GOLDBERG, SHIRLEY JEAN, 92, of Sarasota, Florida died on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, after a brief illness, surrounded by her loving family. Born on August 28, 1930 in Des Moines, Iowa, she was a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School’s class of 1948. Known among her high school classmates as “Goose,” she was known as the fun one. She was the embodiment of the school’s logo and motto. None other than the original Rough Rider himself, Teddy Roosevelt, memorialized in the school’s annual yearbook (The Roundup) on horseback saying, “I am Here to Help.”
After high school, she attended the University of Nebraska for the first year. She completed her second year at Drake University. Following the year at Drake, Shirley traveled to Chicago to live with family and took a job in the Secretarial Pool at the 5th Army HQ before eventually returning to Des Moines. Shirley, or “Shirl,” as her friends and family knew her, was fond of hosting parties in the finished basement rec room of her childhood home. She often told the story of how some friends called her up and convinced her to have a group of guys over from the local medical school and she fibbed and said the basement was under renovation. Her friends prevailed and when the guys showed up, a young medical student by the name of Byron Goldberg from Philadelphia was among them. Her mother pointed him out to Shirley, but she was seriously not interested in him initially.
She was certainly on the path to becoming the quintessential “It Girl.” However, marriage was in the plans and in 1954, marry they did. They had a very successful partnership that lasted almost 67 years. Shirley supported Byron’s career, helping with bookkeeping, and typing his papers, and serving as his lifelong first mate.
Shortly after marrying, the couple began a family and moved from Iowa to Michigan. There they were avid boaters and often enjoyed family time on any number of the boats they’d owned and kept on Lake Michigan. They were active in the USCG Power Squadron in Michigan as well as when they moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1975. After arriving in Florida, they were active in the professional musician’s community, the Association of Retired Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC), and the Bayway Isles Ladies Group, where Shirley would often host bridge groups. Over the years they sailed on at least 100 cruises.
Shirley was a very creative person, a talented seamstress, knitter, and artist. She loved decorating and made a point of always bringing home mementos from their world travels to add to their collection. Above all was her love of working outdoors on her plants and garden. She likened herself to a displaced Iowa farmgirl. The fortitude and gritty spirit that embodied her soul was evident in her independence. She rarely asked for help, fiercely believing that independence was one of the keys to her long existence. She was not wrong.
In time, however, both she and Byron aged, and it became clear that they would be better served by living closer to family. They moved to Sarasota, where they occupied a villa not far from her daughter, Ellen, and her husband Mark. Byron passed away in August of 2021. At that point, Shirley moved in with Ellen and Mark. Shirley spent her days keeping to a regular and predictable schedule. That consistency helped prolong her quality of life. She was able to maintain many of her friendships from St. Petersburg as well as make more friends through the Senior Friendship Center in Sarasota. She was instantly welcomed into Ellen and Mark’s large circle of friends and regularly attended events with them.
Despite her declining health, the family was thrilled that Shirley was able to travel to California for her grandson Alan’s Bar Mitzvah in May of 2022. The family held a surprise 92nd birthday party for her in
August. Shirley asked Ellen to take her on one last cruise and in September 2022, they set sail from Port Canaveral for a final Caribbean adventure. Family was everything to Shirley and she was proud of her role as the matriarch. All of these were important experiences at the end of her well-lived life.
Shirley is survived by her beloved daughter Ellen (Mark Tishman) of Sarasota, FL, and devoted son Joe (Cindy Rogoway) of San Carlos, CA; also survived by granddaughters Hannah Tishman of New York City, Liv Tishman of Atlanta, Alan Goldberg of San Carlos, Step-Grandsons Nathaniel Tishman (Christine Lunanga) of Gabarone, Botswana and Alex Tishman (Shari) of Novato, CA, and four Step-Great-Grandchildren. She is also survived by her loving brother Jerome (Ida) Blotcky of Rochester, NY, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Interment was at Temple Beth Sholom Cemetery in Sarasota, Florida. The family requests that memorial contributions in Shirley’s memory be made to Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Francisco https://www.hflasf.org or Tidewell Hospice of Sarasota https://www.tidewellhospice.org.
Livestream Shirley’s Service Below
Topic: Shirley Goldberg
Time: Feb 5, 2023 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 813 874 3330