Michael S. Blass passed away on March 22, after a brief illness, at the age of 80. He was wonderful in every way, and he will be greatly missed.
The Blass home — first in Atlanta and later in Waleska — was the center of Michael’s life. He was proud that it was a hangout for his children’s high school classmates, the site of large family Thanksgivings and host to hundreds of casual cookouts by the pool for close friends, old and new.
He liked nothing more than being surrounded by those he loved dearly, and he was blessed to be loved in return by so many. The biggest love, of course, was “My Eleanor,” his childhood sweetheart, with whom he enjoyed 53 years of marriage in what was described by a friend as “one of the great love stories in Atlanta.”
An Atlanta native, Michael attended Morningside Elementary, Grady High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated from the School of Dentistry at Emory University, where he later served as an associate professor while managing a dental practice with his father, and later with his brother-in-law, for 36 years.
After retiring from dentistry, he pursued his second vocation as a United States Professional Tennis Association-certified coach and enjoyed many years of giving complimentary lessons at BridgeMill Athletic Club in Canton. He also established a foundation to financially support aspiring junior tennis players.
But even tennis did not delight him as much as his children and grandchildren. He loved them unconditionally and bragged of them endlessly — especially if sports were involved. We thank all his friends and family for patiently listening.
Michael was predeceased by his parents, Nathan and Shirley Blass, and his wife, Eleanor Danneman Blass. He is survived by his children and their families: Jared, Karen, Rowan and Whitman Blass; Kimberly Blass and Gray, Fisher and Selia Kelly; and John, Tammi, Griffin, Emma and John Michael “Jack” Fraser. He also leaves behind his sisters and brothers-in-law, Renie and Alan Weinstein and Debbie and Eddie Levin; his sisters-in-law, Cheryl Danneman and Suzy Danneman; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; his beloved “brother” Joe Becknell; and his dear friend Pearlann Horowitz.
The family wishes to thank Larry Dunbar and all the staff at Daniel Companion for their caregiving these last few weeks. Services were held on Thursday, March 24, at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, with Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal of Congregation Ahavath Achim officiating. Shiva followed at the home of Debbie and Eddie Levin.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ben Massell Dental Clinic or the charity of one’s choice. Please sign online guestbook at www.dresslerjewishfunerals.com. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
- Michael S. Blass
- Morningside Elementary
- Grady High School
- University of North Carolina
- School of Dentistry at Emory University
- United States Professional Tennis Association
- BridgeMill Athletic Club
- Daniel Companion
- Arlington Memorial Park
- Sandy Springs
- Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal
- Congregation Ahavath Achim
- Ben Massell Dental Clinic
- Dressler's Jewish Funeral Care