Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/12/23 – From Legacy.com Obituary and Staff Report
The lacrosse community is mourning the passing of Dr. Murray Howard Grossman, 71, co-founder and President of the Katie Samson Foundation, who died on April 4, 2023. He passed at a family home in Wayne, PA, surrounded by loved ones and at peace after a life full of laughter, love and personal and professional successes.
Dr. Grossman was born on January 5, 1952 in Montreal, Canada to Samuel and Roslyn Grossman. The cause was metastatic melanoma. He is survived by Fran Nelson-Grossman, his dedicated wife of 45 years; his loving sons, Josh Grossman (Nicki Grossman) and Scott Grossman (Gabriel Barcia Duran); and his adoring grandchildren, Isaac and Gili Grossman.
The Katie Samson Lacrosse Festival was held from 2001-2019 and was created in the spirit of Katie Samson, a standout player at Radnor High and Middlebury College who in 2000 was paralyzed from the waist down after a sledding accident. The Katie Samson Foundation also was founded in 2001 by Mr. Grossman , Peter Samson (Katie’s late father) and Jack Brennan.
The Radnor community bonded together after the accident to support the Samson family and the Festival emerged as the ideal event to recognize her spirit to live a full life and focus on abilities rather than disabilities.
For many years the lacrosse festival was the largest high school lacrosse event in the United States, hosting as many as 26 high school games (for most of the years at Radnor High) in one day. The Foundation, which ran until 2022, raised over $2 million dollars to support medical research and quality of life programs for people with spinal cord injuries.
Mr. Grossman, a highly-respected physician, was the perfect President for the foundation, according to Lynne Samson Katie’s mother.
“He was the one that helped us determine what funds could be used in the most appropriate ways to maximize the impact of the mission,” said Samson “He was a very humble man who didn’t say a lot, but when he spoke, people listened.”
Family was everything to Murray. He was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather who was always present when his loved ones and neighbors needed him. He prided himself on his integrity and his devotion to his community. Murray’s positive energy, joie de vivre, humility and sense of curiosity were infectious.
He was a true Renaissance man; a singer-songwriter, chef, runner, painter and physician-scientist who rose early, worked tirelessly and slept little. Murray drank deeply from the cup of life, always finding joy in life’s simple pleasures and never missing an opportunity to hug his grandchildren. He was a devoted community man who helped found and run the Katie Samson Invitational Lacrosse Tournament for 15+ years and who always made time to coach ‘his boys’ despite a busy schedule. Murray travelled broadly and counted friends and colleagues around the world.
Murray was a remarkable physician-scientist and his innovative contributions to science were immense and included pioneering emerging treatments for frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and related dementias. A leader in the field, he authored over 600 publications in his 30+ year career at the University of Pennsylvania.
Further, he was a dedicated and caring physician who was instrumental in establishing multi-disciplinary care for individuals with dementia by building an internationally recognized clinical research center, the Penn Frontotemporal Degeneration Center, which he founded in 2010. Countless patients and their families relied on Murray’s trusted guidance and reassuring presence in uncertain times.
Murray was also an extraordinary mentor who viewed his many trainees and collaborators as friends and family. He brought together collaborators from across the globe with a multi-disciplinary and collaborative spirit that emphasized the importance of a strong community in achieving collective success; an approach that survives him in his many mentees.
Murray earned his EdD in 1977 at the Boston VA Aphasia Research Center, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT. He obtained his medical degree from McGill University in 1985 and completed his residency at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Neurology.In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be considered to the Penn Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) Center to continue Dr. Grossman’s life’s work.
Donations can be made securely online here: https://pennmedicine.org/grossmanmemorialfund. Please note “In Memory of Dr. Murray Grossman” when making your gift.