Remembering Bowdoin’s Oldest Retiree, Goldie Singer (1916-2017)

Goldie Singer in a 1962 photo taken in Hubbard Hall, courtesy of George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives

Goldie Singer, Bowdoin’s oldest retiree, died on Saturday, November 25, in Brunswick, at the age of 101. From 1946 until her retirement in December of 1980, Goldie was the payroll supervisor in the business office at the College, where she was a cheerful, efficient, and welcoming presence for students, families, faculty, and staff alike.

Goldie was born on April 6, 1916, in Brunswick, the youngest of six children of Max and Bessie (Gould) Singer. She lived in the family home on Federal Street until 2010, when she moved to the Mid Coast Senior Health Center. Throughout the time of her employment at Bowdoin she rode her bicycle to campus, even in winter, and she continued to get around by bicycle after her retirement until she was in her eighties.

Goldie graduated from Brunswick High School in 1935. Before coming to Bowdoin, she worked in a shoe factory, as a bookkeeper for a farm in Bowdoinham, and for Maine Governor Sumner Sewall during his campaign and became a part-time employee in his office after the election. During World War II, she worked seven days a week in the personnel department at Bath Iron Works. After the war, she was hired as the payroll supervisor in the business office at Bowdoin College, a position that she held until her retirement. After thirty-four years of service to the College she was elected an honorary member of the Bowdoin Alumni Association.

Goldie was a great source of information on Jewish life in Maine and in the Brunswick area over the past century. She shared her insights and experiences as part of an oral history project for the Jewish studies program at Colby College. She was a loyal fan of the New England Patriots, and at her 100th birthday party in 2016 she received a letter from the Patriots, an autographed picture from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and a number 12 Patriots jersey.

A valued member of the Bowdoin family for more than seventy years, Goldie was a beloved aunt to four generations of her own family; she is survived by four nieces, five nephews, twenty-five grandnieces and grandnephews (including Samuel Kamin ’08), twenty-one great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews, and four great-great-grandnephews.

Services are being held at 10:30 this morning at Fortin Funeral Group Funeral Home, 217 Turner St., Auburn. Shiva will be observed at 73 Willow Grove Rd. in Brunswick on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons. The family has suggested that in lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Mid Coast Senior Health Center, 58 Baribeau Drive, Brunswick, ME 04011; Hospice Care, 60 Baribeau Drive, Brunswick, ME 04011; or to the Joseph D. Kamin Scholarship Fund at Bowdoin College, 4100 College Station, Brunswick, ME 04011.

3 thoughts on “Remembering Bowdoin’s Oldest Retiree, Goldie Singer (1916-2017)

  1. Charles

    That was a life well lived. Bowdoin is a sure place where deep roots are established. She was a cheerful giver and I’m sure a very happy Bowdoin family member. I celebrate her life!

  2. Berle Schiller '65

    Everyone who knew Goldie appreciated all that she did for the College, the community and for those with whom she came in contact. She was a good soul.

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