Stanley Goleburn, DDS
Formerly of Wilmington, DE, passed away peacefully in West Palm Beach, FL on January 29th. Born in Wilmington on July 15, 1925, to parents Paul and Rose, he grew up working in the family's general store with his brother Maurice, who pre-deceased him.
After attending Wilmington High School and the University of Delaware, Stanley enrolled in Temple Dental School in Philadelphia. He interned at the Delaware State Hospital and served as a dentist in the United States Army
, stationed at Fort Bragg. Stanley enjoyed telling the story of the enlisted man who saluted him as he walked past, and being new to the Army, he neglected to tell the soldier, "At ease," so he worried the man is still standing there at attention.
Stanley practiced a short time in Wilmington, then opened an office on Main Street in Newark when Chrysler announced they were building a tank factory there during the Korean War
. Chrysler employees would become a significant part of his dental practice.
As time went on, he built the Newark Medical Building and moved his practice to the other end of Main Street. Eventually he and several partners built an adjacent building, both of which housed several well-known medical and dental practices. In practice for over fifty years, many life-long patients still share their memories when they visit his later practice, Bear-Glasgow Dental. Stanley was a Life Member of the Delaware State Dental Society.
In the early 1970's - before New Castle County paramedics, and before Christiana Hospital was built - when Newark residents were faced with a long ambulance ride to Wilmington for emergency care, Stanley undertook the monumental task of founding the first free-standing, non-profit, 24-hour emergency room in the country, the Newark Emergency Room (now the Newark Emergency Center). Nothing like it had existed before and Stanley was proud to have spearheaded the effort. Countless patients in need were served at a time when there were few, if any, alternatives. Long, stressful hours meeting with politicians, financial backers, doctors, and contractors, were not spent in vain - many Newark area lives have been saved since its founding.
During his long life, Stanley had many pursuits. He flew a Cessna plane, owned a riding horse, a series of boats, and convertible cars, and he loved designing, buying and selling houses. He enjoyed real estate transactions and often had one or another beach area condominium, and always had his entrepreneurial eye on the next one. Besides going to the beach, particularly his childhood favorite, Atlantic City, Stanley loved to play tennis. He had a regular group of cronies he played with at the Rodney Street courts, the Wilmington Racquets Club, and several other clubs around town.
A story that sums him up well was once recounted in a News Journal interview with the late Superior Court Judge Leonard Williams. Early in his practice in Newark, when racial prejudice was overt in the country, Stanley got an after hours emergency call from Blue Hens Coach David Nelson, who explained that he had a black football player who needed an emergency extraction. The coach was calling around and nobody was willing to see him after hours. Coach Nelson asked if Stanley was willing to help; Stanley said, "Well of course! I'll head to my office right now." He extracted the tooth, and the young player went on to play a great game later that day.
Years later, after that player had gone on to become the first black judge in Delaware, Stanley and Judge Williams fell into the same group of Sunday tennis players and got to talking. Upon learning that Stanley was a dentist, Judge Williams told him the story of when he was a Blue Hen player with a toothache that would have made him miss a game and the coach had a tough time finding someone who would treat a black man on the weekend. Only then did they both realize with whom they had become tennis buddies.
Few people possess the English grammar skills Stanley had mastered. Having considered becoming an English teacher, he was adept at vocabulary, spelling, speaking, writing and could give a detailed explanation as to why a verb conjugation or syntax was correct or incorrect. However, his mastery of English grammar was eclipsed by his mastery of humor. Whether telling a classic joke, charming an apprehensive dental patient with levity, playing the jester in a restaurant, or instantly delivering a witty one-liner appropriate to the situation, he certainly kept us laughing. There is simply no way to describe his uncanny comedic ability and timing.
Stanley's life story is also one of battling illness. Over thirty years ago, quadruple bypass surgery was just the first of several cardiac procedures he would endure. Like many, his life was a balance between strict attention to diet, exercise and medication, and being less strict at times. To know him was to know someone with a true zest for life and activity and it was only in recent years, when his health absolutely made him slow down, that he finally did so.
Stanley leaves behind his wife of almost 53 years, Marcia, daughter Stacy (of Boca Raton,) son Joel (of San Francisco,) son Glen and his wife Michelle (of Wilmington,) daughter Claudia (of Chicago,) and grandchildren Rachael, Aaron, Paul, Alyssa, Brook, and TJ.
Friends are invited to join the family for a service to celebrate the wonderful life of this dear sweet man 10:00 a.m. Sunday, February 2, 2014 at Schoenberg Memorial Chapel, 519 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to the