“I always said, ‘My dad isn’t a big shot; he’s just known and loved by the right people,’ ” Beth Goldstein said.
Bob Goldstein died Friday after suffering a sudden brain hemorrhage. He was 72. His death came 12 days after that of Linda Goldstein, his wife of 41 years.
A certified public accountant, Mr. Goldstein worked with his daughter just blocks from his home in Squirrel Hill. He had visited Beth Goldstein, her husband, Jeremy Goldman; and their young daughter, Hannah Skye Goldman, the night before.
“He’d come over for dinner because we’re still getting condolence food from my mom’s death,” she said.
He phoned when he got home and thanked her for the meal, the company, and the chance to play with his granddaughter, who called him “Poppa Bob.”
“Nothing was left unsaid between us; we left every time and every conversation with ‘I love you,’ ” Ms. Goldstein added.
Her father died at UPMC Shadyside hospital after a succession of friends in the medical profession came to pay their respects. Scores of doctors, nurses and others in the field had consulted with or had their taxes done for decades by Mr. Goldstein, who made fast friendships with those who entered his orbit.
“He had clients from all over the country, residents who left the area and who could find an accountant anywhere, but they wanted to use Bob,” said Dr. Stanley Marks, who shared an apartment on Wightman Street in Squirrel Hill when they were young.
Dr. Marks, who is head of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, said Mr. Goldstein would call him in the middle of the day just to tell him a joke.
“He was, obviously, a best friend, a brother, a mentor, a confidante,” Dr. Marks said. “We went through a lot together personally.
“I honestly don’t know a single person who didn’t like Bob.”
When he and Mr. Goldstein would go to Las Vegas, it seemed as if the latter knew everyone. The casinos comped them rooms and drinks, much to Dr. Marks’ amazement.
“And here’s Bob playing the quarter slots — those are nothing. They’re treating him like a high roller,” he said.
The son of Russian immigrants, Mr. Goldstein grew up in a house on Chesterfield Road in Oakland. His father, Murray, owned Goldstein’s Bar & Grill in Uptown with Bob’s uncles Sam and Al. Athletes, including boxer Billy Conn, would drop by the Fifth Avenue restaurant, which was situated across from what is now the PPG Paints Arena.
Bob Goldstein was born on July 22,1947, and later attended Taylor Allderdice High School. Like his older brother, Shelly, Bob was enthusiastically into sports.
Bob Goldstein had varsity letters in four sports: football, basketball, volleyball and soccer. Most recently, he served as treasurer on the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame board.
Although Mr. Goldstein earned his bachelor’s degree at Penn State University, he wasn’t a Nittany Lions fan. That allegiance went to all teams from Pittsburgh, including the Pitt Panthers, Steelers, Pirates and Penguins.
He was a coach as well, inspiring his son’s travel baseball team with what Michael Goldstein would later describe as “Bobbyisms.”
“He would give us these great pep talks we loved,” Michael Goldstein said. “He’d say, ‘We’re headed to the top of the mountain! And do you know who’s going to meet us there? MO-Mentum!’”
As the family sat with him at UPMC Shadyside, visitors dropped by with stories about Bob Goldstein, and two favorite Bobbyisms came up.
“Mom had just passed away and it reminded us of when multiple bad things happen,” Michael Goldstein said. “Dad would say, ‘I felt like a boxer and at the end of the round, I went to the corner and there was no stool to sit on.’
“That and ‘All that, and now this.’ ”
“I think I always knew my dad was special,” he added. “He was warm and he wanted to be involved.”
Bob Goldstein also took an interest in the Brashear High School basketball team coached by brother Shelly. Although Bob Goldstein never legally became a guardian, he helped mentor one of the players, the late Mark Brown, who would eventually play at Pitt-Greensburg.
“My dad just started looking out for him,” Michael Goldstein said.
“My dad always said that mentoring and helping raise Mark was one of the proudest achievements of his life,” Beth Goldstein said. “This was a lesson for us, too. Dad wanted to show us no matter what you’re born into, you’re not entitled to it.
“That hard work and being a good person, that’s what gets you far in life. That’s something I carry with me.”
As a CPA, Bob Goldstein went out of his way to help others. Before same-sex marriage was legal, he would still charge couples the lower, joint-return fee even though he had to file separate returns.
“I’ll always remember the first same-sex married filing joint return he signed,” Beth Goldstein said. “He put it on my desk for me to mail and said, ‘This is progress. We’re getting there!’
“I was proud beyond measure to be his daughter.”
In addition to his son and daughter, Bob Goldstein is survived by two granddaughters.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the main sanctuary at Rodef Shalom Temple, 4905 Fifth Avenue, in Shadyside. Interment will be at Tree of Life Memorial Park in Franklin Park.
There will be no visitation. In lieu of flowers, donations will be gratefully accepted for the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame scholarship fund, JCC PGH, 5738 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217.
Beth Goldstein said the family is collecting stories about her father and requests that they be emailed to MemoriesOfBobbyG@gmail.com.