Deceased Information


    Seymour Commanday

    Shalom ben Avigdor


    Saturday, March 11, 2023 (After Sunset)


    Wednesday, March 15, 2023


    12:00 PM





    Seymour (Sy) Commanday, age 91 of Atlanta, born in Brooklyn NY, the second child of Ukrainian immigrants, passed away on Saturday evening, March 11, 2023 at home.  Though always loyal to his hometown and his alma mater, Brooklyn College, Sy and his first wife, Jacky, and their growing family moved from place to place as he gained more expertise in his career as a color chemist.  When Sy retired, he and his second wife, Betty, found community, and smiles in Beaufort SC and Sandy Springs GA.

    Using his Navy GI Bill, Sy drove his young family across the country from Brooklyn to Tucson, AZ in the early 1960s.  There he studied chemistry at Arizona State University. Throughout his career as a highly specialized and sought-after textiles color chemist, Sy could see a color and re-create it in any medium.  He was able to blend a perfect epoxy color match to repair son Jonathan’s boat one afternoon (grandsons Alex, Zac and Max were relieved).  Sy and Jacky lived in Brooklyn (where daughter Melissa was born), Tucson (son Clifford), New Jersey (Jonathan), North Carolina (daughter Mara), South Carolina, and Louisiana.  Sy’s final position was in Georgia, working for Hercules Inc. which later became Techmer and currently FiberVisions.

    Though Sy loved many things, aviation was his first love.  Before he learned to drive a car, Sy soloed in a seaplane over Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, earning his pilot’s license and making hundreds of left-handed entries into log books over the many years that followed.  Jacky let Sy “babysit” all of his kids on weekends by taking them flying in Piper Cubs (Paper Cups), Cessna 172s, and Bonanzas (Bananas), teaching them to make S-turns, navigate to and from the VORs, and see what the neighborhood looked like from from thousands of feet above. He enjoyed building and flying radio-controlled model airplanes with Jonathan who crashed some of them and Sy crashed the rest.

    Sy also thrived on the inquisitive nature, the give and take, of Judaism.  Presented with a difficult legalistic Torah portion for his Bar Mitzvah, he irreverently chose to wear a green tie to celebrate the simultaneous St. Patrick’s Day holiday.  He had many philosophical conversations with students, seekers, and people trying to find community.  He taught many younger students and adults about the Jewish faith.  With a goal of inclusion, Sy was willing to perform and participate in interfaith life cycle rituals when others were not. He was also willing to pray with anyone of any faith in their time of need as a volunteer hospital chaplain.

    Sy and Betty were delighted to visit many countries by land and sea as they experienced the world together. He was very involved in his community as a Jewish lay leader in his congregation and served as president and a member of the Rockdale County Exchange Club.

    Sy is predeceased by his first wife Jacky (Ruditz) Commanday (of breast cancer, in 1983)  and his son Clifford Commanday (from leukemia in 1975).  He is survived by his wife of 36 years Betty Commanday, his children Melissa Johnson (Robert), Jonathan Commanday (Laura) and Mara Wildes (Scott), and his grandchildren Valerie Tarr, Alex Commanday (Manasi Tannu), Zachary Commanday (Hannah Behar),  Max Commanday, Skylar Wildes, and Anslie Wildes. He also had 2 step-daughters Abby Buck (William) and Laura Muller (Will Snyder) and 4 step-grandchildren. 

    Graveside services will be held on Wednesday March 15, 2023 at noon at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg SC. A memorial service will be held at a later date in Sandy Springs, GA. Arrangements made by Dressler’s Funeral Care in Atlanta, GA.

    Memorial contributions may be made to St Jude Chidren’s Research Hospital,  or Jewish War Veterans.

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Seymour Commanday

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  • Rebecca Amdur Olson

    Sy was one of a kind and I never found another Rabbi that came close to Sy's presence. His sense of humor and booming voice could never be matched. I am forever grateful Sy agreed to officiate my wedding ceremony a few years ago...the guests still comment on how much they loved him. He will be missed terribly.

  • Brian Flewelling

    Sy was a good friend, always there with wry, intelligent witty comment. He introduced me to a better class of tequila than I ever knew existed. He was kind and thoughtful, and an adventurous spirit but wrapped up in the ethos of his time. He chuckled when I introduced him to another friend as my favorite Jew, Betty excepted. He quickly retorted: "But aren't you a Christian?" What a guy! He will be well and truly missed. The world is a darker place without him.

  • Catherine Cheek

    Such a life well lived. Prayers are with those here who mourn. Was very heartened to see the pebbles and seashells where he rests and that tho Mr. Commanday is far from those loved ones still here, that he is also with loved ones who passed before.

  • Terri jones

    Betty. I'm so sorry to hear about Sy. My love and prayers are with you.

  • Michel Shema

    May the loving, warm memories from such wonderful life He led bloom into comfort and courage for the family. My deepest condolences.

  • John Attardo

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all in your time if sadness and sorrow.

  • Bas Rathje

    We’re thinking of you in your hour of grief. May you always feel your Dad’s presence in your heart. May he Rest In Peace.

  • Luis Rincón

    Dear Jonathan and Commanday Family, please accept our sincere condolences from or family during this difficult time. Find peace in knowing that his love lives in each of your souls and his memory will be forever in your hearts. With love and respect, Rincón Family <3

  • Steve Zaloudek

    My deepest condolences from our family to you all. So my was always a pleasure to be around and will be missed. Our prayers go out to the family as we pray for the progress of his beloved soul.

  • Walter J. Freeman

    I had the privilege of knowing and working with Sy for several years in the 1990s. We flew many times together during that time in my 1976 Beechcraft V35B Bonanza. Sy was a fantastic pilot with a deep knowledge and love of all things aviation. He was one of the best color chemists ever as well and was a real asset to the Hercules Fibers group. A gentleman, a scholar, a pilot's pilot, an engaged member of the community, humble, modest, and a true mensch.

  • Nancy Tarr

    Sending my deepest condolences.

  • Will Snyder

    Dear Sy/Papaw: You live on in the Jewish lessons and wisdom and example you imparted to my wife and partner, Laura Muller, as she grew up. They enrich our family and home.

  • D\'Effie McCollough

    My heart and thoughts go out to you with my sincerest condolences at this time of sorrow, I am praying for your comfort, courage, and peace of mind. Love to you all.

  • Jonathan Commanday

    Remembering my father the pilot

  • Jodi & Bruce Lipsitz

    We spent many a Shabbat lunch at our home with Sy. He was a delightful guest, a true mensch. May the family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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