Hazel H. Goldstein, 79, lawyer and state comptroller's wife

April 21, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen and Caitlin Francke | Fred Rasmussen and Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

Hazel H. Goldstein, a Calvert County lawyer and the wife of state Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein, died yesterday morning of cardiac arrest at Calvert Memorial Hospital in Prince Frederick. She was 79.

As the longest-running political wife in Maryland's history and perhaps the most famous, Mrs. Goldstein was known throughout the state as her husband's "wife Hazel," the subject of numerous stories in which Mr. Goldstein would evoke her name to address a particular issue.

Mr. Goldstein yesterday remembered his wife of 48 years as his sweetheart, his law partner and his business partner. They would pore over issues together and always, he said, his wife would have the right answer.

"She was my best and closest adviser and friend," Mr. Goldstein said.

When they met in 1947, they just exchanged flirtatious waves in the state legislature, where she was a secretary to a lawmaker and he was a newly elected senator. But four months later, in July, they married.

"A short courtship and the best, I reckon, a man could ever ask for," Mr. Goldstein said.

Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening said Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein were more than just husband and wife, they were soul mates.

"Together they were a team, partners and each other's best friend," Mr. Glendening said. "As Louis told me on many occasions, he thanked God every day for being able to share so much of his life with her."

Mrs. Goldstein's sharp wit and down-home charm made her a popular figure on the political scene. Politicians, from the late Robert F. Kennedy when he was U.S. attorney general, to lobbyists, ended up as guests at Mrs. Goldstein's dinner table, said Frank A. DeFilippo, a political commentator.

"She was a live-wire, a real spark plug," Mr. DeFilippo said. "There has never been any pretense about either one of them. They're just down-home people."

And Mrs. Goldstein never stood in her husband's shadow.

"She was in her own way every bit as strong a personality and well-liked as he was," said Marvin A. Bond, assistant state comptroller.

During her husband's early years in politics as a delegate and state senator, Mrs. Goldstein was his de facto staff, Mr. Bond said. She often would campaign with him and accompany him places but, toward the end of her life, that tapered off in part because she had arthritis and was unable to shake hands, Mr. Bond said.

Still, Mrs. Goldstein remained active in Democratic affairs in Calvert County as a member of the Calvert County Women's Democratic Club. A lawyer since graduating in 1939 from the Washington College of Law, now part of American University, Mrs. Goldstein maintained a general practice in Calvert County until retiring in 1980.

She was born Hazel Horton in Newport, Tenn., and came to Washington during the 1930s to work for the Department of Agriculture. In 1947, she moved to Annapolis to serve on the staff of Harold Sothoron, then state Senate majority leader from Prince George's County.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Trinity United Methodist Church, 90 Church St., Prince Frederick, where Mrs. Goldstein was a longtime member. Burial will follow at the Wesley United Methodist Cemetery in Prince Frederick. A viewing is planned from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 today at the church.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Goldstein is survived by a son, Philip Goldstein of Chesapeake Beach; and two daughters, Louisa Goldstein and Margaret Senate Goldstein, both of Prince Frederick. Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 2142, Prince Frederick 20678; or Calvert Memorial Hospital, 100 Hospital Road, Prince Frederick.

Pub Date: 4/21/96

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