Charlotte Garson, a resident of Atlanta since 1945, died peacefully Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at the age of 91.
Charlotte was born Feb. 16, 1925, the elder of Aaron and Ruth Rosen’s two children. Growing up in Brooklyn, she left for Chicago at age 18 to attend Northwestern University. Upon graduating with a degree in economics, she was invited by her economics professor to join his staff in Washington, D.C., as he accepted a role in the Roosevelt administration. She declined, having met and fallen in love with a beguiling young soldier named Dan Garson from Atlanta. They married on July 1, 1945, and, after Dan’s stint in the Army ended later that year, settled in his hometown.
Charlotte had a love for her family and friends, collecting, traveling, and serving the community, particularly Jewish interests and Atlanta’s High Museum of Art. She was a longtime member of the board of the American Jewish Committee and the High Museum. Charlotte also believed strongly in education and volunteered for the Ford Foundation in the 1960s, teaching underprivileged children how to read. Art was one of her passions, and her involvement with the High Museum as both a board member and collector was one of her greatest joys. Anyone who knew her will agree that she had an exceptional eye and was a great connoisseur of many things, wine, food, fashion, jewelry, antiques and art chief among them. She loved to joke that while her husband and two children were gourmands, she was a gourmet — and she was, in all things.
The most fulfilling role for Charlotte throughout her life was that of right hand to her husband, Dan. She was unstinting in her support and encouragement of his role as president and then chairman of the board of the Lovable Co., a family business begun by Dan’s father in the 1920s. Charlotte was an unflagging hostess, confidante, adviser and advocate for Dan and took a keen interest in her role as a board member in the 1990s. As Dan’s companion on multiple business trips around the world from the 1950s through the 1980s, Charlotte earned the respect, friendship and devotion of the Lovable affiliates — she could have taught Mrs. Kennedy a thing or two. She was elegant, even regal, always erect, and perfectly groomed even into her 90s, yet was able to form close relationships with a wide range of people because she was also as charming a person as you could ever meet. At the same time, Charlotte was a traditional wife and a hands-on mother. She encouraged both of her children to be achievers and lifelong learners. She believed in women’s liberation before there was such a thing, and she motivated her daughter to attend law school at a time when there were very few female lawyers.
Charlotte was predeceased in 2009 by her devoted husband of 64 years, Dan Garson, and in 2013 by her beloved brother, Lester Rosen. Surviving Charlotte are her son, Frank Garson, and his wife, Rhonda, of Atlanta; Charlotte’s daughter, Lynn Garson of Atlanta; and Charlotte’s grandchildren, Daniel, Jean, Paige and Rose, to whom she was always a very special grandmother, by turns inspiring and intimidating, but always a force to be reckoned with. She is also survived by loving nephews and nieces Alison Rosen Vogel, Jordan Rosen, Jackie Garson Howard, Gary Howard, Neal Howard, Clark Howard, Sue Taylor, Tom Garson, Kathy Frank and Tim Garson and by her sister-in-law, Debby Rosen. Charlotte’s family wants to thank Millicent Burke and Lourdes Pavan for their outstanding service over the years, as well as Weinstein Hospice and Kadan Homecare for the care their providers gave to Charlotte during the time preceding her death. The family also wants to recognize the incomparable Edna Brown Rogers, who cared for Charlotte’s mother and then Charlotte for more than five decades — they both loved Edna with all their hearts, and she loved them back. Online condolences may be offered at www.jewishfuneralcare.com. In accordance with her wishes, Charlotte will be buried in a private service Sunday, Jan. 15. Her family will receive visitors at 2500 Peachtree Road on Monday, Jan. 16, and Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. Donations may be made in lieu of flowers to the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Humane Society and The Temple. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.