Community - March 9, 2011

Obituary: Sam Goodman, Atherton civic volunteer

Sam Goodman, for years a familiar figure on the Atherton civic scene, died Feb. 26 at the age of 80 after a long illness.

Mr. Goodman moved from Atherton about a year and a half ago, according to his son, Stephen. The Goodmans first moved just over the border into Redwood City, then, as Mr. Goodman's health worsened, to Los Altos.

He died of kidney failure at El Camino Hospital, his son said.

A retired consultant and corporate executive, Mr. Goodman served on the town of Atherton's Audit Committee, and was active in the Atherton Civic Interest League.

In 2008, he was on the ballot for a seat on the City Council. Weeks before the election, he announced that he was dropping out of the race, but it was too late to have his name taken off the ballot and he received several hundred votes.

Born in New York City, Mr. Goodman was raised from the age of 3 by his mother and aunt after his father died.

He received his MBA and doctorate from New York University, and was the author of seven economic and finance textbooks, according to his family.

He served as the commanding officer of the USS Monongahela during the Korean War; his military awards include the National Defense Services Ribbon and the European Clasp, his family said.

His career included a long-held position as chief financial officer of the Nestle Corp. He held that position for Ampex Corp. as well. Later, he joined the Turnaround Management Association, an international nonprofit dedicated to corporate renewal and turnaround management, his family said.

Mr. Goodman was also a distinguished adjunct professor in the Department of Finance and Economics at Golden Gate University.

A man whose knowledge crossed into many fields, Mr. Goodman was "a perpetual student of history, and especially the American West and Wyatt Earp," his family said.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Bea; three sons, Mark of Los Angeles, Stephen Grant of Los Altos Hills, and Christopher of Tucson; and eight grandchildren.

Funeral services have been held.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Bay Area Association of Kidney Patients, an organization of which he was a founding member. Donate online at, or by mail to BAAKP, P.O. Box 2332, Menlo Park, CA 94026.


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