Obituary of Leo Gold
Leo Gold passed away peacefully on May 7, 2023 at the age of 96. Though born in Brooklyn, New York, Leo truly was a son of Stamford. Leo was only six months old when he first arrived in Stamford in 1927 with his parents, Sam and Sophie, and his older sister, Jean, and he was to remain a resident of the city for almost his entire life. Shortly after their arrival in Stamford, Leo’s parents opened an Italian American grocery on West Main Street, a store they would own and operate at that same location for nearly 50 years. A product of the Stamford public schools, Leo attended Stevens Elementary School, Cloonan Junior High School, and graduated from Stamford High School in 1945.
Four days after his high school graduation, Leo was inducted into the United States Army. He served in Germany, arriving overseas in December 1945, and took great pride in having been among the GIs who erected tent cities to house survivors of the Holocaust. In interacting with those who found shelter in these temporary camps and as one of a relatively small number of GIs conversant in Yiddish, Leo became friendly with some of these survivors and when he returned from Germany, he visited with and delivered messages to their relatives in the states – many of whom had been unable to communicate with their loved ones in Europe since the outbreak of World War II.
After completing his military service and with the help of the GI Bill, Leo attended New York University and became the first member of his family to graduate from college. Having majored in journalism at NYU, Leo became a reporter for WSTC, the Stamford radio station, and later for the Bridgeport Sunday Herald newspaper as its Stamford Bureau Chief. While at the Herald, Leo enrolled at the New York School of Law, graduating and passing the bar in 1960. He practiced on his own for several years until he teamed up with an attorney who would become like a brother to him, Isadore Mackler, in a law firm partnership that lasted for nearly 40 years. After Mr. Mackler’s passing in 2002, Leo joined the law firm of Benjamin and Gold, where he served of counsel until he retired from the practice of law in his mid-80s.
Always involved in charitable endeavors benefitting the community, Leo was particularly proud of having served in the 1970’s as president of the Stamford Jewish Center, then located on Prospect Street. It was during his term that funds were raised for a new Jewish Center building that stands today on Newfield Avenue. He also was privileged to have served as a director of the Mackler 460 Foundation, a private charitable foundation that has supplied over one million dollars in scholarships for hundreds of students attending colleges and universities in Connecticut.
Of all he was blessed with during his long life well lived, Leo’s single greatest joy was his family. Leo met Sondra Wittenberg in 1953 and they married in 1954. Truly never apart, they were husband and wife for over 66 years, until Sandy’s death in 2021. Leo was also supremely proud of his and Sandy’s three children: David, and his wife Elizabeth, of Middlefield, Connecticut; Susan, of Redondo Beach, California; and Jon, and his wife Lisa, of Westport, as well as his and Sandy’s four grandsons, Daniel, Michael, Sam and Alex, who he was able to see grow into the outstanding young men that they are today.
While we are all saddened by Leo’s passing, our spirits are lifted by knowing that his wish to be reunited with his wife has now been fulfilled. And it is hard not to think that, with Mother’s Day only days away, he simply could not bear to celebrate another one without her.
The family wishes to express its deepest thanks to Marie Fabre, who for the past year provided Leo with kind and trusted care and assistance that allowed him to live in his Stamford home until two weeks ago, and to the dedicated staff at the Fairfield County House, who provided him the same compassionate care during his final days.
A graveside service was held with the immediate family at the Temple Beth El Cemetery on May 8, 2023. Donations in Leo’s memory may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.