Gladys K. Lavitan CHARLOTTE - After an eventful life, Gladys Lavitan passed away peacefully on Feb. 28, 2014. She was 97 years old. Gladys was a woman of many parts. She was a superb actress, a student of the Bible, a voracious reader, a beloved teacher, and an avid bridge player. Gladys was especially well known for her performances in the theater in Charlotte. She won numerous acting awards over a career that spanned over 70 years on the stage. She began acting when she was 13 years old, and studied theater in New York. While most of her theatrical work was done in Charlotte, during part of World War II she performed at the Olney Theater outside of Washington, D.C., in a repertory company directed by Tony Randall. She also appeared in movies and in numerous commercials, both on TV and on radio. She conducted a show in which she interviewed prominent people, including Eleanor Roosevelt and Jackie Kennedy. Her program was first conducted on radio under the title "Talk with Gladys Lavitan", and later moved to television under the name "Visiting with Gladys Lavitan." Gladys loved the Bible and knew it thoroughly. She taught Bible at Temple Beth El for many years. Her scores of former students talk earnestly about how much they loved her classes, and how much they learned. Gladys' love and knowledge for books led her to give book reviews at a local book club and on radio. Many relied on her renditions in choosing the books they read. For all her accomplishments, she will be best remembered for her charm, her enormous energy and enthusiasm, her great sense of humor, and her feisty demeanor. She was a delight to all who knew her. Gladys is survived by her son, Douglas Kahn, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School; her grandson, Jeffrey Kahn, an Associate Dean at Florida State University Law School, where his wife, Jessica is a professor; and her great-grandson, Matthew. Funeral services will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 2, 2014, at Temple Beth El. Burial will follow at the Hebrew Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Temple Beth El, 5101 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28226 or to Levine & Dickson Hospice House at Southminster, 8919 Park Road, Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28210. Condolences may be offered at www.HarryandBryantFuneralHome.com.
Published in Charlotte Observer on Mar. 2, 2014