Editor’s note: This story is being republished due to an earlier technical difficulty that prevented some readers from being able to view the entire article.
Dr. Fred Goldman celebrated his 100th birthday April 12. That means he was born two days before the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. But not only has Fred outlived the Titanic by a full century, he is still hale and hearty and enjoying life to the max.
During lunch at the Klein Jewish Community Center in Somerton, his friends were cheering for him and for other senior members whose birthdays also fall in April. At least two of the attendees will be celebrating their 100th birthday within the next year.
The women were dancing in the aisles or sawing and clapping at their lunch tables to the music of ’50s singer Joey “Presley.” It seemed all – including adult services program director Shelley Geltzer and vice president Barbara Shotz – were waiting in line to dance with the dapper Goldman. And so was his friend for the last 75 years, Terri Diamond.
As one of the photographers shooting this event, it was a joy to be among a group of such vibrant and energetic senior citizens whose lives are full and who enjoy warm, close personal relationships.
Many called me over to recommend that I photograph a friend, and several clamored to tell me their own fascinating life stories.
Just about everyone welcomed the opportunity to have their photo taken. It was clear that the KJCC has played a major role in keeping their senior members young and vital.
Born in Philadelphia, Fred never moved away from the city. He attended Southwark Elementary School on South Ninth Street, followed by South Philadelphia High School. A retired podiatrist who received his degree from Temple University’s School of Podiatry, Goldman and his wife Celia were among the founders of Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine, now part of Temple.
Fred and Celia raised three sons: Jeff, a teacher; Eric, a civil engineer; and Dr. Noah Goldman, who following in his dad’s footsteps (pun intended) and became a podiatrist.
Fred currently enjoys reading, and is working his way through the Torah. He is also a craftsman, working in both wood and Plexiglass. Some of his recent projects include bookends, clocks, and bedroom and living room furniture.
When Geltzer asked Fred what his advice would be for people who want to enjoy a long and happy life, he quickly replied with a sly grin, “They should just mind their own business!”
The crowd cheered.