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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Friday, April 22, 2005

Goldie Jane

Teacher, poet, mystery fan, cat lover, bon vivant-- Goldie Jane Feldman was one of the most interesting people I have ever known.

I knew Miss Feldman during the last 14 years of her life. She had fairly serious health problems but never let them stop her from enjoying her many activities. A diabetic, she never tried to hide the fact that she occasionally strayed from her diet.

She had a physical resemblance to the actress Ruth Gordon. Miss Feldman's outlook on life was similar to that of Gordon's character in the movie Harold and Maude.

She insisted that I call her "Goldie." I was not comfortable with that so we compromised on "Miss Goldie."

Miss Feldman always had at least one house cat. One of these was a big tom cat named Gray Boy. I recall her also regularly feeding a stray cat that came to her back door.

Once when one of her cats was very sick, she promised the Lord that she would resume her churchgoing if the cat survived.

There was an elderly black woman who had worked for years as Miss Feldman's maid. The woman's failing eyesight caused the quality of her work to suffer considerably. Miss Feldman nevertheless continued to employ her, because she knew that the woman needed the income.

Following her obituary from The Clarion-Ledger of March 19, 1997 is a poem that Miss Feldman wrote some years prior to her death.

Oh by the way: She was also a tough opponent in the game of Trivial Pursuit!


Goldie Jane Feldman, 80, of 765 Avalon Road, Jackson, a retired adjunct Latin professor, died of pneumonia Monday [March 17, 1997] at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center.

Services are 11 a.m. today [Wednesday] at First Baptist Church [Jackson] with burial at 4 p.m. in Evergreen Cemetery in Gulfport. Visitation is after 10 a.m. today at the church. Reynolds-Malatesta Funeral Home in Natchez is handling arrangements.

Miss Feldman was a Gulfport native [February 27, 1917] and a member of First Baptist Church. She was an adjunct Latin professor at Mississippi College in Clinton, a former coordinator of the hazardous devices course and a former high school teacher. During World War II, she served as a translator with the Office of Censorship in New Orleans and the Panama Canal Zone. She was a member of Eta Sigma Phi, Mortar Board, Sigma Tau Delta, and Kappa Delta Pi. She was past president of the Mississippi Poetry Society. [She received a Master of Arts degree from Mississippi College in 1970; she also attended the Jackson School of Law, predecessor of the Mississippi College School of Law, though she never practiced law.]

David Malatesta, a close friend said, "Goldie was a free spirit. Just to be in her company was a stimulating experience. Her keen wit and quick comments were always a joy."

She is survived by her sister-in-law, Katerine Feldman of Jackson.


When you see my name in an obit column,
Don't let the viewing make you solemn.
I've had great fun while I was here,
So bid me farewell without a tear.

Remember me from time to time
When you read or compose a clever rhyme;
Or when you're eating chocolate candy,
Reflect, "She would have thought that dandy!"

Or when you are watching a mystery
You think that I would like to see--
Perry Mason, Hercule Poirot,
Lord Peter Wimsey, or poor Clouseau,
Nero Wolfe or Inspector West--
It's British sleuths I like the best!

Or when you savor cuisine francaise--
Langoustes, crevettes, ou creme aux fraises;
Or if you chance to skate on ice,
A pastime I thought rather nice,

Or go to an opera matinee,
Or dress to the nines for a grande soiree;
In short, when you do these things I've done,
I'll live again when you're having fun!


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