- ADVERTISEMENT -

Sherman Grancell

Grancell, Sherman Sherman Grancell, 103, passed away on March 9, 2013. He was born in Pasadena, CA on February 5, 1910. Sherman was raised by his parents I.H. and Anna in Lone Pine and Los Angeles, and he graduated from Belmont High School in 1926. As a UCLA freshman, he drove his father's Model T1 Ford to the dedication of the new site for the Southern California branch of the UC. At the time, it was not much more than weeds and a 75-ton granite rock that would one day assume its place at Murphy Hall as the symbol for the founding of the university. Sherman graduated from UCLA in 1930 on the current Westwood campus. He graduated from USC School of Law in 1933. A lifelong Bruin, Sherman liked to say that he only went to USC because UCLA did not have a law program at the time.

Sherman worked in general law practice and met and married Sylvia Kaufman of Los Angeles, CA in August 1941 on her birthday. In October 1942 their son, Norin, was born. Sherman served in the Army Air Corps from 1942-46. In 1948, Sherman's parents donated the funds to build a 16-room block building dedicated in honor of their parents at what is today known as the Jewish Home for The Aging's Grancell campus. Sherman and Sylvia made generous contributions to the growth of the Home and he served on the Board of Directors until his passing. Following the war in 1946, Sherman was a Workers' Compensation Judge and Deputy Commissioner until 1966. He then founded the law firm, Grancell, Kegel and Tobin defending workers' compensation cases until 1979 when he and his son, Norin, co-founded the firm now known as Grancell, Lebovitz, Stander, Reubens and Thomas. Sherman retired in 1990. The firm now has 10 offices and over 100 attorneys.

During college Sherman began his love of music when he took up the banjo to play in a band with his fraternity brothers. Sylvia was an accomplished pianist and music teacher and together they enjoyed classical music and the performing arts immensely. The Grancells showed their commitment to music education by establishing endowed scholarship funds for music students over 35 years ago at UCLA School of Music, USC Thornton School of Music (Sylvia's alma mater), and Colburn School of Music, adding to the principal of the endowments each year. Many of their scholarship recipients have gone on to professional careers including performing at Carnegie Hall and other world-class venues. Sherman and Sylvia shared a great love for travel. They visited Europe 20 times, often for 3 or more months at a time, and ventured on 16 cruises, as well as visited every state in the USA and every Canadian province. After Sylvia's passing in 2007, Sherman continued his travel adventures to such locations as Mexico, Tahiti, and Hawaii.

Always very active, Sherman was a Director of the California Bear Credit Union since 1952. In that same year, he became a Director of the Jewish Home for the Aging where one of the two campuses was named Grancell Village in 1982. He was a Director of the Guardians and a member of the Executives and the Benefactors; all support groups of The Jewish Home. Sherman was a member of the Board of Directors of Civil Service Employees Insurance Company from 1952 to 1982. At UCLA, Sherman was a member of, and made meaningful contributions to, such organizations as the Alumni Association; the Pioneer Bruins, serving as President; Design for Sharing, serving as a Director; Chancellor's Associates; Chancellor's Cabinet; Friends of Archaeology; and Library System. He served as a member of the Hammer Museum; Gold Shield; The Affiliates; and Theater, Film, and Television Circle. Sherman was a Founding Member of Skirball Museum and Cultural Center. He supported Temple Menorah and numerous additional organizations, such as Colburn School of Music, Hadassah, ADL, and the Jewish Federation. It was not unusual for Sherman to be on the UCLA campus multiple times a week or even multiple times a day for concerts, lectures, meetings, and lunches. For several years he served on the greeting committee for incoming freshmen and their parents hosting groups for lunch and answering questions about the campus. Sherman was fond of telling people he graduated from UCLA 83 years ago and smiled as the number of years sunk in. He was a lifelong Bruin and proud of it!

Sherman was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Sylvia. He is survived by his son, Norin, and his wife, Nona; grandchildren, Adam and Michele Grancell, and Dannah and David Ziegert; and great grandchildren, Jonah and Aliza Grancell, and Benjamin, Quinn, and Ronen Ziegert. He is survived by his brother, Alvin; sister-in-law, Ruth Kaufman; companion, Abigail Cohen; and many nephews, nieces, and cousins.

Friends and family will gather to celebrate Sherman's amazing life on Tuesday, March 12, at Hillside Memorial Park (6001 Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, 90045) for services beginning at 10 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Jewish Home for the Aging (7150 Tampa Ave., Reseda, CA 91335, UCLA Design For Sharing (P.O. Box 951529, L.A., CA 90095-1529), or the Colburn School for Performing Arts (200 South Grand Avenue, LA, CA 90012).

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Mar. 12, 2013
- ADVERTISEMENT -