Dr. Alfred Goldson Was Compassionate Physician

Alfred Lloyd Goldson, M.D., FACR, was born on April 9, 1946 in New York, New York, the first-born son of Lloyd R. Goldson, M.D. and Marjorie Owens Goldson. He suffered a heart attack on Jan. 28 and, after being in a coma for 10 days, died on Feb. 7. A resident of Washington, D.C., and Martha's Vineyard, he was 57.

Dr. Goldson was graduated with a B.S. in biology from Hampton University and an M.D. degree from Howard University, College of Medicine (Class of 1972). He completed his residency in radiation oncology at Howard University Hospital followed by a fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

In 1980, Dr. Goldson became the youngest person appointed by Howard University College of Medicine to a departmental chairmanship. As chairman of Howard University Hospital's department of radiation oncology, he provided training for numerous radiation oncologists and radiation therapists. He also was a caring and compassionate physician with a bedside manner that endeared him to the many cancer patients and families whose lives he impacted.

Dr. Goldson's research career included several innovative therapeutic approaches in radiation oncology. He was the author of numerous articles and book chapters on radiation oncology and has been the recipient of millions of dollars of research funding. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Dr. Goldson to the National Cancer Advisory Board. This presidential appointment came as a result of his pioneering research in radiation oncology and his international outreach work, which brought cancer treatment to underserved populations of Tanzania, Liberia and Haiti.

At the time of his death, Dr. Goldson was in Rhinelander, Wisc., - a place that can be as frigid as 50 degrees below zero - to help establish the new department of radiation oncology for the Ministry Medical Group/St. Mary's Hospital, which is scheduled to open a state-of-the-art facility in April 2004. He was energized by the excitement and anticipation of developing innovative treatment methods, and embraced the challenges that his involvement offered.

Dr. Goldson had an unparalleled zest for life. He was an accomplished swimmer and avid deep-sea fisherman, who also enjoyed boating, skiing, golf, tennis, trap and skeet shooting, high performance automobiles and particularly, spending time with family and friends.

Growing up a seasonal resident of Oak Bluffs for more than 40 years, Dr. Goldson was often seen cruising the Island in his blue and white Shamrock fishing boat, The Quiet Storm, entertaining family and guests and fishing for striped bass and bluefish. He enjoyed countless charter fishing trips, some more than 90 miles from Martha's Vineyard, where he landed trophy sharks and tuna. He was also a longtime member of the Martha's Vineyard Rod & Gun Club.

He met and married his wife on Martha's Vineyard in a storybook June wedding replete with horse-drawn carriage, roses and hundreds of guests. He loved entertaining, often at his Oak Bluffs home on the Lagoon overlooking Vineyard Haven harbor.

Dr. Goldson is survived by his loving wife, Amy; his beloved daughters, Erin and Ava; his dear mother, Marjorie Goldson, his brother, Dr. Jeffrey Goldson, M.D., his sister, Judy Jackson; mother in law, Emily Robertson; sister in law, Andrea Goldson; brother in law, Johnny Jackson; cousins, nieces, nephews, and innumerable patients, friends and others whose lives he graced. In June of this year, Alfred and Amy would have celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.

There was be a visitation at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs at noon on Thursday, Feb. 12, followed by interment at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Oak Bluffs. All are invited to a celebration of his life in Washington, D.C., at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Howard University's Crampton Auditorium at the Blackburn Center.