Zelda G. Simon

[ Age 77 ] A founder of the Baltimore Ethical Society, she was a potter as well as a `real community builder'

December 31, 2006|By John-John Williams IV | John-John Williams IV,SUN REPORTER

Zelda Goldberg Simon, a founder of the Baltimore Ethical Society and a professional potter, died Dec. 24 of congestive heart failure at the Lorien Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Columbia. She was 77.

The daughter of a salesman in the garment industry and a homemaker, Zelda Goldberg attended Baltimore City schools. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from Goucher College in 1951.

She worked as an administrator for the Social Security Administration in Baltimore for several years.

It was through her work with the Baltimore Ethical Society, a creed- and doctrine-free religious fellowship, that she met her husband, Harold C. Simon, a mechanical engineer who was also a member. He died in 2002.

Mrs. Simon also made her mark through her work as a potter. She joined the Potters Guild of Baltimore in 1967.

When she moved to Columbia with her family in 1971, she established Claythings, a ceramics business. She taught classes in her home and at the Columbia Center for the Arts. Later, she taught at the Florence Bain Senior Center in Columbia.

"She was a craftsperson even before she became a potter," said a daughter, Julie Simon, a writer in Atlanta. "She loved the feel of it. She loved making things that were both functional and beautiful."

Mrs. Simon also knitted and enjoyed cooking ethnic gourmet foods.

An avid traveler, Mrs. Simon embarked on several cruises to stops that included the Panama Canal, Alaska and Hawaii.

But it was her love of community that kept her rooted in Maryland.

"She was a real community builder," her daughter said. "She liked having people around her."

She was also a member of the Democratic Coalition of Maryland, the Audubon Society of Central Maryland and two book groups.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Slayton House in the Wilde Lake Village Center, 10451 Twin Rivers Road, Columbia.

She is survived by another daughter, Jan Paris of Chapel Hill, N.C.; a son, Adam Simon of Yardley, Pa.; and three grandchildren.

john-john.williams@baltsun.com

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