Benjamin Morton Garfunkel

Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA
Death 30 Dec 1987 (aged 74)
Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA
Burial Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA
Memorial ID 122245766 · View Source
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Benjamin Morton Garfunkel, a former mayor pro tem of the Savannah City Council and a leader in Jewish community life, died Tuesday, Dec. 29, 1987.

Mr. Garfunkel, 74, who died after a short illness, was an associate of the A.J. and C. Garfunkel Insurance and Real Estate Co.

Mr. Garfunkel was a member of the city council from 1966 to 1970 with the then Mayor J. Curtis Lewis's Republican administration. He was considered an outspoken member of the council and remained active in Republican politics into the 1980s.

A Chatham County native, Mr. Garfunkel was a past president of Congregation B'nai B'rith Jacob. He was the congregation's financial secretary at the time of his death. He also had been chairman of the synagogue's building committee, treasurer and recording secretary of Chevra Kadisha and was a past chairman of the United Jewish Appeal Drive in Savannah.

He had been a board member of the Savannah Jewish Council, president of the Bureau of Jewish Education and president of the Hebrah Gemiluth Hesed Society.

He received the President's Award from the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America in 1969 and was named one of 10 outstanding Jewish civic leaders in the United States.

He received the United Jewish Appeal Award of Merit in 1971 and was honored for his efforts in promoting Sha'are Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem. He received the ORT Men's Award for work with refugees and immigrants and the Amudim Award from the Torah Umesorah for his work in founding the local Hebrew Day School.

He was a past chairman of the Rourke Memorial Foundation.
The International Association of Firefighters recognized him as one of the top 10 Jewish men in America in 1971.

He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

He was a graduate of Benedictine Military School and attended Columbia University before joining the family insurance and real estate firm.

During his tenure on the City Council, he led a battle for fairer property tax assessments, helped implement Savannah's pollution abatement program and worked for construction of the Civic Center.

He was appointed to the Coastal Area Planning and Development Commission and was a member of the Broughton Street Task Force which was organized to help revitalize the downtown business district.

In 1980, he was named to a Republican candidate recruitment committee organized to encourage local GOP members to run for office. He had given over 13 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Charlotte Shipper Garfunkel of Savannah; three sons, Nathan, David, and Charles Garfunkel, all of Savannah; three daughters, Ms. Frances Garfunkel of Columbus, Ohio, Mrs. Betsy Brown of Cedarhurst, N.Y., and Mrs. Lois Goldsmith of Hyland Park, N.J.; and 14 grandchildren. Funeral services were held December 20.

Remembrances: Congregation B'nai B'rith Jacob or the Hebrew Day School.

Family Members

Gravesite Details Data extracted from City of Savannah Burial Information

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  • Created by: D & D Fletcher
  • Added: 27 Dec 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 122245766
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Benjamin Morton Garfunkel (13 Oct 1913–30 Dec 1987), Find A Grave Memorial no. 122245766, citing Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by D & D Fletcher (contributor 47100597) .