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Deceased Information

Dr. Laurence Lesser
Label Mendel ben Natan Hillel vRachel

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 (before sunset)

10 Av, 5777

Sunday, August 27, 2017

2:30 PM

First United Methodist Church of Snellville

Interment was held at Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens


EULOGY (audio):
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  • Laurence Martin Lesser, MD Graduate Medical Education Endowment (Gwinnett Medical Center)  
  • Temple Beth David, Snellville Georgia. 1885 Mc Gee Rd SW, Snellville, GA 30078

    Dr. Laurence “Lanny” Martin Lesser, M.D., F.A.C.C., Snellville, Georgia, beloved Gwinnett County cardiologist since 1979, died at his home on August 2, 2017 surrounded by his devoted wife, Sandra, and his beloved children and grandchildren. Dr. Lesser fought incurable cancer with grace and dignity. He was always concerned about his family and his responsibility to his patients despite his illness. Dr. Lesser, the son of the late Rose Rodin Lesser and Eli Nathaniel Lesser, was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 20, 1944. He was a 1962 graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn where he served as captain of the men’s basketball team (as Dr. Lesser stated, “The worst team in the history of the school.”) Dr. Lesser received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA (Phi Beta Kappa). He attended medical school at the State University of New York and served his internship at Erie County Medical Center both located in Buffalo, NY. Dr. Lesser served as a Lt. Commander in the United States Navy from 1975 to 1977 as Chief of Cardiology, Naval Medical Center, Charleston, SC. Dr. Lesser completed his Internal Medicine residency and Cardiology Fellowship at the Emory Affiliated Hospitals (Emory University School of Medicine, Grady Health System and the Veterans Administration Hospital) in Atlanta, GA. He was an Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory from 1977-78. Dr. Lesser began his private practice in Cardiology in East Point, Georgia, (South Fulton County) in 1978, moving to the Snellville area in 1979. Being the first cardiology in Gwinnett County, he worked long side fellow colleagues, Dr. Ed Bowen, Dr. Norman Freid, Dr. Taher Bagheri, Dr. Phil Edwards, Dr. Kamal Ratan, Dr. Javad Deghanian, Dr. Robert Gadlage and Dr. Victor Pavamani in the creation of Gwinnett Community Hospital in 1979, the first hospital in Snellville. He was a renowned cardiologist, teacher, mentor and tutor to so many physicians during his remarkable medical career. Dr. Lesser was Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases. He was a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians. Dr. Lesser was a member of the Medical Association of Georgia. In 2008, Dr. Lesser was the national recipient of the First Humanitarian Award in recognition for his caring spirit and philanthropic work. In December, 1989, Dr. Lesser had a special opportunity to work with Registered Nurse, Pam Kramer and Health Care Educator, Madeline Estefan in co-founding the Gwinnett Community Clinic (GCC). For twenty-six years GCC was staffed by volunteer physicians, nurses, and pharmacists to provide a range of comprehensive primary health care services to uninsured, low-income men, women and children in Gwinnett County. Pam Kramer stated, “Before we ever did one thing to begin the clinic, we had the doctors ready to participant, because Dr. Lesser went to them and said we needed their support.” Pam Kramer said, “That’s really the reason why the clinic started so strong, and why we were able to provide five million dollars worth of quality care on a $130,000 budget. We were really able to provide a service that the people of Gwinnett County otherwise would not have access to.” Through the years Dr. Lesser had the good fortune of being a physician for “Camp Big Heart” in Fort Valley, GA. An overnight summer camp for campers with special needs sponsored by the Civitan Club of Georgia, the mission always being to provide the highest quality summer recreational camping experience for Georgia’s developmentally challenged children and adults. Dr. Lesser’s commitment to teaching the next generation of physicians was recognized on May 16, 2016, when he was honored with a reception announcing the creation of the “Laurence Martin Lesser, MD Graduate Medical Education Endowment.” Gwinnett Medical Center named the cardiology floor nursing station in honor of Dr. Lesser. In keeping with Dr. Lesser’s passion for teaching and learning, The Lesser Endowment for Graduate Medical Education will provide a lecture series in his name for medical residents. Gwinnett Medical Center has both family practice and internal medicine residents in their Graduate Medical Education Program. Dr. Lesser stated, “I have been fortunate and privilege to experience the great growth and innovation that occurred in medicine for the residents of Gwinnett County. Medicine has been a blessing, a joy and a great privilege for me as I served as the first cardiologist in the county and was able to be a part of serving patients in all the hospitals. I have experienced tremendous joy in seeing the addition of cardiovascular surgery to service the needs of almost one million people in the county.” Dr. Lesser was an Emeritus member of the CardioVascular Group which grew to sixteen members fully supporting the cardiovascular needs of Gwinnett County. His exemplary leadership in the cardiovascular community will forever be a part of Gwinnett Medical Center and the entire Gwinnett County area. As Dr. Lesser reflected on his life, he quietly said, “I have been blessed with the world’s most wonderful wife, my beloved Sandra; my son, Rabbi Josh and daughter, Mishele Elizabeth; Sandra’s two sons, Wes & his wife Ronda and Asa; the wonderful experience of grandchildren, Lily, Aiden, Ethan, Owen and Kimberly & her husband, Scott; and a great grandson, Logan, and my loving sister, Barbara & her husband, Harold. I have a great sense of gratitude to God for my family and all the opportunities I have experienced in my lifetime.” Those left to cherish his memory are his devoted and loving wife, Sandra Inglett Lesser; son, Rabbi Joshua Craig Lesser of Atlanta, GA; daughter, Mishele Elizabeth Lesser of Brooklyn, NY; Sandra’s two sons, Wes Albright and wife Ronda of Woodstock, GA and Asa Albright of Buford, GA; three grandsons, Aiden Albright, Ethan Albright and Owen Albright; two granddaughters, Lily Albright and Kimberly Albright Anderson & her husband Scott; one great grandson, Logan Anderson; loving sister, Barbara Weinreb and husband Harold of Scarsdale, NY; nieces, nephews, and a host of many friends & colleagues across the country. Dr. Lesser was preceded in death by his mother, Rose Rodin Lesser in 2003, his father, Eli N. Lesser in 1994, and his sister, Audrey Lesser Erdman in 1990 (Barbara’s twin sister). The Kevurah (Burial) will be private. In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the “Laurence Martin Lesser, MD Graduate Medical Education Endowment” by contacting the Gwinnett Medical Center at 678-312-8500/ or Temple Beth David, Snellville Georgia. A Memorial Service will be held at First United Methodist Church of Snellville on Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm. The committal service was private at Eternal Hills Memory Gardens. Condolences may be sent and viewed at Cards and expressions of sympathy may be sent to the funeral home for the Lesser Family. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC, “A Family Company”, Snellville Chapel (770-979-3200), 3705 Stone Mountain Highway, Snellville, GA 30039 in conjunction with Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, Atlanta (770-451-4999) have been entrusted with arrangements. Sign online guest book at

