Gail Harrison Grossman, 75, of Chapel Hill, NC passed away on January 23, 2024.
She was born on January 16, 1949 to Harry “Hap” and Joan Harrison in Norfolk, VA. After graduating from Granby High School, she went on to Beaver College before graduating from the University of North Carolina with a degree in zoology and a Masters after Teaching. For many years, she worked as a research technician in the UNC Department of Cell Biology & Physiology.
Gail was an avid golfer, garnering local fame at Finley Golf Course for her drives down the middle from the ladies’ tees and signature pre-shot booty waggle. She was also an outstanding runner who won numerous races in her age groups, often against much longer-legged competition. During UNC basketball games, her ear-splitting yelps could be heard for miles around and she also enjoyed attending football and baseball games, albeit at a significantly lower stress level. In her spare time, Gail enjoyed knitting and going to the beach at Emerald Isle with her mishpocha, and Bald Head Island, where she taught many a relative the intricacies of pier fishing.
Gail loved cooking and was renowned for her fried chicken, liver and gizzards, “green slime” pasta, chicken cacciatore, sweet potato biscuits and famous apple cake. When not cooking, her favorite foods included hard shell crabs and BBQ ribs that she could consume in surprisingly impressive quantities. She was also an eclectic music fan whose favorites included Motown, Bonnie Raitt, jazz and classical music, as well as any of her kids’ various gigs over the years.
Gail was active in the community, volunteering at Beth-El Synagogue and friendships with community seniors. She tried to have a summer garden in the North Carolina red clay for at least 10 years and settled on weekly farmers market visits to the Carrboro Farmer’s Market.
“Grammy” is survived by her husband Steve, her sons Sam and Pete, sister Nancy Wall, daughters-in-law Jamie and Mollie, grandchildren Leo, Anna and Sadie and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Over the past eight years, she loved spending time with Leo, Anna and Sadie more than anything else, playing with toys on the floor, receiving pseudo-unsolicited makeovers and periodically talking on the “hot dog phone”.
A memorial for Gail will be held graveside at the Judea Reform Congregation Cemetery, 2560 Jones Ferry Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 on Friday January 26 at 10:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Dementia Alliance of North Carolina.