I did not know Maggie well, but I am proud to say that she she knew my name, and always made a point of saying hello when we met. She sang for a little time in Out Loud Chorus and I was so excited that she chose us! I had seen her first in action as the teacher of my friend's daughter. I watched the plays she directed, and saw pure genius in her casting. I watched her students bloom under her gaze and I knew that, had I stayed in education, I would have wanted to to be the teacher she was. And is. Death won't stop her teaching, and it will not stop us learning from her. My partner (who is 64) said, at her Memorial service, "Maggie taught me not to be afraid of aging." Maggie will still be our teacher, and I know that the love she had for Bill transcends time, transcends space, transcend death.
Maggie Goldsmith was my eighth-grade English teacher at Boynton Junior High School (that's what it was called back in 1964-65). I'm not sure if that was her first or her second year of teaching (if you know me, you know my long-term memory is woeful), but she was only ten years my senior (seemed like a lot more then), and can't have been teaching for long. I do not recall the names of most of the teachers I had throughout school; only a few made a mark that has stuck.
But I vividly remember Mrs. Goldsmith, with her bright blue eyes and long blond hair--stunning to look at, for starters. She taught us Greek mythology, which I had never much cottoned to but did my best to embrace under her enthusiastic guidance. She taught us a poem by Amy Lowell called "Patterns," which I recall to this day. And she had us keep a journal, which we were to name "Miscellany," a word I found utterly exotic as a 13-year-old. Eighth grade was the beginning of my lifelong journal keeping, and no doubt the start of my love for literature and writing, too. Mrs. Goldsmith was an inspiration.
One day in class, sitting with one arm wrapped around the back of her chair, Mrs. Goldsmith let go a huge sneeze, followed by a pinched shout of "Ouch!" A few quiet moments later, as we all stared and worried, she said, "Never sneeze with your arm holding onto a chair that way; I just wrenched the heck out of my neck": and I never have.
My return to Ithaca in 2010 closed many circles--coming home after forty years elsewhere, to live near Mom and my brother again, renewing ties with old Ithaca friends, living in the house I grew up in, reuniting with my dear high school friend and now s. otter, Arthur—so many early experiences revisited and resumed. When I learned that Maggie Goldsmith, performing in Ross's 2011 production of *A Midsummer Night's Dream,* was *my* Mrs. Goldsmith, I was overjoyed. I've seen her once or twice since that discovery, and we corresponded a little.
Today, I attended the moving celebration of her life at the First Unitarian Church (the church of my youth), which was jam-packed to standing-room-only with Maggie's family and family of friends. She was a prodigiously productive and generous woman, deeply loved and respected by her entire community. I am profoundly sad that her life ended too soon (at age 72).
It's been a month of terrible losses. But there are also gains. What matters lives on. The talents and gifts in me that Mrs. Goldsmith nurtured and watered sustain me to this day. I am so grateful she was my teacher all those years ago, and I will always cherish the chance I had to close that circle of friendship.
I taught with Maggie at ACS for a few years in the early 1980s. What a brilliant and versatile teacher she was! I was struck by the crystal clear sense of purpose that informed everything she said and did. On the first day of school each year she displayed a unique skill, the ability to memorize the names of all of the 30 or so new students immediately after the first round of introductions, which provided a little glimpse into her enormous gifts and helped these students to feel welcomed into the ACS community.
Maggie's generous energy has been taken much too soon. It is a great loss.
My sincere condolences to Maggie's family.
Maggie, the Voices chorus will remember you always. We'll miss your song and your theatre expertise, but most of all we'll miss your joyous and magnanimous spirit. Thanks for what you've given us - your memory will continue to inspire.
So busy finding the right words to capture my memories of Maggie, I forgot to sign my note above ...it was a privilege to learn from Maggie, especially preparing for that Macbeth performance with middle schoolers. What a light to the world she brought!
Dry ice emanating from backstage at a Macbeth performance at the Unitarian Church, a surprise jazz band number performed at an All School Meeting for an important birthday,hikes on the Finger Lakes Trail,quiet hands stitching away during staff meetings at ACS,classroom teaching that brought literature alive and a radiant smile. These are all images of Maggie that come to mind as I think of the inspiring teacher I knew during my time working at ACS. Maggie gave so much to all of us and I am blessed to have known her. My condolences to the Goldsmith family.
Over the years that I knew Maggie through politics and as my daughter Adrian's teacher at ACS, I always was struck by her kindness and her enthusiasm. She was a golden light shining in our lives. I will miss her very much.
My heart is with you all in Ithaca, with Bill and family Maggie was always proud of, yet some of Maggie--and Bill- are here in Rome where as long lost cousins we met again, and became friends. it is hard to believe we won't be meeting for lunch soon in a sunny piazza. Maggie, you were generous, smart, funny, lovely, loving, and as Franz used to always remark, " so beautiful." You'll never be forgotten, only terribly missed.
