Marvin W. Goldberg, 73, ran department store

July 03, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

He was a detective and a department store manager. A deli operator and a race-car driver. An agent for jockeys, a pool hall entrepreneur and a fire chief.

And there were other professions that Marvin W. Goldberg performed -- each with equal zest and sincerity.

Perhaps Mr. Goldberg, 73, who died Monday of heart failure at his Cockeysville home, will be best remembered as proprietor of the old Goldberg's Department Store on York Road in Cockeysville.

Or, will his tenure -- albeit short -- as chief of the Cockeysville Volunteer Fire Department stand out most? How about his days as a private eye?

Regardless, Mr. Goldberg never met a task he felt was beyond his means.

"He never believed that [there] was something he couldn't do," said his son, Marvin Goldberg Jr. of New Park, Pa. "He did almost everything. He did what he wanted to do. If he had a dream, he'd do it."

A Baltimore native, Mr. Goldberg worked as a drummer for several area bands and raced dogs as a youth. He graduated from Friends School in 1943 and joined the Navy the next year, serving as a corpsman during World War II.

He was discharged in 1945 and worked in several occupations, including as a stock car driver at tracks in Maryland and Virginia until the mid-1950s.

Mr. Goldberg managed Goldberg's Department Store -- a one-level, family-established, turn-of-the-century, former feed store -- from the mid-1950s until it closed in 1964. His father began the business, and Mr. Goldberg maintained its proud tradition.

"He always ran a good business," said Sarah Davenport, a longtime Towson resident and former employee at Goldberg's store. "He seemed to always have everything in hand to make the business successful."

He was the chief for the Cockeysville Volunteer Fire Department in 1964, then operated a York Road motorcycle sales and repair shop until the late 1960s, when he opened United Security, also in Cockeysville.

For that occupation, which offered services that ranged from investigations and surveillance to guard duty, Mr. Goldberg obtained a detective's license.

"I think he really liked that business," his son said.

He closed the security firm in the late 1970s and was an agent for race horse jockeys, seeing countless races and traveling to tracks at Laurel, Pimlico and Timonium to represent his clients.

In the mid-1980s, he and his son operated a deli in Cockeysville, which closed in 1988. He briefly had a carpet-cleaning business before becoming manager of the Back Door Cue Club in Cockeysville, where he worked until his death.

"He was just a good man who enjoyed staying busy," said Robert Lenane, a friend who owned a business near Mr. Goldberg's motorcycle store. "He showed a lot of initiative in everything he did. With him, everything was possible."

Mr. Goldberg was a member of the Maryland Jockey Club and continued to belong to the Cockeysville Volunteer Fire Department until his death.

He married Ida Massey in the 1950s. She died in the 1960s.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today at Lemmon Funeral Home of Dulaney Valley, 10 W. Padonia Road.

In addition to his son, he is survived by a daughter, Pamela Dor- fler of Stewartstown, Pa.; and four grandchildren.

Pub Date: 7/03/98

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