Services for former Atherton resident Sam Goodman


Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, March 3, for former Atherton resident Sam Goodman, who died Feb. 26 at the age of 80 after a long illness.

The services will be at the Alta Mesa Memorial Park Chapel, 695 Arastradero Road in Palo Alto, with interment to follow.

Mr. Goodman was most recently involved in Atherton community affairs as a member of the town's Audit Committee. He also was active in the Atherton Civic Interest League. In 2008, he was on the ballot for a seat on the City Council; weeks before the election, he announced that he was dropping out of the race, although it was too late to have his name taken off the ballot.

A retired consultant and corporate executive, Mr. Goodman also was a distinguished adjunct professor at Golden Gate University.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Bea, and three sons: Mark, Stephen Grant, and Christopher. A complete obituary will be published in a future print edition of the Almanac.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Bay Area Association of Kidney Patients, an organization of which he was a founding member. Donate online at BAAKP or by mail to BAAKP, P.O. Box 2332, Menlo Park, CA 94026.

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Posted by John P Johns
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Sam Goodman was a man of average height who maintained his sturdy frame through a regimen of lifting weights. Intellectually speaking Sam was a giant, a gentle giant. He was soft spoken and he chose his words carefully.

I will always remember Sam, or more properly Dr. Goodman as a gentleman, a scholar and a pillar of the community. He was kind. He was thoughtful and he was always civil, no matter how controversial the subject, no matter how heated the debate.

I deeply regret the passing of a man like Sam Goodman. He was a good friend, a mentor. He was a man who shared his wisdom freely and who never boasted of his impressive accomplishments.

It goes without saying that the lives of those close to him will never be the same without him.

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Posted by john fyfe
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Several thousand graduate students at Golden Gate University learned invaluable expertise from Dr. Goodman and considered him a master teacher of working adults who sought his wisdom of the corporate management scene. He was very proud of his commitment to their education and many know his insatiable quest for lifelong learning and to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders.

He always meant business; as personable as he could also be, Sam demanded attention, effort, and results. This was his way to test, to produce, and to discover our grit.

He loved Golden Gate's unique mission in the Bay Area and supported it with his teaching, his ideas, and his expectations. He gave us great gifts that will serve us well for many many years. What a fortune it is to have known him well.

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Posted by Jon Buckheit
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I didn't know Sam and only met him once, but I was struck by his willingness to come to the defense of John Johns during John's firing. As chairman of the audit committee, Sam publicly vouched for the quality of John's work. It wasn't a popular thing to do that that time, Sam had nothing to gain by it, but he thought it was the right thing to do. I think it is a very, very rare person who will do something like this. After all, the best definition of a hero, I believe, is one who tries to help others with no benefit and even at a cost to oneself.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 1, 2011 at 12:05 am

In Sam's death Atherton has lost a true citizen - one who cared deeply about our community and who worked ceaselessly to improve that community.

Rest in peace, Sam - you have served us all well.

Like this comment
Posted by Melinda Tevis
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Thank you Almanac for running this piece on Sam. It is wonderful to see him receive this acknowledgement for his enormous contribution and long participation within his community. This was a life to proud of. His disinterest in the glamour of either "Position" or "Prestige" made it possible for some fellow residents to forget to credit Sam with what was in fact the purest allegiance to both service and civic stewardship. Sam's native pragmatism and honest bones made him clear sighted, immune to baloney of any kind, and brave enough to stand alone if necessary in defense of both facts and principal. He offered us precisely what we have never had quite enough of around here, and he will be sorely missed. Atherton may ever remain none the wiser, but Heaven will be rolling out a red carpet for this citizen, and I expect to have a much harder time saying the Pledge of Allegiance at all future Council meetings with out Sam in the room.
Atherton just got a whole lot smaller.

Like this comment
Posted by Sandy Rodrigues
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Professor Sam Goodman was my favorite teacher at Golden Gate University. He was so smart and had such a great way of connecting with his students. He shared so many of his professional experiences with his students, and he also spoke lovingly of his family! Sam was a treasure.

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