Family remembers Chatham Co. couple that fell victim to medical issues, COVID-19 diagnosis

Arnold and Lorlee Tenenbaum.
Arnold and Lorlee Tenenbaum.(Family)
Updated: Mar. 31, 2020 at 5:03 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Arnold and Lorlee Tenenbaum died just five days apart from each other. The first COVID-19 victims in Chatham County.

Ann Tenenbaum and her family are heartbroken at the loss of their parents. She hopes this community will remember their zest for life, love of art, and giving spirits.

Arnold passed away on March 24. Just five days later, his wife Lorlee also passed away.

Together they committed to serving from the United Way to the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, food bank and more. Arnold and Lorlee's impact in this community runs deep.

"I’m thankful for Arnold and Lorlee and what they have done for this city and what they have done for this community and what they have done in raising such a wonderful family” longtime friend Dale Critz Sr. said.

Arnold was a successful businessman and president of Chatham Steel, he also worked tirelessly on a variety of boards to better the community. But family was the root of it all. He loved his wife Lorlee of 60 years and their four kids.

The Tenenbaums also had a deep appreciation for art, education and traveling. With so much on their plate, Arnold explained the need for balance to our Craig Harney in a never before seen interview from last February.

"I've tried to balance with work, community and family and that's always a challenge, but in the end that's the secret I think to finding the right kind of balance and trying to have fun when you do it. And do it with the values that you hold to you. If you can accomplish that man it's been a decent ride,” Arnold said in 2019.

They loved to travel and had been before becoming ill. Ann says her parents had pre-existing conditions but did test positive for COVID-19. She and two of her sisters live in New York and have known how dangerous the virus was, but never imagined they’d be in this position.

“It is a little surreal to realize that your actually part of a statistic," Ann said. "But we’ve all you know we’ve always taken it seriously having been indoctrinated in New York City you know where things were closing down a lot faster than they were in other parts of the country and it’s bizarre to be a part of it, I have to say, not just on the periphery.”

Ann says it’s been difficult to not only cope with the loss of both their parents, but also not being able to come together as a family in this difficult time. They are waiting to do a service to honor her parent’s life until they can all be together.

Ann Tenenbaum encourages people to work to protect themselves, but she also urges people to be like her parents and remember to continue being compassionate.

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