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 http://www.gamblefuneralservice.com.
Remembrances: Congregation Bnai Brith Jacob – 5444 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31405.
Please click here to watch Charlie’s service via Zoom.