Obituary: Lilly Gellhaar Gay

Obituary: Lilly Gellhaar Gay

Lilly Gellhaar Gay passed away on Dec. 13, at the age of 93, due to heart-related issues.

Lilly Gellhaar Gay passed away on Dec. 13, at the age of 93, due to heart-related issues. Lilly was born in Germany and moved to America at the age of ten with her parents Herbert and Paula Gellhaar, of blessed memory. Lilly met Jack Gay (of blessed memory) in New York City, where they dated, then she moved to Atlanta for their wedding and wonderful life together for the next 62 years. For over 40 years, she worked side by side with Jack in owning/running Gay’s Men’s Shop, where she was both in sales and the store’s seamstress. Upon the closing of the store in 1990, Jack and Lilly traveled, spent time in Florida and enjoyed spending time with family and friends.

Lilly will be remembered for four very special qualities: her giving nature, she never met a stranger, and her love of family and friends. To illustrate her giving nature, Lilly, as a Meals on Wheels volunteer, delivered meals to the Jewish Home for thirty years. Lilly was an extremely friendly person. It was thought that, if she landed on Mars, she would have made friends in minutes. And, at several of her residences, she was asked to sit with the newly arrived residents, acting as a lead contributor on the welcoming committee.

Lilly’s handiwork is legend. Her projects included needlepoint, crocheting and any other project that involved yarn. When completed, she gave most away as gifts, whether it was caps or baby blankets. As a dog lover, Lilly spent many years in the company of dachshunds, so in her loving memory, towels will be donated to the various animal shelters in and around Atlanta. She was a member of The Temple, the Atlanta Knitting Guild and was a season ticket holder of both the Atlanta Opera and Atlanta Ballet, getting the love of arts from her mother.

Lilly is survived by her three children: Richard (and wife Nanci Gay), Sandy (and her husband of blessed memory, Milton Sarlin) and Cheryl (and husband Stan Shapiro). Grandchildren include Perrin Shapiro, Adam Shapiro, Mitsi Sarlin and Elana Sarlin. Lilly will be deeply missed by friends and family.

A graveside service took place at Crestlawn Cemetery, 3:00 p.m. Dec. 14, , conducted by Rabbi Brad Levenberg, Temple Sinai, Rabbi Peter Berg; The Temple and Rabbi Mark Zimmerman, Congregation Beth Shalom. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to The Temple, 1589 Peachtree Street, NE, 30309 or the charity of one’s choosing. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, (770) 451-4999.

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