Helen Ruth Goldstein, 45, university librarian

January 05, 2004

Helen Ruth Goldstein, a librarian for American University, died Wednesday of breast cancer at Anne Arundel Medical Center after a two-year illness. She was 45 and a longtime Annapolis resident.

Born into a Navy family in Shreveport, La., she lived in Connecticut and Hawaii before her family settled in 1965 in Annapolis, where she graduated from Annapolis High School in 1976. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology in 1980 from American University and a master's degree in library science from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1981.

She began her career as a librarian while an undergraduate at American University, working as a student assistant at the university library -- where she remained after graduation and for the next 23 years. She became one of the library's chief administrators, overseeing the departments of circulation, reserves and interlibrary loans. She helped to introduce online programs for reserving books and an automated checkout system.

Mrs. Goldstein was a tenured faculty member, and her colleagues at American honored her last spring with a University Faculty Award for outstanding service to the university community. She was a member of the American Library Association and the Library Administration and Management Association.

She also was a volunteer for the Naval Academy Primary School in Annapolis and headed its silent auction for several years.

Services were Friday.

She was married in May 1996 to William J. Willard, who survives her.

Other survivors include a son, Jonathan M. DePoy, a daughter, Abigail J. Willard, her mother, Betty S. Goldstein, her father, Lawrence B. Goldstein, and her stepmother, Alice Goldstein, all of Annapolis; a grandmother, Sylvia Goldstein of Baltimore; two sisters, Jennifer Flanagan of Basking Ridge, N.J., and Amy G. Stusek of Annapolis; a brother, Eric L. Goldstein of Atlanta; and several nieces and nephews. Her marriage to Martin DePoy ended in divorce in 1990.

The family plans to establish a memorial fund to benefit research into estrogen-negative breast cancer, a rare form of the illness from which she died, her father said.

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