Norma Goldfarb, 90, of Monticello, NY, died peacefully, surrounded by her children on Wednesday, June 1. She was born in NYC on December 9, 1931. Norma is survived by her three children, Peter …
Norma Goldfarb, 90, of Monticello, NY, died peacefully, surrounded by her children on Wednesday, June 1. She was born in NYC on December 9, 1931. Norma is survived by her three children, Peter (Tricia) of Ipswich, Massachusetts, Ellie of Guilford, Vermont, and Amy of Somerville, Massachusetts; her grandchildren, Gabe, Sadie, Anna, Freesia, Ethan, Leah and Yared; and her loving partner, Joe Elias of Boynton Beach, Florida.
She was the beloved only child of her parents, Frieda and Sam Schiller, both of whom were immigrants, Frieda from Austria and Sam from Poland. Her parents were poor. Sam worked in a grocery store in the Bronx and Frieda, who had been a dressmaker in Vienna, worked in a garment industry sweat shop for 37 years. Love and poverty defined Norma’s early life. Despite the hardships, she recalled having a very happy childhood. Norma was a real “latchkey kid” growing up in the Bronx. She told us of being an eight-year-old child wearing a key around her neck, and coming home from school to an empty apartment.
Norma was working as a medical assistant when she met her future husband, Herman, through their shared political activism. They married and had three children and then moved from New York City to Monticello. They became part of a closely-knit, left-wing community, all of whom remained lifelong friends.
Norma loved being active: skiing, playing tennis and folk dancing with her many friends. She was a stay-at-home mom who returned to college when her kids left home. She proceeded to get her bachelors, and then her master’s degree in social work from Fordham University, where she graduated as the valedictorian. She later became the supervisor of the Sullivan County Mental Health clinic in Liberty, NY, where she worked until she retired.
After Norma and Herman divorced, Norma remained dear friends with Herman and his second wife, Cissy, for the rest of their lives.
Norma was fortunate to find great love in the latter part of her life. She met Joe Elias, her devoted partner of 25 years with whom she shared a happy life in both Monticello and Boynton Beach, Florida. Norma embraced Joe’s family including Michael, Mia, Phyllis, and Bob with great love. Later, Joe patiently cared for Norma as her health and memory declined.
Norma’s optimism, gentleness, and loving nature allowed her to see nothing but the good in everyone. She loved the simple things in life. She appreciated beauty and kept her sense of humor until the end. She will be dearly missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org/donate.