Remembering Past Residents
(tribute by Ruth Mahr)
Maggie Goldsmith, a former long-time resident of Forest Home, died on September 26, 2013. Many Forest Homers will remember Maggie. She and Bill bought the house at 117 Judd Falls Road in the late 1960s. The previous owners, the McCurdy's, were the original owners of the house, having built it in 1917. The Goldsmiths, in turn, lived in the house for about 35 years, when they decided to sell in order to downsize and move downtown.
Maggie was a gracious and generous hostess. For the first several years in the house on Judd Falls, Maggie carried on the McCurdy Halloween tradition of inviting Trick-or-Treaters into her home to sign the guest book. Maggie and Bill also hosted several neighborhood 4th of July parties on their lawn, complete with Pete Loucks' trampoline and a parade of children riding crepe-papered bikes accompanied by adults playing whatever musical instruments could be mustered.
Theatre and children were Maggie's passions. A talented and vivacious woman, Maggie taught for many years at the Alternative Community School, often walking from her home on Judd Falls to ACS on West Hill. At ACS, Maggie directed many plays, always choosing plays with large casts in order to involve as many students as possible. No auditions: all children were welcome; if a student wanted to participate, he or she was in. The only requirement was a willingness to work hard. In Forest Home, some of you may recall that Maggie directed Fantastic Mr. Fox, a play adapted by Bib Mahr from the children's book by Roald Dahl. The play was performed in 1981 in what is now the Forest Home park; community members, including the Forlanos, Ashtons, Goldsmiths, and Mahrs, played various roles, with Isabel Peard doing the narration.
Maggie and Bill were among a new generation of young families who moved into the Judd Falls area of Forest Home at about the same time, often buying houses that had been owner-occupied for one or two generations. Among those families, besides the Goldsmiths, were the Ashtons, Miers, Mahrs, Moores, and Silbeys, all with young children of about the same ages. The children sledded together on the hill at the Jug Handle in winter and at other times played games in the grassy area in the Plantations next to the Mahrs'. Maggie liked to recall the year that the school bus stopped at her house and her pleasure at watching the children, lunch pails lined up at the curb, organizing themselves into games while they waited for the bus.
Both Bill and Maggie made good use of the Plantations for recreation. Bill often ran or skied; Maggie skied but preferred walking. Maggie never lost her affinity for the Plantations. After they moved downtown, Maggie continued her practice of walking in the Plantations by scheduling weekly walks with former neighbor and friend, Ruth Mahr.
Maggie and Bill raised three children in Forest Home: Tess, Ana, and Nick. Ana and Nick live in Ithaca, as do three Goldsmith grandchildren: Kyleigh, Henry, and Kyo. A fourth grandchild, Sequoya, attends the California College of the Arts in Oakland, California.
Maggie Goldsmith was a beautiful person both inside and out. After her retirement from teaching, Maggie continued her contributions to the community: to tutor, to do literature and theatre with incarcerated young women, to write, and to sing. Whatever she did, Maggie put her whole self into it, and the results always reflected her confidence in others' abilities, her energy, and her enthusiasm. Maggie's many contributions to both Forest Home and the larger community will long be remembered and appreciated, even while we mourn our loss.
For more details on Maggie's life, you may wish to read the obituary in the Ithaca Journal.
A memorial service for Maggie was held at the Unitarian Church at 2:00 on Sunday, October 13th.
Alan McAdams, of the Byway, died on September 14, 2013. He and his wife, Ann, moved to Forest Home 36 years ago. Their beautiful garden, which gives pleasure to all passersby, seems to mark the true entrance to Forest Home.
What an important, incisive, and far-reaching life he led, dedicating his expertise to thorny problems that have global reach, as the obituary in the Ithaca Journal tells us:
"Alan Kellog McAdams passed away peacefully on September 14, 2013 after a short illness. He was 83. Alan was born in Houston, TX in 1930 to Luther Lewis McAdams and Marion Gordon McAdams. He married Ann Wheaton Svensson in 1956. He and Ann recently celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary.
Alan graduated from Yale University in 1952. After participating in the Naval ROTC Program at Yale, he served four years on the USS Gatling, and was engaged in the Korean conflict. He then served four years in the Active Reserves as he earned, courtesy of the GI Bill, his MBA and PhD in Economics at Stanford University.
Secondary to his love for his family, he was devoted to Cornell University, where he taught for 50 years. In 1960 Dr. McAdams arrived in Ithaca to teach managerial economics. Over his tenure at what is now the Johnson Graduate School of Management, he taught a broad spectrum of innovative courses. Throughout his career, his research focused on enhancing American competitiveness. His work influenced emerging technologies in areas vital to the global economy, such as flat panel displays, high-speed fiber-optic networks, and sustainable development, to name a few. His sympathies lay with the underdog and the legitimate role of government in ensuring an even playing field. He retired in 2010 as professor emeritus.
In the early 1970's he was a visiting associate professor at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, followed by an appointment as a senior staff economist on the President's Council of Economic Advisors. His areas of responsibility there included the economics of antitrust policy, regulation of telecommunications and other industries, pollution control, and science and technology policy. These issues continued to engage him throughout his life.
From 1972 to 1981 he was chief economist, expert witness, and consultant to the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice in United States v. International Business Machines. In 1990 he was a visiting fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute.
A Lifetime Member of the IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers), Professor McAdams provided valuable insights for setting national policy regarding the development of the telecommunications industry. Over the years he testified frequently before Congress on these issues. In 1996 and in 1998, Johnson School graduates selected him for the Russell Distinguished Teaching Award. This honor was especially meaningful to him."
