Kenneth Goldsmith
March 21, 2014

GOLDSMITH, KENNETH:  Who as a young man during World War II flew 30 missions over Germany as a U.S. Army Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress bomber crewman, returned home to Pittsburgh to marry, help raise four children, and ultimately pursue his passion for commercial real estate development and brokerage, died peacefully on March 21, 2014, his 61st wedding anniversary.  He was 89.  He was born in Pittsburgh on October 12, 1924, and grew up in the city's Squirrel Hill section.  His parents were the lawyer and department store owner and executive, Malcolm Goldsmith, originally of Braddock, Pennsylvania, and the former Mildred Adler Baer, of Charleston, West Virginia.  Goldsmith attended the Wightman School and Shadyside Academy in Pittsburgh, and completed high school at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio.  In 1943, at age 19, following training in aircraft engine mechanics, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force.  He served aboard B-17s as a flight engineer, crew chief, and machine gunner.  The Eighth Air Force bomber group to which he was assigned staged daytime missions from its base near Kimbolton, England, over industrial targets in then Nazi-controlled Germany, striking enemy munitions and ball bearing plants, refineries, rail yards, and airfields.  He lost close friends when anti-aircraft flack exploded a bomber flying in formation next to his.  After the war, Goldsmith attended Kenyon College, then served as an assistant service manager in Akron, Ohio, for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.  His father's family co-owned and operated "The Famous," two department stores in the then-thriving steel mill communities of Braddock and McKeesport.  Goldsmith worked as a manager for The Famous in Braddock from 1948 to 1955.  He then shifted to commercial real estate, working as an associate broker for Joseph A. Aronson Realtors and J.J. Gumberg Company, before forming his own commercial and industrial real estate brokerage, K. Goldsmith & Co., in 1964.  Goldsmith was among the first real estate developers to recognize the historic and aesthetic value of the commercial buildings on Fort Pitt Boulevard in downtown Pittsburgh that fronted the Monongahela River, an area which came to be known as First Side.  Alone and with partners he purchased and redeveloped a handful of buildings there, and in other parts of the city.  He loved his work and continued with it until he was 87.  Goldsmith, like his father, believed strongly in community service.  He served as president of Braddock Medical Center (strongly but ultimately unsuccessfully advocating its independence from UPMC), Heritage Health Foundation, East Boroughs and East Valley Area Councils of the Boy Scouts of America, and Forbes Neighborhood Association.  He was a vice president of the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, a life trustee of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, a trustee of Rodef Shalom Congregation (and an active member of its Cemetery Committee), a director of the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society, the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania, the First National Bank of Braddock, a member of the Braddock and Pittsburgh Rotary Clubs, and a trustee of Western Reserve Academy.  He was a member of the Concordia Club (serving as president and house committee chairman) and the Duquesne Club.  Goldsmith met his wife, the former Lillian Hyman, of New Orleans, Louisiana, while on a trip to New York City.  He had phoned a relative, but she was away.  The roommate, Lillian, answered the phone in a southern accent.  She had prior plans with a friend, but agreed to walk a few blocks with Goldsmith.  He was smitten. The couple had just six, long-distance dates, before they married.  Their children are Kenneth Douglas Goldsmith, of Pittsburgh, Mildred Baer (Simon D.) Palley of London, England, Malcolm Goldsmith II of San Francisco, California, and Frederick Baer Goldsmith of Pittsburgh.  Their grandchildren are William Baer Palley, Oliver Kenneth Palley, and Malcolm Frederick Palley.  Goldsmith's older brother, Joel, a women's clothing retailer, of Chappaqua, New York, and Truro, Massachusetts, predeceased him.  Goldsmith loved his family and traveling with them for hiking and sightseeing in the western U.S., Canadian Rockies, and Alaska, horseback riding at Eaton's Ranch in Wolf, Wyoming, and on excursions to France, Greece, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Russia, Egypt, Morocco, India, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Caribbean, and particularly to the beaches and ponds of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He also loved food, particularly pastries, swimming, bicycling, reading novels late into the night, and the companionship of his golden retrievers, Gus and Charlie.  His family will miss his warmth, good heart, love, friendship, generosity, long handwritten letters, and especially joining in his infectious, tear-inducing laughter. Services and Interment were PRIVATE at West View Cemetery of Rodef Shalom Congregation. A Memorial Service will be announced at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc.


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