Elizabeth Suzanne “Sue” Goldstrom, 85, of Lancaster, PA passed away September 19, 2013 at Hospice and Community Care, Mt. Joy, PA
To family, friends and husband Donald, she was just “Sue.” Born in Pittsburgh to
the late Elizabeth Riggs and Louis Cecile Hall, she is survived by Donald, her
sister, Cecile Graitge, daughter Karen (James) Bennett, sons Donald (Julie) and
Mark (Jane) Goldstrom, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
While Sue was a third-year student at Penn State University, her high school
sweetheart stole her away to a marriage that flourished for more than 66 years.
Shortly into their marriage, Armstrong World Industries brought the young couple
to Lancaster, where Sue deftly ruled a household for a lifetime as Mother
Superior, Grandmother Supreme and All-time Great Grandmother.
Sue’s greatest gift was a smile that told visitors they were welcome, brightened
the dinner table and made every guest know they were special. Modest in
countenance, she was none-the-less a talented writer, as reflected in countless
notes and letters penned for comfort, congratulations or just commentary in
words that precisely expressed the appropriate sentiment. She had an ear for
music, playing the piano with a light touch heard only in the privacy of her living
room. Her artistic bent was also evident in beautiful flower arrangements. As a
member of the Lancaster Town and Country Garden Club, she earned numerous
awards for her arrangements, including the blue ribbon for “Best of Show” in the
organization’s flower shows.
Sue was a committed member of her community. She taught Sunday School for
10 years at First Presbyterian Church, where she was a member for 61 years.
She also served several terms as a church deacon and this past year was
honored for fifty-plus years as a volunteer in the church office. She was board
chairman of the church Nursery School, which transitioned to the Open Arms
Christian Child Care Center, and served as board chairman of the Lancaster Day
Sue was a leader of her daughter’s Brownie and Girl Scout troops and a den
mother for her son’s Cub Scout troop. She was a member of the Iris Club,
Lancaster Country Club, Hamilton Club and the American Association of
For entertainment, Sue enjoyed a good game of bridge, playing in several
different bridge clubs that met monthly. An avid reader, her love for words was
also evident in the crossword puzzles she continued to work throughout her
Sue found pleasure in travel, first with her young family and later with husband
Don. Together, they made Jackson, WY their second home, weaving themselves
into the fabric of that community and establishing friendships there that will sorely
miss Sue’s hospitality and warmth.
On her birthday this past March, when illness had cast its shadow, her husband
offered the following greeting:
Sue at eighty-five: Until one year ago, I would have said, “still going like sixty.” So
now we are all at work bringing you back up to speed. And what a team! Your
kids, grandkids and the Saturday evening dinner group, all doing their part in
your maintenance and restoration.
What fuels this spirit? The same things that have fueled mine these sixty-five
plus years. You are beautiful, inside and out. Always have been. The twinkle in
your eyes creates a sparkle that conceals a depth of character. It also hides a
native intelligence that understands what life is all about. Your generosity is seen
in thoughtfulness, expressed in so many ways: love for the family that surrounds
you, for friends, past and present, and for those who need a card, a call or a visit;
and tolerance for the shortcomings of a husband who tries, but often forgets the
little things. All are blanketed in a modesty that covers what lies beneath.
Sue, at eighty-five you are still the sweetheart I have loved since I began walking
the path that led to “The street where you live,” hoping for a chance glimpse of
you at 60 Oakwood Road. In all this, nothing has changed. You are still the same girl I courted and married.
And by the grace of God, nothing ever will.
A memorial service to celebrate Sue’s life will be held on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013,
at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 140 E. Orange St., Lancaster, Pa. Friends
may greet the family at the church on Sunday from 2 p.m. until the time of the
service. Please omit flowers.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Boys &
Girls Club of Lancaster, 116 S. Water St., Lancaster, PA 17608.