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Donald G. Goldstrom

Posted By DeBord Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory On March 18, 2017 @ 12:32 pm In Obituaries | 10 Comments

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Donald Gustav Goldstrom passed away on March 15, 2017, at 89 years of age.  He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to parents, the late Gustav Edmund and Ebba Shogren Goldstrom.

Don and Elizabeth (known to family and friends as Sue) headed a loving family filled out by the addition of three children, Donald Glenn Goldstrom, Karen Goldstrom Bennett and Mark Edmund Goldstrom. Sue was the manager of household affairs and “Mother Superior.” Don knew that he was blessed.

Seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren followed, taking the Goldstrom name from Lancaster to Baltimore, Bisbee, Arizona, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Jackson, Wyoming.

Don’s life was an eclectic existence that began during the Great Depression. Growing up in a modest neighborhood and educated in Pittsburgh public schools, he went on to attend college, first at the U.S. military academy at West Point and then the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated from the Wharton School. He joined Armstrong Cork Company in Lancaster upon graduation and retired 38 years later as the company’s vice president of advertising and marketing services.

Don was active in industry affairs: a director and president of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA); a director and president of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC); and author of numerous business articles. He also worked with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), establishing a successful process for the enforcement of “truth in advertising.”

Community organizations also benefited from Don’s talents. He served as director of the Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster for more than 20 years and was a founder of the Amphitheater Foundation, president of the Fulton Opera House Foundation and member of the board of directors of WITF. Don was named chairman of the Lancaster County Commission for the celebration of America’s Bicentennial and was an alumni trustee at the University of Pennsylvania.

Many of Don’s business and personal interests were the product of his liberal arts background. He always referred to his career at Armstrong as a “dream job.” There he was involved in and supervised the company’s long-time national magazine campaigns, as well as its entrance into television advertising and production of “Armstrong Circle Theater.” He also helped create training films and special programming for Armstrong distributors and retailers.

These experiences led to extracurricular activities, including musical revues at the Fulton Theater and entertaining shows for members of the Hamilton Club and Lancaster Country Club. He also wrote an original musical, “Topical Cruise,” which ran as part of the Fulton Theater’s regular season. Additionally, Don regularly created birthday cards with original artwork for friends and family.

Don’s father was a professional musician in Pittsburgh, which kindled young Don’s interest in music. As a young boy, he regularly performed on the radio as a member of a trio. Later in life, although he stubbornly refused to take musical training, he was invited to help Bob Troxell form the Big Big Jazz Band and participate as the band’s guitarist. Don, who never learned to read music, played by ear. According to him, his biggest challenge was not the notes, but learning to turn arrangement pages with other band members. He played in the band for more than 35 years, including a performance one week prior to his passing. One of his biggest musical thrills was playing with the pros at the annual North Carolina Jazz Festival.

Sports were always part of Don’s life. In high school, he played on city championship basketball and football teams. He was recruited by West Point and as a plebe, played on Army’s national championship team in 1945, along with Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis. While at West Point, he also was the starting pitcher in an exhibition game against the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers.

Don married his high school sweetheart and transferred from West Point to the University of Pennsylvania, where he continued to play football and was named to the United Press line of the week and All East team, as well as the “Football News” all-American team. However, he was most proud of receiving the Edgar M. Church award, presented to him by his teammates.

Don led a rich, full life. He was an elder and deacon at First Presbyterian Church, where he and Sue were members since 1952. He also held memberships at the Hamilton Club and Lancaster Country Club. Don and Sue traveled extensively during their 66-year marriage, including two trips to the Goldstrom family homestead in Sweden. However, it was Jackson, Wyoming, and the Snake River that beckoned them each year and enabled Don to pursue his love of fly-fishing.

His wife, Sue, and son Don (Julie) preceded Don in death. He is survived by daughter Karen (Jim), son Mark (Jane), grandchildren Nathan (Jamie), Peter (Lauren) and David Bennett and Erik (Eva), Kelsey, Erin and Samuel Goldstrom, and great grandchildren Ethan and Julianna Goldstrom and Lucy Bennett.

A memorial service to celebrate Don’s life will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 140 E. Orange St., Lancaster, Pa. Friends may greet the family at the church on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service. Please omit flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church or the Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster, 116 S. Water St., Lancaster, Pa. 17608.



