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Lillian Goldenberg. Courtesy photo

Obituaries

Lillian Goldenberg

April 8, 1925 — Jan. 28, 2020

Lillian (Lillie) Goldenberg died peacefully at home at the age of 94.

Lillie was born in the Bronx, N.Y. At age 8 she was hit by a car and treated at the Hospital for Joint Diseases, which kept her in and out of school for several years. It was during this time that Lillie taught herself to sew, which became one of her lifelong passions.

On Feb. 16, 1947. she married Leo Goldenberg when he returned home from the Pacific Theater in World War II. Together they raised four children and spent 17 happy years in Bayside, Queens. Bell Park Gardens, the vibrant community in which they lived, was the first veteran’s co-op established after WWII. They had many lifelong friends and hosted boisterous parties with lots of food, dancing and laughter. Lillie was an avid Scrabble player and loved card games, especially bridge and poker. She learned to play Mahjong as a young wife and continued to play the game into her 90s.

In 1969, the Goldenberg family moved to Davis to open The Yardage Shop on L Street with Leo’s brother, Danny. Lillie worked as a salesperson and seamstress in the shop and sewed many garments and accessories for display. She and Leo volunteered at the Sacramento Jazz Festival every summer. Regardless of her age, Lillie was energetic and genuinely interested in life and people, especially children. She loved to drive. One summer, Lillie organized a cross-country trip with her oldest grandson, Ian. They stopped in New Orleans and Biloxi Miss., where Lillie won $200 at a riverboat casino craps table — a thrilling moment for her.

When Leo retired, the couple moved to Del Ray Beach, Fla., to be close to Lillie’s two sisters and brother. Leo was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1979 and Lillie was his primary caregiver. This didn’t stop her from pursuing her interests and staying active. She enjoyed water aerobics, ceramics class, knitting, cooking, sewing and socializing with her spirited siblings.

After Leo died in 2003, Lillie moved to San Antonio to be closer to her daughter, Roberta. During this chapter, Lillie returned to school to complete her GED. She crossed the graduation stage in her cap and gown at 85 years old to the cheers of her classmates and family. In his speech, the school principal told the crowd that she was proof it was never too late to achieve your goals.

Lillie moved back to Davis in 2011 when she secured an apartment at Eleanor Roosevelt Circle near her daughter Eve and her son-in-law, Allan. Lillie lived there for eight years and made many friends, as she did wherever she went. At ERC Lillie started a Mahjong class and taught several residents to play; she participated in a knitting circle and shared her lifelong acquired knowledge of the art; she continued to cook and bake (her specialty was mandel bread) for her neighbors.

365体育滚球Lillie cherished her independence. She knew the Davis city bus routes and most of the drivers. She loved to walk and could often be seen pushing her walker down Russell Boulevard, no matter what the weather was.

When she was no longer able to live by herself, Lillie moved to Rocklin to stay with her daughter, Miriam and her husband, Max. She was there until accommodations were made for Lillie to move back to San Antonio, where she spent her remaining months. With the help of her daughter Roberta, her daughter-in-law, Pam, and her aide, Dawn, Lillie was able to enjoy her days surrounded by family and animals — two dogs, two tortoises and a bird. One of Lillie’s favorite activities was sitting in the sun and watching all of nature in the backyard, fully present in the moment, as she was in so many moments of her life. Lillie will be remembered with love by all those who knew her, including the youngest 365体育滚球generations who received her hand-sewn baby blankets and balls.

Lillian is survived by her three daughters, Eve Holloway, Miriam Harrison and Roberta 365体育滚球Sparks; her son, Norman Goldenberg; and their families.

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