Longtime Saline city attorney dies at age 86

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Allan W. Grossman, attorney for the City of Saline for 52 years, from 1960 to 2012, died August 15 at the age of 86.

"Allan Grossman was more than just the City Attorney, he was one of the driving forces in the development of our community beginning over 50 years ago," said retired Washtenaw County Judge Don Shelton, director of the Criminal Justice program at U-M Dearborn and a former mayor of Saline. "While elected officials came and left, he was the constant, honest and ethical guide for the City Council."

Not only did Shelton and Grossman know one another as attorneys in Washtenaw County, the two worked closely together since Grossman served as Saline City Attorney during Shelton's decade-long tenure on City Council and as Mayor.

"I will miss him personally as a good friend and the community will miss one of its most important citizens," Shelton added.

A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Grossman launched his law practice in Saline in March of 1958 at the age of 28, setting up office in the Still Hotel.

The following year, he was elected president of the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce; and over the years, served on various boards, including the Saline Area Civic Association; and was a member of Uptown Saline Association, the Saline Building Authority, the Saline Election Commission, the Saline-Brecon Friendship Guild, and the Saline-Lindenberg Friendship Committee.

When he became City Attorney in 1960, Saline had fewer than 3,000 residents; by the time of his retirement, the population had almost quadrupled. His time with the City saw the 1966 arrival of the Ford plant, (now Faurecia), doubling the city's tax base.

Grossman, who worked with 11 mayors and more than 80 council members and who served on several city and community committees, was honored with Saline's Lifetime Achievement award in 2000, in addition to many other rewards received during his career.

He and his wife, Natalie welcomed several foreign exchange students into their home over the years, and also played host to a German delegation from Lindenberg.

Known as the "Dean of City Attorneys" in Michigan, in 2003, Grossman was honored with the Distinguished Attorney Award by the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys; and by proclamations from the City of Saline and from the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners on his retirement in December, 2012, when he and then-Mayor Gretchen Driskell leaving to become a state House representative for the 52nd District were honored at a reception prior to their final regular City Council meeting.

Grossman continued to practice law after retiring from his city position.

"I was saddened by the passing of Allan Grossman," Saline City Council member David Rhoads said Thursday. "He was not only a friend, he was a good and faithful servant of the Saline community and a fount of historical information. He and his wise legal advice will be missed by many."

Grossman was a Life Member of the Washtenaw County Bar Association. "Mr. Grossman attended quite a few WCBA dinners with his wife Natalie I sat at their table often," said WCBA Executive Director Kyeena Slater. "He was a gracious and genuinely kind man."

Grossman is survived by his wife, Natalie, and children, David, Matthew, Erik, Lisa and Martha. He was preceded in death by his son, John, and by his former wife, Shirley Hagen-Grossman.

At press time, no arrangements had been announced.

Published: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

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