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    The Dressler Family
    May the memories of our loved ones remain for a blessing.
    Ed and Phyllis Van HornAug 27 2017 07:10 pm
    Doc. was more than my physician, he was so much more; a dear friend and mentor some one I admired and looked up to. On a personal level we had become friends enjoying each others thoughts and ideas during some long talks and our time together. My wife and I enjoyed the little time we experienced with Doc and Sandra. For us he was strength and love, love of giving, with not a thought of getting anything in return. His purpose in life was to give; he gave big and small. He was an ethical man who set high standards for himself, and those standards he met and more. He dedicated his life to his profession and his patients; and yes to his family, loving every minute of it. He was a true professional, but to his patients was a caring and loving man. Doc. on any given day could make you feel you were the most important person in the world to him, such a rare gift. I am so thankful he let us be a small part of his life. There aren't words enough to describe how much I admired him and loved him. It was a privilege and honor just to know him. Rest in Peace my Friend. With Much Love - Ed (fast Eddy) and Phyllis Van Horn
    Rabbi Michoel Lipschutz Aug 23 2017 07:12 pm
    It was with a deep sense of sadness that I learned of Dr. Lesser's passing. He was a very kind, wise and giving person. He had a deep mind and a beautiful smile when he shared his wisdom. I will miss him very much.
    Dr. George GottliebAug 8 2017 10:09 pm
    All of his patients spontaneously express overflowing gratitude and respect that reflects his great dedication, devotion to his patients and medical skill. He will be greatly missed.
    Bonnie StoneAug 8 2017 08:39 am
    I knew Lanny from James Madison High School where he was a star basketball player. He was a serious and lovely teenager - and from what I have read he became the man we can all be very proud to have known. RIP Lanny My condolences to his entire family Bonnie Stone. New York City
    steve colchamiroAug 7 2017 08:23 am
    Lanny was my first best friend. We met in 1st grade at PS 197 and were inseparable for our elementary school years, as we met on the corner of E. 19 St and Ave O every morning for school. We shared a love of sports and were regulars at each other's homes. We reconnected just a few years ago when he visited us in Newton, Ma, and continued just where we left off many years ago. He reminded me that we carried our Little League banner on opening day in Ebbets Field, even though we were both Yankee fans! In his modest way, he never spoke of the wonderful accomplishments outlined in his obituary. My sympathies to his family and friends. Steve Colchamiro
    Lance FriedlandAug 5 2017 03:14 pm
    Words cannot describe our sense of loss of this great man. He was my mentor and inspiration. What a tremendous humanitarian, educator, innovator and someone who loved life. It was a privilege to work with Lanny for 31 years. All of our love, Susan and Lance Friedland and family.
    jerard cranmanAug 5 2017 09:18 am
    Lanny was a remarkable physician and humanitarian. his passing is a great loss for his friends, patients and the community. He will be missed, and remembered jerard and Merel Cranman
    Bill GeldermanAug 4 2017 02:27 pm
    Lanny was my next door neighbor over 40 years ago. Josh and my son were playmates. Mishele was always in motion. Lanny was working at Grady and the VA. We became friends and remained friends since those early days. Over the years Lanny was always there with advice, a referral, or a diagnosis. When talking with Lanny he made you feel like you were the center of his universe at that moment. He gave his total attention and never expected anything in return, except your friendship and honesty. Lanny is, without exception, the finest man I have ever known. We will all miss him deeply.
    Peter BrandtAug 4 2017 10:50 am
