Harold D. Goldsmith, 73 Was Executive, Athlete

Harold David Goldsmith, known to everyone as Hal, was born in Germany on July 20, 1930 and died on March 13 after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife of nearly 48 years, DelRene, sons John and Bob of New York, and a sister, Margaret Strauss of Yardley, Pa.

Hal spoke often of how fortunate he felt to be an American. At the age of eight, with his parents, brother, twin sister and grandparents, he fled Germany and settled in Manhattan. It was soon apparent his given name, Hans, was unpopular with the neighborhood kids, (His twin sister's name was then Greta.) Hans chose the name Hal, and only when his teacher told him Hal wasn't a real name did he become Harold. He attended public schools, graduating from Stuyvesant High School and The City College of New York.

He was a member of three Olympic fencing teams, earned the gold medal in foil in the 1955 and 1959 Pan American Games, and was the 1952 NCAA champion. He served as an officer in the United States Army. In 1956, he married DelRene Millner, and in 1964, they moved to Ardsley, N.Y., in Westchester County where they raised John and Bob. Hal was a coach and then president of Ardsley Little League. Earlier this year, one of his former little leaguers thanked Hal for teaching him to throw a knuckleball. He wrote that he'd taught the same pitch to his own little league pitchers and credited it with taking the team to a second place win in the New York state championships.

Whether at work or at home, Hal was committed to others, his family, his many friends, and his community. While executive vice president of Frenkel and Co., he envisioned, initiated and implemented an employee stock ownership plan, at a time when the concept of an ESOP was relatively unknown. This plan benefited all the employees from management to the mailroom, and enabled them to realize dreams of sending their children to college, buying homes, and having financial security. Three years ago, he completed his term as president of the board of Westchester Community Services.

When Hal and his family found their Chilmark home in 1991, they were so enchanted by the gardens they overlooked the absence of bedrooms. As a result of the construction necessary to accommodate the family, they made many new and lasting friends. Hal's retirement two years later allowed him to spend more time on the Vineyard pursuing his favorite activities. He became an avid gardener, each year expanding the vegetable and flower beds. Reluctantly, he let Del enter his bounty in the agricultural fair, where he consistently won ribbons for his beans, garlic, tomatoes, sunburst squash, jalapenos, and finally, the largest zucchini. Hal enjoyed the tennis and camaraderie at Island Country Club Tennis. He loved music, books, ideas and politics, and always welcomed a challenging discussion. He had a sharp wit and loved to laugh and have a good time. On Martha's Vineyard, Hal found true contentment. He didn't fish, sail or hunt, and he went to the beach as little as possible, but he had become a Vineyarder.

In 1997, after 33 years, Hal and Del left their Ardsley home for Manhattan. He considered it the perfect balance to the Vineyard.

Funeral services were held in Manhattan on March 15, with interment the following day at the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Cemetery in Vineyard Haven. Vineyard friends stood by as a light snow fell.

There will be a memorial gathering on August 18.

A scholarship in his name has been established at The City College of New York. Contributions may be made to CCNY 21st Century Foundation, and sent to CCNY, Shepherd Hall Room 154, Convent avenue at 138th street, New York, NY 10031, with the notation "for the Hal Goldsmith Scholarship Fund." Memorial donations may also be made to Houses on the Move, P.O. Box 2590, Edgartown, MA 02539.