|Birth: ||Oct. 11, 1928|
|Death: ||Aug. 21, 2010|
Alan Sims Gaynor
October 11, 1928 - August 21, 2010
Alan Sims Gaynor, Savannah attorney, former state legislator, civic and community leader, died Saturday at St. Joseph's Hospital. He was 81.
An early proponent of the revitalization of his native Savannah, he purchased and restored a home on Lincoln Street in the early 1960s, and lived there until his move two years ago to Savannah Square.
Always intensely interested in his cultural and community heritage, in recent years Gaynor had been involved in the development and historical research for the museum at Temple Mickve Israel. For years, he had been working on compiling histories of the Congregation, which was founded in 1733, shortly after the establishment of the Georgia colony. As tourism increased, in Savannah in general, and at Mickve Israel in particular, Gaynor helped develop an audio tour of the historic sanctuary on Monterey Square. His depth of knowledge and his feeling for his heritage led to his actual narration of the tour. For many years, he was a docent at the Synagogue, with a particular enthusiasm for the artifacts in the museum.
Born in Savannah October 11, 1928, Gaynor was the son of the late Dora Gittelsohn and Sims S. Guckenheimer. In the 1930s, before World War II, the family changed the name to Gaynor. The elder Guckenheimer was involved in national radio at the time, and the name Guckenheimer, it was felt, was problematic. The family moved to Chicago, then New Rochelle, New York, where Gaynor was graduated from high school. He was a graduate of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, where he received a number of undergraduate honors, including membership in the prestigious Raven Society and Omicron Delta Kappa.
He received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1952. During the Korean conflict, Gaynor served in the United States Air Force Judge Advocates General Corps and was stationed in Goose Bay, Labrador, where he achieved the rank of captain. He returned to Savannah in 1954 and began his law practice with the Bouhan, Williams and Levy firm and concentrated in the areas of real estate law, trusts and estates and corporate law. He served as Chairman of Corporate and Banking Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia and as president of the Savannah Bar Association.
Toward the end of his career, Gaynor did extensive pro bono work for Georgia Legal Services.
Gaynor was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1966, serving until 1972. He counted among his friends a number of Georgia dignitaries–he had signed pictures to document this—former President Jimmy Carter, and former Georgia governors, in addition to Mr. Carter, George Busbee and Carl Sanders, and other political notables, George L. Smith, George T. Smith, Tom Murphy.
Throughout his life, he was involved with the Boy Scouts of America. As a young man, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout and as an adult he served with the Coastal Empire Council as troop leader, camp counselor and other administrative and advisory positions. In recent years, he was awarded the Silver Beaver and Celtic Cross awards, significant honors within the Scouting movement.
Gaynor was a past president of the Rotary Club of Savannah and former treasurer of Georgia Historical Society. He was a founding member of Goodwill Industries of the Coastal Empire, Inc., a board member of the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, and a past board member of the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences and United Way of the Coastal Empire. He was a member of the Military Order of World Wars.
A lifelong bachelor, Alan Gaynor adopted a long list of cousins as his close relatives, always referring to them as his "aunt" or "niece" or "nephew". They, in turn, constantly sought his counsel as mentor, advisor and friend.
He is survived by cousins, Marion Levy Mendel, Jane Kahn, both of Savannah, and Margery (Alan) Braverman, Peggy Coplon, Harriet Marks Alperin.
Also, Joan (Gary) Levy, B.H. (Margie) Levy Jr., Randy (Dr. Irving) Pike, Jimmy (Patty) Marks, Carol Kahn, Bobby (Susan) Kahn, David (Diane) Kahn, Mark (Judy) Kahn, Laura Braverman, Michael (Judy) Braverman, Stephen (Kelly) Braverman, Ricky Coplon.
Funeral services: 2 p.m. Monday at Temple Mickve Israel, with Rabbi Arnold Mark Belzer, officiating. A reception will be held immediately after in the Mordecai Sheftall Memorial Hall. Private Burial services at Laurel Grove Cemetery.
Remembrances may be sent to Congregation Mickve Israel Museum or to the Congregation Mickve Israel Building Fund, P. O. Box 816, Savannah GA 31402 or to Georgia Legal Services, 10 Whitaker Street, Savannah GA 31401.
Fairhaven Funeral Home
2794 W US Highway 80
Garden City, GA 31408
Laurel Grove Cemetery (North)
Created by: Bill Waters
Record added: Sep 11, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58514149
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