Niantic - Sheila Lefcourt Goldman passed away peacefully April 15, 2021. She was a first generation immigrant, the daughter of Sara Fern Ellner and Raymond Lefcourt. She was forever proud of her father who opened and ran a corner drugstore during the depression.
Raised on Staten Island, Sheila attended Curtis High School and Cornell University, graduating in 1953, with honors in philosphy. Sheila was a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority and a campus reporter for The Cornell Daily Sun. She minored in mathematics and was awarded membership in the Kappa Delta Epsilon honor society for her service excellence as a student teacher in the Ithaca schools. During her junior year, Sheila met Irving Goldman, and they married in 1952. Last August they celebrated their 68th anniversary.
Sheila followed Irv to MIT in Cambridge, Mass., where she worked as an engineering technician in their supersonic wind tunnel design laboratory. She went on to work as a chemical librarian at Arthur D. Little, Inc. During a one-year residence in Cincinnati, Sheila worked with engineers at General Electric on the design of jet engine blades. She and Irv returned to Cambridge, in 1957, and she assumed her former position at ADL. In 1960, Irv began his career as a research chemist at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, and they moved to Niantic. Daughter Alix was born in 1961, and son Glenn in 1965.
She furthered her education in computer programming at Connecticut College in New London. In 1980, she began a 15-year career teaching middle school students in French, computer programming and mathematics at the Pine Point School in Stonington. Sheila integrated technology into the classroom and was an early member of the International Council for Computers in Education. Sheila was so proud of her award-winning Math Counts students. In 1994, she was nominated for a Presidential Teaching Award. She retired at the end of the 1995 academic year. At each year's graduation from Pine Point, the school faculty recognizes the middle school student who "displays the curiosity, joy of discovery, and problem-solving skills that are fundamental to mathematics" with the Goldman Award for Excellence in Mathematics.
Retirement provided time to enjoy family and to travel. Moving to be near family in Vermont after Irv's retirement, together they enjoyed hiking, cross-country skiing, their golden retriever, Molly, cooking, writing, reading, socializing and regular exercise and more continuous appreciation for the beauty of nature, gardening, birding and photography. Sheila most enjoyed playing a role in the early childhoods of her five grandchildren, all of whom are now professionals. Sheila and Irv built their lives together with love, mutual support and admiration.
Sheila was predeceased by her husband Irv. They are survived by their daughter, Dr. Alix Casler; Alix's children, Sam, Matthew and Nicholas Casler; Sheila's and Irv's son, Dr. Glenn Goldman and his children Gregory and Jeffrey; Glenn's partner Nina Curtiss and her son Sam; her sister Bette Hadler and her family of Boulder, Colo.; and extended family in Illinois and Arizona. She has also enjoyed her close friendship with Irv's remaining cousin, Dr. Richard Goldman, who also retired in Vermont.
The family extends our deepest thanks to Dr. Frank Landry for his compassionate care over many years. They also express thanks to Drs. Adam Kunin, Todd Holmes and Peter Cataldo and their staffs at the UVM Medical Center.
Contributions in Sheila's memory should be made to the Fund for Teaching Excellence at Pine Point School, 89 Barnes Road, Stonington, CT 06378. There will be no formal funeral, but rather a Celebration of Life at a later date.
Published in The Day on Apr. 20, 2021.