Condolences for the family of “Donald G. Goldstrom”

Condolence from Jeff Zufelt on March 19th, 2017 1:13 pm

My condolences to the family on the passing of Don Goldstrom. I will always remember Don as a man blessed with a keen and creative mind. To me Don was always a man of sage advice, great good humor and a genuine affection and concern for his community.

Condolence from Maureen McEvoy Farrell on March 19th, 2017 6:00 pm

Dear Family of Donald Goldstrom,

It saddened me to see Don’s obit in Lancasteronline today. We were both at Armstrong at the same time and I believe I was his first official secretary in the Special Promotions Department which had just been newly formed. We probably worked together for approximately 7-8 years before I left to get married and move out of state. He provided a wonderful working environment and set high standards for his department while giving me space to grow into my role in serving him. Most importantly, he was a warm and gracious man, honorable in all his ways. His presence on this earth shall be greatly missed by me, for one.

Condolence from Chet Williamson on March 19th, 2017 7:36 pm

I was very sorry to hear of Don’s passing. He was responsible for my working at Armstrong, and I’ll always remember his many kindnesses to me, as I will his musical and theatrical activities. My deepest sympathies to his friends and family. He was an incredibly creative and energetic person, and I’m very glad I had the privilege of knowing and working with him.

Condolence from Margaret H. Wagner on March 19th, 2017 10:43 pm

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of Mr. Goldstrom’s family. My parents, Dr. and Mrs. Richard S. Wagner, Jr. (Sarah and Dick) were members of First Presbyterian Church as well, and my father relished his weekly breakfast “meetings” at Willow Street Restaurant with “Don Goldstrom and Joe Jones.”

Both my parents are gone, and I know it’s a hard transition. Please know that I am so grateful for all the great times my father had with yours. He was a wonderful person.

Condolence from Dr. Gerald Rothacker on March 20th, 2017 10:43 am

My deepest sympathy to the Goldstrom family and to all of us whose lives Don touched with his musical talents and so many other talents. I’m sitting right now looking at an incredible sketch he did for a Lancaster County Council of Churches fundraiser last April.
I rest assured that the Don and Sue Goldstrom “Love Story” has progressed to the chapter entitled “eternity” but I will keep the family in my thoughts and prayers.
Dr. Gerald Rothacker

Condolence from Annie Carmitchell on March 21st, 2017 11:54 am

What a wonderful man. Sending out love and prayers to David Bennett and his family.

Condolence from Donna Jeanne Gay Grun Kaplan on March 21st, 2017 7:17 pm

My deepest heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family of Don Goldstrom. I worked with him at First Presbyterian Church as an elder, on committees, and in Bible Studies. He was not only a scholar and a gentleman, but a most creative and fun human being. Having known both Don and Sue was very special, and they shall live on in my heart forever.

I am so sorry for your loss, and please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Donna Jeanne Gay Grun Kaplan

Condolence from Pamela Klahr on March 22nd, 2017 10:05 pm

I was so sad to learn that Don has passed on. Truly, he was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known. He was witty, talented, knowledgeable and just the best of friends. I feel so fortunate to have known him . Hearing that he had played his guitar with Trox just the week before…leads me to believe he went out the way he lived…life to the fullest!
My sincere sympathy to the family and also, sincere thanks for the wonderful write-up about his life. There was so much I didn’t know about him.
Don, my friend, you will be missed. With fond memories… Pam Klahr

Condolence from Robert G Smith on March 25th, 2017 11:29 am

I was saddened to hear of news of Mr. Goldstrom’s death. We, the sons of Ed and Mary Smith, offer our condolences to Karen and Mark. As a child, I remember our fathers playing music at a Rohrerstown Elementary School PTA fund raiser; your father on his guitar, mine on the piano, and what he referred to as his gut bucket. Your father assisted in getting me a job interview with Armstrong’s advertising agency, BBD&O back in the 70’s. The last time I saw your father was at a Nissley Vineyards musical evening; he was belting out “Sweet Georgia Brown” as I recall He was a gifted and talented man and will be missed.

Condolence from Sherry Qualls on March 29th, 2017 8:40 am

Dear Goldstrom Clan
You know this man was special. He touched so many. For me it began with Armstrong but lingered long after we both moved on from that amazing place. He saw beauty and talent everywhere. A true renaissance man. My husband Scott and I will miss him. He and another corporate cohort were responsible for giving us both reasons to flourish personally and professionally. We will always be indebted and he will always be part of our story.
With love to all.
SCott and Sherry Qualls

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