Golda R. Nobel, 107, psychiatrist in Phila.

Posted: January 28, 2014

Golda R. Nobel, 107, of Philadelphia, a psychiatrist in Center City, died Monday, Jan. 20, at home.

Born Oct. 8, 1906, she grew up in Uniontown, Pa., and Pittsburgh and graduated from Pittsburgh's Schenley High School as valedictorian.

She earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1928 and a medical degree from the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1931.

After her internship at Northern Liberties Hospital in 1932, she married Bernard Judovich, a general practitioner. The two formed a practice that focused on treating difficult pain problems. They also cowrote a number of scientific articles.

In 1956, after her husband's death, Dr. Nobel grew interested in the psychological origin of pain and for 10 years practiced psychosomatic medicine. At the time, the connection between mind and body was just starting to be understood.

She was a member of the neurology staff of Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia and chief of its pain clinic from 1956 to 1966. In 1961, she participated in the White House Conference on Aging and coauthored its report.

In July 1966, she began a psychiatric residency at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kan. Her training continued at Roosevelt Hospital in New York, and after completing it, she returned to Philadelphia, where in 1969, she set up a private psychiatric practice.

She was also on the staff of the Eastern State School and Hospital from 1969 to 1985, which gave her a chance to work with children. The institution, now closed, was along U.S. Route 1 near the Philadelphia-Bucks County border.

Dr. Nobel had boundless curiosity, and loved to read and collect books. Her life was centered on her family and patients.

"Patients come up to us on the street and tell us how our mother saved their lives," her son Robert said.

She was a member of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, the Philadelphia Neurological Society, the American Neurological Association, and the Greater Philadelphia and American Societies of Clinical Hypnosis.

She also was president of the Alumni Association of Women's Medical College and served on the board of trustees of ECRI, a nonprofit health-services research agency she helped to establish, for four decades.

Surviving, in addition to her son, are another son, Joel; a daughter, Jane Nobel Maxwell; four grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. Jessica Nobel Maxwell, 20, an aspiring poet and Dr. Nobel's fifth grandchild, died in a car accident in 1994.

Services will be private.


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