    I am saddened to hear of Lanny's passing. My sincere condolences to his wife, children and grandchildren. Lanny and I went to UVA together over 50 years ago where we were fraternity brothers and roommates. I called him for the first time in 50 years so we could meet at the UVA 50th Reunion and we had made plans. Lanny was diagnosed before we could see each other. I have many fond memories of Lanny that I will continue to cherish.
    Carol penlandAug 4 2017 07:35 am
    Everyone loved this man! What a loss....prayers for the family in this time of grief
    Wanda L QuinnAug 3 2017 10:48 pm
    To the Lesser family... May the peace of God comfort your hearts and minds during your time of bereavement... Retired from Eastside Medical Center
    Wendy FineAug 3 2017 10:47 pm
    Sandra, it's so hard to say good-bye to such a wonderful human being. A great doctor, a fantastic friend, an awesome human being. There will never be another like him. I'm SO sorry for your loss. Much love, Wendy
    Bette BeemanAug 3 2017 05:28 pm
    Dr. Lesser was my cardiologist since 1995. He saved my life three times. He called me his poster child for aorta surgery. He went way beyond in his care and concern and I send my sympathy and prayers to the family. Bette Beeman
    Elaine &Jerry BlumenthalAug 3 2017 04:48 pm
    Our deep sympathy on the loss of your beloved husband, father and grandfather. His name is for a blessing. Elaine & Jerry
    Diandra Staton-OwensAug 3 2017 04:46 pm
    Although I've only gotten to know him in a short time, I can honestly say that each time I've seen him he had a smile on his face and a very pleasant demeanor. His presence in the office was truly missed. May his family find peace and healing in this time of sorrow.
    Karen PickettAug 3 2017 03:16 pm
    Sandra, I truly loved this man--He was very, very, very good to me and worked with me for many years. I have thought about him so very much this last year with such fondness. I wish you well and hope that your memories with him bring you joy. I pray that you have peace knowing Dr. Lesser is at rest. Karen Pickett
    Anne FinkelmanAug 3 2017 01:42 pm
    I was so sorry to hear that Lanny lost his fight against cancer. May his memory be a blessing.
    Steve RoladerAug 3 2017 12:14 pm
    God bless and keep Dr. Lesser in the same manner as he cared for his family and community. This wonderful man touched and changed so many lives for the better. Our world is significantly diminished by his passing, my solace is the immense joy and goodness his life produced. I'm so thankful I was able to share these sentiments with Dr. Lesser prior to his retirement from his practice. God bless his family in these difficult times.
    Matthew StropeAug 3 2017 10:59 am
    Godspeed Lanny, You have been my healer, friend and role model in life. Few men can walk in your footsteps, yet I wish all mankind would try. A picture of Jeff Berry and I running a 5k with Dr. Lesser after we BOTH lived through a Left Anterior Descending M.I. that he and his staff were able to salvage us from. Matthew Strope Firefighter/Paramedic
    Sheri YoungAug 3 2017 10:31 am
    Our deepest sympathy to the entire Lesser family. May Lanny's memory be a blessing to all who knew and loved him.
    Rachel SimonAug 3 2017 09:16 am
    Josh (and the entire Lesser family), I am deeply sorry for your loss. Your father's obituary showcased what an extraordinary person he was. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time but I am certain you will be embraced by the amazing community you have surrounding you. My sympathies, Rachel
    Marcie and Barry Koffler Aug 3 2017 01:50 am
    Please accept our sincere condolences. Rabbi Josh, May your father's memory always be a blessing.
    Rabbi Bob & Dr Bernice KirznerAug 2 2017 10:42 pm
    Bernice and I send our love and condolences at this difficult and sad time. Lanny was a "mensch" in the truest meaning of the word. I was honored to have been his rabbi although I gained much more from him in that relationship than I was ever able to give him. T'hi zichrono l'vracha. May his memory always be a blessing to all who knew and loved him.
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