Helen Schmalheiser (Small) Cranman, 97, of Savannah, GA, and wife of the late Herman Lewis Cranman, died Saturday afternoon, July 30, 2022, after a long illness.
Born in Savannah, GA, she was the daughter of the late Joseph Schmalheiser and Goldie Davis Schmalheiser. She was a graduate of Savannah High School and shortly thereafter moved to Hollywood, CA where she met some of the biggest movie and TV stars of that time while working with her father and uncle at Edward Small Productions.
Helen & Herman’s 72 year marriage began on June 17th, 1945. She was a member of Congregation Agudath Achim and previously a longtime member of Congregation Mickve Israel. She also belonged to The Jewish Educational Alliance, Hadassah, The Savannah Art Association, The Savannah Little Theater and was a founding member of The Landings Art Association. In her 60s, Helen was a member of the Hot Flashes dance group. Aside from being a wonderful mother, Helen was an accomplished artist & poet who won many awards for her artwork at various art shows throughout the Southeast. In addition to her other artistic talents, she became a very successful recruiter, leading her firm as their number one agent nationally placing people in new jobs.
Helen will be remembered most as being a kind and sweet person, a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her grandson, Matthew Jason Cranman, and a sister, Miriam Small Kahel.
Survivors include one daughter, Lynn Cranman Reeves (David), of Savannah; two sons, Paul Cranman (Karen), of Savannah, and Roy Cranman (Karen Paz) of Atlanta; grandchildren, Kasey Reeves Berman (Daniel), Joshua Reeves (Amanda), Morgan Reeves McGhie (Scott), Erin Cranman Witkow (Brandon), Jordan Cranman (Mallory), Jacob Cranman (Chyla), Micah Cranman, Adria Cranman Moshe (Lior), Emily and Madeline Oppenheim, Jonathan Paz, Danielle Paz and family friend Wendy Amato; great-grandchildren, Laney and William Berman, Raymond, Charles and Evan Reeves, Jackson, Harper, Ella, and Claire McGhie, Matthew, Ethan, Eliana Witkow, Moncie, Satya, and Dahlia Cranman, Nava Moshe; a sister, Elinor Chaum of Laguna Hills, California and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to especially thank the following caregivers for their dedication to Helen’s comfort and care: Ethel Padgett, Rayona Savage, Edna Williams, Jessica Billings, and the staff of Buckingham South.
The funeral service will be held at 12 noon Monday, August 1, 2022, at the graveside, Bonaventure Cemetery, conducted by Rabbi Samuel H. Gelman.
Remembrances: Matthew J. Cranman Holocaust Teacher Education Fund – c/o Savannah Jewish Federation – 5111 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31405-5214 or Congregation Agudath Achim – 9 Lee Blvd. Savannah, GA 31405.