William Goldstein, contractor

William Goldstein
William Goldstein
Posted: July 19, 2013

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.

"You get there what you cannot get anywhere else," his son said of the school. "Without it, he knew he could have been a bum on the street."

Mr. Goldstein turned 18 on July 10, 1944. The next day he walked out of Girard College and joined the Navy. He spent his hitch in the Aleutian Islands, building airstrips during World War II. He was honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of seaman first class.

After the war, he married Anita Kauffman.

Along with his father-in-law, Phillip Kauffman, he operated Phillip Kauffman Inc., an electrical contracting company in Northeast Philadelphia.

The firm did the wiring for Korman, Orleans, Toll Bros., and other builders in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

"If you live anywhere in the Northeast, Neshaminy, and Morrell Park, they probably installed the electrical services in your home," his son said.

After Phillip Kauffman Inc. closed in 1973 amid a struggling economy, Mr. Goldstein joined his son, Mark, a third-generation electrician, doing business as M&W Associates in Huntingdon Valley.

His son described him as quiet, but fun to be around.

Married 64 years, Mr. Goldstein took great pride in his family, with whom he lived in Northeast Philadelphia. He enjoyed driving his Jeep.

Surviving, besides his wife and son, are daughters Eileen Micklin and Karen Zucker; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Services are past.

Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8102 or bcook@phillynews.com.

comments powered by Disqus