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Samuel Goldman

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Samuel Goldman Obituary
March 17, 1921 - June 10, 2015 Sam Goldman - Founder and President of Executive Car Leasing Company, philanthropist and family patriarch - passed away peacefully on June 10th, 2015 at the age of 94. He leaves a legacy of notable accomplishment, uncommon integrity, and dedication to the service of others. To his family, friends, and colleagues, Sam remains an ongoing source of tremendous strength and wisdom. Born in Philadelphia to Jewish immigrant parents, Sam, one of seven children, worked in his family's produce and fish market as a young boy. At seventeen, he met his lifelong love, Sooky, at a neighborhood dance. After completing high school and heading west to California to seek new opportunities - including a stint driving a Helms Bakery truck with his brother Charles - he returned east to marry Sooky in 1942. That same year, he joined the Army Air Corps as an airplane hydraulics instructor, serving overseas in the South Pacific. At the conclusion of World War II, Sam and Sooky moved to Los Angeles. A pioneer in the field of vehicle leasing, Sam founded Executive Car Leasing Company in 1954, and Executive quickly became one of the largest and most well-respected independent vehicle leasing companies in California. Sam's signature charm, decency, and kindness were recognized by all with whom he did business, including Executive's many celebrity clients, employees, and even competitors. Always partners in loving support of each other during their inspiring 71 years of marriage, Sam and Sooky raised three children in Beverly Hills, where they moved in 1953. Through their civic engagement they became and remained pillars of the community for over 60 years. They founded or co-founded and supported numerous civic organizations, including The Maple Counseling Center, People Assisting the Homeless, and The Beverly Hills Theatre Guild, as well as the Beverly Hills Fire and Police Associations. Sam and Sooky were also very politically active and helped to launch the careers of numerous outstanding public servants. Sam was proud and mindful of his heritage, establishing a grant for high school teachers to study Modern Jewish History at the Hebrew University in Israel, was a Member of the Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League, which honored him as a Man of the Year, and strongly supported the work of The Jewish Federation, among many others. One of Sam and Sooky's most significant and lasting accomplishments was the preservation of Franklin Canyon and its more than 600 acres from development, and its incorporation into the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and National Park Service. With the Sam Goldman Amphitheater and Sooky Goldman Nature Center at its heart, Franklin Canyon now provides an educational resource for thousands of children and families annually and an unspoiled nature refuge for all. Through many acts of both personal kindness and public generosity, Sam was a model of living the concept of tikun olam (healing the world), living the American dream while always focusing on making the dream possible for others. Sam was self-educated and a voracious reader who became well-versed in many fields - from finance to politics, art to philosophy. An accomplished gymnast in high school, he transitioned to tennis later in life, and enjoyed the pleasures of playing well into his 80's. Most of all, he enjoyed dancing with Sooky, a shared passion from the day they met as teenagers. Primary to Sam were his friends and, above all, his family. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Sam was predeceased by his beloved Sooky in 2014, and their youngest son, Joel Goldman (Jory Feldman) in 2002. He is survived by his children David Goldman (Myra Lurie) and Kaye Goldman Clarke (Stephen Johnson) and seven grandchildren: Cary (Meredith Dunn), Max, Zachary, Seth, Jessie, Eli, and Jonah. To them and all who knew him, Sam Goldman remains an exemplar of a life well-lived. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a .
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 26 to June 28, 2015
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