steve Brody, and Susie Rubin and her husband, Alan Rubin; and great-nieces and great-nephews, Jessica Segall, Sarah Segall, Peter Brody, Melisa Gray and her husband, Bradley Gray, Jay Rubin, Ryan Cody Rubin. Shelley Davis and her husband, Dr. Gary Davis and their children, and Candi Miller and her husband, Dr. Fredd Miller and their children.

A private funeral service will be held at 3 o’clock Monday afternoon, January 11, 2021, at the graveside, Bonaventure Cemetery, conducted by Rabbi Avigdor Slatus. To view the livestream, go to Charlie’s page at

Remembrances: Congregation Bnai Brith Jacob – 5444 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31405.

Please click here to watch Charlie’s service via Zoom.

Online Condolences

  1. Arnold Young says:

    Sir Charles, to all who knew him. was the soul of the JEA’s Men’s Locker Room for many years. Charlie knew everyone and their complete family history. Charlie always had a good word for everyone. and a bit of advise whether requested or not; he was a person who did not know how to have malice…a gentleman who only wanted good for everyone. Charlie was one of a kind in the most complimentary way. To all who knew Sir Charles, you will appreciate this goodbye: Too Ta Lou, Sir Charles
    We will all miss you.

    Arnold Young

  2. Steven Scheer says:


  3. Stan Friedman says:

    Arnold Young and Steve Scheer described Sir Charles wonderfully.
    Charlie was the heart and soul of the JEA Men’s Locker Room and beyond for many years.Sir Charles you will be missed.

    Stan Friedman

  4. Elliot Brodie Palefsky says:

    Charlie was a person that made you feel good about yourself. He had the most positive of attitudes. He was know and love by those of us that knew him as teenagers at the JEA and then for years after. Years later he would greet and remember us all.

  5. Miriam Center says:

    I have known Charlie all of my life. We are the same age and he always stopped whenever he saw me and talked and talked and talked. Yes, that was Charlie.
    He always seemed jovial and happy.

  6. Susan Buchsbaum says:

    I have known Charlie almost all my life, as I spent many youthful hours at the JEA, where he worked. He was a constant, familiar and friendly presence, whistling cheerfully, in my memory. Everyone knew him. He knew everyone.

    More recently, he lived in the same facility as my mother, and we had occasion to take him with us to one or two senior lunches at the JEA. He seemed so much in his element there.

  7. joseph l marcus says:

    One cannot say enough about Charlie. The “too tau lou” just brought tears to my eyes. Charlie probably taught me more about life than I ever realized until now. He showed me how to love your work, always have a sense of humor, be respectful of all people, and so much more. I think that all of us who knew Charlie felt the same way – he was family. And so consistent – when I would see him later in life, he was always the same guy. He was a philosopher ,a friend, a father figure, a special man who will always be part of me.

  8. Nathan Rabhan says:

    He was everyone’s cheerleader in this life; and, I’m sure in the next.

    No accolade too great for this humble, wonderful human being. His smile and unique charm will be missed.

    Rest In Peace, Sir Charles.

  9. Jules Paderewski says:

    Charlie was loved by all who knew him. He treated everyone as a special friend and we all felt the same way about him. We will miss him.

  10. RIta Slatus says:

    It has truly been an honor to care for ‘Uncle Charlie’ for the past 4 years at Buckingham South.
    It was amazing to see how he never lost his zest for life. Charlie always had a smile on his face and never let life’s vicissitudes get him down.
    He loved his nieces dearly and asked about Mona every day.
    How enjoyable it was to share his favorite chocolate ice cream in the evenings. Charlie, we all miss you very much.

  11. Kaye Eaton says:

    As a frequent shopper at Publix at Twelve Oaks, I had the pleasure of meeting Charlie there during one of his apparently multiple daily visits! During our first meeting, he told me to never leave my purse unattended. Wise advice which I gladly accepted! Some shoppers didn’t want to talk with Charlie, but I always enjoyed my brief visits with him and, after reading all of the nice remarks about him, I only wish I had known him better. When his health seemed to be failing, I once offered him a ride over to Buckingham which he accepted. I wish I could have done more! So glad to have met you Charlie! I will miss my Publix friend. Tootaloo!

  12. Cary Shoob says:

    I’ve know Charlie all my life going to the JEA and yelling out “Charlie!” as he would throw me a warm rolled up towel before I went to the pool or shower. Whe I saw Charlie walking, I would always give him a ride if I was going his way. He was such a mench and had a wonderful since of humor. I know he has a front row seat forever. You have touched so many of us and had a positive attitude of life that will never be forgotten. We will all miss you. Love you Charlie! Too-da-loo my friend…….

  13. Anthony Eichholz says:

    Words will never be able to explain my relationship with Charlie. From our 4:30am phone calls to our arguments about Georgia Tech football “Ming Toy” Grossman was always able to bring a smile on my face. Charlie made the health club that special place to take a steam, nap, watch football or just come listen to him talk to everyone. Sir Charles treated everyone alike and and was loved by all. I certainly will miss bringing him the Boston Globe or a corned beef sandwich from The Stage. No one that ever met Charlie could say they didn’t learn something from him. By the way I was told he still owes Claude 25.00 for that Seafood Platter at Williams for his 70th. . We will all certainly miss Charlie and know he’s in heaven looking down on us with some wisdom.

  14. Mike Cohen says:

    Sir charles will be remembered by all , growing in up and hanging hanging out at the JEA the one constant if that great institution was Sir Charles.he was a great man that no one said anything negative .there quite a few I would see Charlie walking to catch the bus and I would stop and give him a ride and always to his life wife works at buckingham south and would update me on his condition and she came and told me he passed it upset me coz we lost a unique human being.if he touched your life u were blessed.i know God will lookout for him.god bless him and his family. Mike cohen

  15. Paul Mazo says:

    Where to start with “Chollie” stories (yep, for me anyway, it was more “Chollie” than Charlie)…it goes back to him watching out for all us boys when we were growing up at the JEA in the 50’s-60’s. He was a sage, a father figure and a guy who always looked to share his knowledge with us. He’d toss us a towel when we came into the locker room and we knew he was there for us. I stopped for chats and offered rides when I saw him walking down the street and he always talked about how he remembered my Dad. He had an amazing memory. Chollie – you will be missed and I’m sorry that the kids today don’t have one like him.

  16. Freida S Paskow says:

    Baruch Dayan Emet.
    Charlie was such a special person. He always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. Charlie also told great stories and jokes.
    I knew him from the time I was a kid going to day camp at the JEA a really long time ago..
    Sir Charles, you will be missed. You were a real mensch!
    Jeff and Freida (Schonthal) Paskow

  17. Larry Weiner says:

    Charlie will certainly be missed .. i used too see him often walking down
    the street and he would always recognize me and start speaking as if i had just seen him even though years had passed … Rest in piece Charlie



  19. Sandee Lipsitz says:

    Charlie was the very first person I met in Savannah in 1976. I wasn’t sure what to think when I was introduced to “Sir” Charles Grossman….was he secret royalty? I came to cherish his friendship and sense of humor, he could always bring a smile to my face and I will miss baking Mandelbrot for him. Toodleloo Charlie!

  20. Robert Benjamin Hirsch says:

    Charlie was a fixture at the JEA as far back as I can remember. He knew everyone and was a friend to all of us who grew up in Savannah. Though I have been gone for many years, I still have many fond memories of Charlie.

  21. Michelle Rains says:

    I will forever miss his toodleloo’s. Rest in peace Charlie

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