I-20 wreck kills Augusta pediatrician, his wife

Rabbi remembers Tanenbaums as pillars of community

Well into their 70s, Dr. Julian and Beverly Tanenbaum never showed signs of slowing down.

They both led active lives, both inside and outside of work.

"Age was never a concern," Lisa Unger Schoer said of her grandson's 79-year-old pediatrician. "I know there are new things that come out, but there's also something to be said about the wisdom of experience."

Beverly Tanenbaum also lived for her job as an agent for Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate Co.'s west Augusta office, where she had worked for almost 30 years.

"She cared about her clients," said Susan Rice, the office manager. "She always had their interests foremost when she worked with people."

The lives of Dr. Tanenbaum and his 77-year-old wife were cut short Sunday when he lost control of his vehicle on Interstate 20 in South Carolina and hit a tree, according to Lexington County Coroner Harry Harman.

Colleagues said the couple had been visiting friends in Charlotte, N.C.

Rabbi David Sirull, of Adas Yeshurun Synagogue, which the couple attended, called them "pillars in the community."

They were both active in the synagogue that Tanenbaum's ancestors founded in the 1890s.

At the synagogue, Julian Tanenbaum served on the board of governors and was president, while Beverly Tanenbaum worked with the sisterhood and was given the honor of Woman of the Year.

She also worked with the Easter Seals, the Ronald McDonald House and the Augusta opera's board of directors, Rice said.

"If there was a cause in this community, you could call on Beverly and she would give you her support," Rice said.

The couple also helped to found the Augusta Swim League.

Julian Tanenbaum served as a mentor for many doctors, including Dr. Karen Foushee, who was in the partnership with him to found Pediatric Partners in 1997.

"I was always in awe of him," she said. "He really is one of the old lions in pediatrics. The old saying is that he has forgotten more than I've ever learned."

Schoer recalled running down the street to visit the doctor at his house when she was young.

As a child, Schoer always thought she was one of the doctor's favorites. It was later that she learned that he loved all of his patients. It was because of this special relationship that Schoer chose to send her children to her childhood pediatrician.

Later, Schoer's daughter also chose to send her son to the doctor. Foushee said third-generation patients were not uncommon for the doctor.

"I think that speaks to what high esteem he was held in, but also how he could get along with different generations of people," Foushee said.

Services for the couple will be held at Adas Yeshurun Synagogue at 11 a.m. today.