Robert Arnold Goldstein

October 8, 1927February 18, 2021

Robert A. Goldstein, 93, passed away on February 18 at home in Seattle, Washington surrounded by family. Bob was born on October 8, 1927 in Butte, Montana, grew up in Spokane, Washington, and was most recently a resident of Seattle for the past 15 years. Prior to this, Bob retired to Tucson, Arizona so he could be close to his sister, Louise, enjoy the warmth of the desert and spend quality time with his favorite dogs, Beavis and Jack. Bob led a full and colorful life, traveling extensively throughout the U.S. and the world. First and foremost, Bob was an educator—and lifelong learner—with a unique teaching style which left a lasting impression on his students. His education included an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, a Master’s degree from Stanford University, and a doctorate in American History from the University of Minnesota.

Bob’s teaching career began at the college level, in Tampa at the University of South Florida, and later at the University of Wisconsin at Steven’s Point. He then returned to Washington State to embark on what would be a 20-year stint at Seattle’s Garfield High School. After his retirement from Garfield, Bob embarked on the most adventurous chapter of his life: teaching overseas in Israel, Zambia, Venezuela, and Hungary. Bob and wife Erika also traveled to Kenya to do volunteer HIV/AIDS prevention work.

Bob was an athlete from a young age, playing basketball and baseball. One of the things he was most proud of in his life—and talked about often—was his participation in the 1945 Esquire All-American Game at the Polo Grounds in New York City as a member of the high school squad from the Western region, managed by baseball great Ty Cobb. (The coach for the Eastern region squad was none other than Babe Ruth, whose team won the game.) Bob always kept himself physically fit and incorporated exercise into his daily routine without fail, also participating in athletic events like the Senior Olympics. Following his stroke in 2004 while he and Erika were doing volunteer HIV/AIDS prevention work on the Thailand/Myanmar (Burma) border, he made a remarkable recovery.

Speaking of sports, Bob loved cheering on his favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals, and watching soccer with Erika. He was a voracious reader and writer, publishing several volumes of poetry. Bob also loved Italian food and chocolate cake. He was passionate about straight-ahead jazz, Cuban and Brazilian sounds, and music from the swing era, most notably Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents Jack and Ruth Goldstein and sister, Louise Crain. In addition to his wife of 35 years, Erika Goldstein, Bob is survived by son Corey Goldstein (daughter-in-law Shannon and granddaughter Lina) and daughter Brenda Goldstein-Young from his first marriage, both of Seattle; daughter Heidi Van Borkulo-Goldstein of Federal Way from his marriage to Erika; niece Lisa Zoelch of Erie, Colorado; and nephew Alan Crain of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Goldstein family.


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Robert Arnold Goldstein

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