Obituary: Alex Goldman / Scientist, dedicated dad was part of 'an exemplary love story'

April 3, 1921 - March 4, 2013


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Even though he was in a wheelchair, Alex Goldman continued to provide daily care for his wife of more than six decades as Alzheimer's disease weakened her mind and body.

"He wanted to protect her and care for her," his daughter Karen said. "That became the focus of his life."

"His dedication and love for my mother was ..." said daughter Beth, "... an exemplary love story," finished her sister.

Mr. Goldman, of Oakland, died Monday at UPMC Shadyside from complications of pneumonia. He was 91.

Born in New York City, Mr. Goldman served as a Navy medic in the Philippines during World War II and later attended college on the GI Bill.

He earned a bachelor's degree from City College of New York, then a master's and doctorate in chemistry from Columbia University.

He met his wife, Adele, who was a nurse from the Bronx, in the Catskill Mountains, and they married in 1944. They were married 69 years. In July, she moved to the Residence at Weinberg Village in Squirrel Hill.

Mr. Goldman, who was considered a leader in the field of ferrite technology in material science, was recruited by Westinghouse Corporation and moved his family to Pittsburgh in 1954.

"They grew to love Pittsburgh," Karen Goldman said.

"Pittsburgh was heaven on Earth for them. They couldn't promote it more," said Beth Goldman, of Watertown, Mass.

He later became the corporate director of research at Spang & Company's Magnetics Division.

After his retirement, Mr. Goldman wrote three books in his field and served as a consultant, continuing to travel the world.

Karen Goldman said her father, who was 6-foot-1, always reminded her of the television show "The Gentle Giant" when she was growing up. When he traveled to Tokyo, she remembered him telling stories that the children in the city followed him because he was so tall.

"Everybody liked him," Beth Goldman said. "He gave everyone unconditional love."

The women recounted a story of how he dressed up as Big Bird for his granddaughter's third birthday in sweltering heat.

"Our brother wouldn't do it," Beth Goldman said. "This distinguished man with a Ph.D. from Columbia was walking around in feathers."

Their father played the flute -- he could play "The Flight of the Bumblebee" -- and was able to recite the entirety of "Gunga Din," "Casey at the Bat," and "The Raven." He also was an avid bridge player.

In addition to his daughters and wife, Mr. Goldman is survived by a son, Mark Goldman of Weston, Mass.; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Friends and family will be received at 1 p.m. today at Ralph Schugar Chapel in Shadyside, and a service will follow at 2 p.m. Contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Pittsburgh.

obituaries

Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.


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