William Goldstein, 87, an electrical contractor, died Friday, July 5, of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at Paul's Run Rehabilitation Center in Northeast Philadelphia.
A South Philadelphia native, he was the son of a young widow during the Great Depression. His father died at age 27, five months before Mr. Goldstein was born.
In 1932, at age 6, his mother and two sisters walked the boy to the gates of Girard College, the school founded by Stephen Girard for fatherless boys, and left him there.
The experience shaped Mr. Goldstein's personality, his son, Mark, said. As the years passed, though, he came to see his unique schooling as a blessing. He returned to the campus in his old age, and was mobbed by enthusiastic, welcoming students.