La triste notizia mi ha veramente colpito. Condoglianze.
Maggie was a close friend for over 40 years. She was an inspiration to me in the way she held her family close, her musicality and in her passion for her dramatic craft and teaching. Whenever I was with Maggie, I felt calm and centered. She had that easy-going way about her that was truly spiritual. There is a big hole in my life, but thank God she has family and friends who will carry on her legacy of love, art and service to others.
Maggie was a wonderful and powerful woman who touched many lives in myriad ways. She lives on in Beth, Jean and Julie--my three children. She taught all three to express themselves, one as an adolescent learning to write, the second as a five year old at summer day camp,and the third in Children's theater workshop. And Paul and I will always treasure our walks and adventures together in Rome.
I knew Maggie through our mutual involvement with the Adoptive Families Association of Tompkins County. Though them her daughter Ana became good friends with my daughter Laura. Both had been born in Columbia and made an instant connection, which has lasted to this day. I have been continually overwhelmed by Maggie's inner beauty, charm, and commitment to good works. Condolences to Ana, Bill and the rest of the family.
Working with Maggie for many years at LACS was such a privilege. How much we all learned from her, from her kindness, her humility, her joy, her love of children, her teaching skills. She made us better people. We all loved her so.
I was always struck by Maggie's extraordinary beauty. It's the kind of beauty that has nothing to do with features but with a way of being in the world. I'm so grateful that one of my daughters was able to take a class with her. She has left us way too early.
I am most fortunate to have been blessed by the company of Maggie during my seven years or so in Ithaca (and also on a few precious occasions since those days), and I am terribly saddened at the loss of this model of a human being--the most generous and inspiring teacher of kids and friend of humanity. I got to know her through my PhD supervisor Bill Goldsmith and my deepest sympathies go to him and their kids as well as grandkids. May her spirit be forever with us! Kanishka
She was a lovely person of great warmth, intellect, and charm.
Maggie reached out and "Touched My Heart" in 1966, 8th grade English. I've never forgotton her. I got to know her as an adult after I came to work in the ICSD in 1988. Oh my....there are so many adjectives to use. Thank you Maggie for being you, God Bless. I feel blessed for having known you.
Maggie was a creative, generous teacher and thoughtful cheerleader for all learners.
We cheer the way she touched the world,
Martha Frommelt and David Feldshuh and Hannah Feldshuh, LACS Graduate
Dear Bill and family,
It was always a pleasure working with Maggie. David and I send our good thoughts to all of you,
Nancy and David Gersh
My dear Maggie--Of course our wonderful community will go on without you, but it will simply not be the same without your shining presence--especially in VOICES and the ICC where we sang together. I'll never forget the fun we had doing the research and writing the script for the Tribute to Broadway VOICES concert last spring. We learned so much together and were so excited to be the emcees for the show in lieu of Billy Crystal.. Alas,
we both ended up sick that night. My deepest condolences to Bill and your lovely family of whom you were so proud. What a beautiful, bright model you have been to me. Lovingly,
The world loses another Thompson and is the sadder for it. Rest in peace beautiful and know the song doesn't sound the same without your voice singing along...
My sincere condolences to Bill and all of Maggie's family. I came to know Maggie through VOICES about five years ago. She was an amazing woman: full of life, boundless energy, and one of the most kind and giving souls I have ever met. I will truly miss the sparkle in her eye and her remarkable spirit that gave to everyone, asking nothing in return. Thank you, Maggie.
8th grade, E building. The year was 1982. I told Maggie I'd been reading A Tale of Two Cities. First of all, I wanted to tell her. Second, she responded that she "allowed herself one Dickens a year." Her passion for literature was unmistakable. She was excited about my choice of reading, and she was with me. In an instant, at age 12, I saw she was a kindred spirit. Later in the school year she oversaw my transport to the fairy realm of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which I played Puck. Rest in peace, beloved teacher.
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended—
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearnèd luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long.
Else the Puck a liar call.
So good night unto you all.
Give me your hands if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
That these words are drilled into my head forever is your doing. Thank you.
Maggie was a wonderful teacher and an all around great person. I was lucky to take several of her English classes when I was at ACS in the 80s. My condolences to her family. She will be missed.
What a treasure of a woman and what a loss. Maggie gifted so many young people with her commitment and belief in them and the community at large with her thoughtful contributions wherever she walked. I feel blessed to have known her, even from afar.
A great teacher at LACS I was in her PAL class I loved her so much
I am so sorry to hear of Maggie's passing. She introduced me to English in 7th grade and then encouraged me to try the spelling bee. While I did well on paper, I learned a valuable lesson in the oral competition as I decided to try coffee for the first time that morning... I will always remember her winning smile and gentle spirit.
Our condolences to Maggie's family.
She made a huge difference in a lot of peoples lives, mine included.
