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Herbert E. Goldberg

  • "I worked closely with Herbert during his brief stay in Tel..."
    - George (Ze'ev) Lowy
  • "I remember Herb as always cheerful, brimming with energy,..."

Herbert E. Goldberg 96, of Concord, died at home on December 23. An inventor and engineer, he was an avid outdoorsman who hiked and skied throughout New England and the Alps. He was born in Leipzig Germany at the start of World War I, the son of a scientist, inventor, industrialist and outdoorsman, who was a founder of the Zeiss-Ikon camera company. He grew up in Dresden, Germany, until graduation from high school. However in 1933 his life was totally changed when his father was forced to leave Gerrnany, and had to flee with his wife to France, without the children. Herb cared for his 8 year old sister and finished school in Dresden. He and his sister escaped to France by pretending to be visiting their parents, leaving all possessions behind. In Paris Herb received his degree in optical engineering at the Sorbonne. In 1937 the rest of his family moved to Palestine. However Herb emigrated to the United States to work at Kodak Laboratories, Google of the era, in Rochester, New York. There he met and married his late wife Frances and they had their first son, Dwight, in 1947. Herb wrote articles on the nature of color photography, one of which appeared as the feature story in Life magazine on July 4, 1944, and was involved in producing advanced instruments for the Army. In 1950 Herb took a long leave of absence to work with his father in Israel and moved his family there, returning to the US in 1953 for the birth of their second son, Bret. Upon his return he started a business based on his patents for a widely-used instrument known as the refractometer. A few years later he sold his business to American Optical Company and joined them as chief engineer at their instrument division in Keene, NH. After 11 years in Keene Herb returned to France to complete work on a doctorate in optical engineering. Upon his return from Paris he continued work at American Optical in Bedford MA, where he helped develop medical instruments including the first demand heart pacemaker and an advanced EKG monitor. In 1967 he moved with his family to a home on the Sudbury River in the Conantum neighborhood of Concord. Herb was known to neighbors in Conantum as able and ready to help fix anything mechanical. Following the death of his wife, Herb developed a close loving relationship with Nancy Cronin of Concord. Together they hiked and traveled widely in North America and Europe, often with his sister Renate and her husband Mordechai. In 1995 Herb moved to Newbury Cour t where he was president of the residents association and helped to set up the staff scholarship committee. He was also active with the Appalachian Mountain Club, enjoying hiking, cross-country skiing, and canoeing . In addition to his dear friend Nancy, he leaves his two sons, Dwight Golann of Newton and Bret Golann of Hinesburg, VT, his sister and brother-in-law, Renate and Mordechai Gichon of Tel Aviv, Israel, his daughters-in-law Helaine Golann of Newton and Deborah Light of Hinesburg, and grandchildren David, Aspen, Colden and Skye. Burial will be private; the date of a memorial service will be announced. Contributions in his name may be made to the Appalachian Mountain Club, 5 Joy St., Boston MA 02108.

Published in The Concord Journal from Jan. 4 to Jan. 11, 2011
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