Some of my fondest memories my childhood were the plays Maggie produced at NJHP and the Saturday rehearsals at her house.
Maggie, You were an inspiration to so many kids myself among them. My first play under your tutelage, back in the Fall of 1980 when I was merely 10. It was "Robin Hood", an idea that I first proposed in class that you immediately validated, we voted on it, and ... we suddenly realised had a play to write and you had just tricked us! Yet through patient guidance, you walked us through actively role playing the parts. From that we developed a reasonable script, made all of our props and costumes, and then performed it at Central School. As "Allen-a-Dale", you let me pick the Baroque musical interlude by Henry Purcell, which inspired further musical accompaniments. Little did I know then that much of what we did was not far off from how plays in the 17th century were often written and performed, but if you had told us, it would have seemed dull to such young and free spirts.
Yet that experience was nothing compared to magic of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", performed at the First Street Playhouse. You transformed studying Shakespeare into something any kid, no matter how young, could access and enjoy. That is no small accomplishment.
To say that I am happy to have known you is an understatement; it was an honour and privilege, and you shall always be greatly missed.
I was among so many privileged to know and work with Maggie and to have my daughter and nieces taught by her.
We are so sorry to loose a wonderful friend and neighbor. I remember Maggie as a gradstudent when she and Bill hosted us on a warm Spring day at the house on the By Way; we remember her at the community school of music when the chidren practiced; we remember her at parties on Judd Falls road and also up at the lake. Most importantly, Stella and I will remember her smile and gentle ways for years to come. Our sincere condolences to you Bill, Nick, Tess and Ana. Our love to you all, Kris and Stella
Not to long ago, I was the recipient of Maggie's gentle wink. Making it feel as if I knew her for a long time. That I had the opportunity be kind and gentle to her. Just for her bright warm eyes,to her contentment of her tapping fingers. It was a moment of time that I will never forget. May you all find contentment during this very sad loss. Each time I see the Lake I will alway be reminded of the gentle person I meant.
I was privileged to meet Maggie a year or so ago when I was passing through Ithaca. Linda Farthing gave me Maggie's number: she most generously spent an entire afternoon telling me about theatre in Ithaca. I was touched by her willingness to help a total stranger. stranger. What a lovely soul! My condolences to the family, Sincerely, Jean Elliott Manning
My condolences to the family, she sounds like she was a remarkable woman.
maggie you r a gem n all of ithaca loves you tazio n i do !!!
Deepest of condolences to Nick and the rest of Maggie's family, from Chris Balestra and the Town of Ithaca Planning Department. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
My condolences to Maggie's family. Maggie was such an amazing person! I loved singing with her in VOICES and will miss her beautiful face and spirit.
My your beautiful soul bring us light from up there, dearest Maggie.
Alba Sancho and family
I send my deepest sympathies to Maggie's family and her many friends, or whom I am honored to say, I am one. I shared the stage with dear Maggie several times, and will always remember those times of intense work and play with incredible happiness. I admire Maggie immensely. Such a beauty in so many ways.
I had the honor of teaching with Maggie in the '70s at ACS.She was an exceptional person with a deeply humble spirit. What a loss this is to Ithaca. My heartfelt condolences to Bill and her family.
Maggie inspired me deeply with her profound influence on my three daughters - Dafina, Maryam, and Amina Blacksher. She also invited me into her classroom to teach the principles of Kwanzaa. Her huge love and compassion has left an indelible mark on the lives of many people.
Our deepest condolences to Bill and family. Maggie was, as you say, a wonder!! A true wonder-woman!
Love to all of you,
Anne & Ira Brous
Thanks, Maggie, for terrific teaching, inspirational directing, and cheerful hiking. You were indeed a special spark in my children's lives.
- mother of a musketeer and veteran of pouring rain every day trips week hike
Dear beautiful Maggie,
I am deeply pained by hearing of your passing.
Maggie was one of my best memories of growing up in Ithaca - a truly incandescent spirit. What an inspirational life she led!
I was lucky enough to have had Maggie as my teacher for a semester while I was in high school and I will never forget her! She taught me how to write poetry and to love life. My thoughts go out to her family and friends, she will be missed!
Maggie was an inspiration, full of light and vitality, humble and compassionate. How fortunate we are to have had her in our community and world.
My heart goes out to Maggie's family and everyone who knew her. She was an exceptional person who touched others very deeply. Barbara West
My deepest condolences to Maggie's family. This obituary perfectly articulates Maggie's beautiful spirit, especially the part about her bright smile balanced with a look that could put every student in line. Her energetic dedication to us as students at ACS was compelling, as I was in her family group, hiking group, English class and theater productions. She will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.
She was a lovely person -- a wonderful teacher for a teenaged boy, as I was in the 70s. My sympathies to those who loved her and will miss her.
Sorry for your Loss.Maggie was a beautiful spirit.