We will miss him and offer warm wishes to Ann and our sincerest condolences.
The Forest Home community has lost another dear friend with the passing of Fred Schweizer of 122 Warren Road on March 4, 2012. Neighborhood residents knew and appreciated Fred for his cheerful greetings, his funny stories, and his unfailing willingness to take time to chat when encountering a neighbor. Fred and his wife Tizzie (Elizabeth Grove Schweizer) have been dedicated grandparents, raising two of their grandchildren during their retirement years. We will miss Fred and extend our deepest sympathies to Tizzie; his son, Frederick W. Schweizer II; his daughter, Janey Schweizer; his four grandchildren; and his brother, Robert.
Dr. Frederick W. Schweizer graduated from Williams College and then continued on to Cornell Medical School. He was a successful OB-GYN in Ithaca, NY and Columbus, Ohio. He also taught medicine at Ohio State University. He and Tizzie moved back to Ithaca in 2002, where he continued enjoying his volunteering at Cornell sporting events, committing his time to the Ithaca City Club and spending time with family and friends. He will be remembered as a loving husband, devoted father, and loyal friend. A celebration of his life was held on Friday, March 9, at Bangs Funeral Home. Memorial donations may be made to the Paul Schreurs memorial program at the Ithaca Youth Bureau.
Ginny Langhans ~ Edward Gobrecht
In late summer 2011, Forest Home lost two close neighbors: Virginia Langhans, 82, and Edward Gobrecht, 87, of 101 and 111 Halcyon Hill, respectively. Long-standing and much loved members of the community, they will be missed by all who knew them.
Ginny lived an active life even while battling ovarian cancer for the past nine years, until Tuesday, August 30th, when she died at home surrounded by her family - husband Bob and children Stephen, Elizabeth, and Robert. She will be remembered for her cheerful spirit and positive attitude toward life. The Langhams moved to their home at 111 Halcyon Hill in 1979 after having lived in Collegetown. In recent years, Ginny and Bob enjoyed winters in Fort Meyers, Florida, returning in the spring to their home on Halcyon Hill. Ginny was active for years in the Forest Home Embroidery Club, Ag Club, and Cornell Campus Club. Her community involvement was also felt in her thirteen years of service as a member of the Ithaca Planning Board. Many wonderful social gatherings were hosted by Ginny for the immediate neighbors, who she made a point of getting to know. We'll all remember the times we shared and cherish them.
Edward Gobrecht had lived at 101 Halcyon Hill from 1963 until three years ago, when he moved to Horizon Drive in Lansing. he and his wife Dorothy, who passed away in 1986, raised their three children, John, Colleen and Jed, in Forest Home at Halcyon Hill. While a resident of Forest Home, Ed was Professor Emeritus of Music at Ithaca College and, during the summers, director of the town band of Hanover, PA, his hometown. He touched the lives of many through music, as a bassoonist, bassoon teacher, and band director. he attended the Curtis Institute of Music and played under the baton of many of our country's finest conductors, including Sergiu Commissiona. He once mentioned that he had good rhythem because in his younger days he had played drums in a jazz band on the weekends. He was one of the last students of the noted bassoon teacher Sol Schoenbach and the oboist Marcel Tabuteau. he was full of anecdotes and stories and possessed a laugh that could be heard across the neighborhood. He passed away at Hospicare of Ithaca on September 1 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.
Bothy Ginny and Edward were wonderfully friendly and gregarious neighbors, who always brightened the day of any neighbor with whom they stopped to chat. They helped makes Forest Home the special kind of community we enjoy today.
Jean Bush Doggett and Fred Doggett
On June 24, 2009, Fred Doggett passed away after a short illness. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean Bush Doggett, who passed away on October 11, 2007 after a ten-year battle with cancer. Jean grew up at 136 Forest Home Drive. She was the daughter of Gracie Bush, who lived in Forest Home for many years. June 24th, the date of Fred's passing, was special to him as that was Jean's birthday. He had expressed a few days before he died that he missed her terribly and wanted to be with her. They had met during WWII when he was sent to Cornell for training by the Navy. They were married for 64 years and had four children. They retired to Florida because they couldn't take the cold, but Forest Home was always home and Florida was where they just happened to be staying. They were brought home one last time by the family and laid to rest in Pleasant Grove Cemetery.
A January 27th article on Clara Goodman in the Ithaca Journal describes Ms. Goodman's special contributions to the community, excerpted here:
Clara Goodman, the mother of Tompkins County's long-standing public Home Health Care program and a strong supporter of Meals on Wheels, passed away over the weekend.
Frank Shipe, long term Forest Home resident and treasured neighbor and friend, died on May 20, 2008, at the age of 88. A Professor Emeritus of Food Science Department at Cornell, Frank lived on Forest Home Drive for 60 years and raised his family here. He was an active member of the community. Neighbor Bruce Brittain described him as the "informal guardian of the Upstream Bridge." Many have admired the beautiful pocket of garden that he and his wife Margery, who died last year, maintained on the corner just before the bridge. A memorial service was held at St. Paul's United Methodist Church on May 31st.
Margery M. Shipe, our friend and neighbor for nearly sixty years, passed away August 31, 2007 at the age of 86. She kept a garden in front of her house on Forest Home Drive that cheered the community and she was always ready to welcome a neighbor into her kitchen for coffee and baked goods. Her presence will be much missed. A service of remembrance was held on September 3 at St. Paul's United Methodist Church.
Our dear neighbor Elizabeth (Lib) Delahanty passed away in March 2007. A memorial service celebrating her life was held on July 21 at the First Unitarian Church of Ithaca.
Our dear neighbor Carl Sundell passed away on December 2, 2006 at the age of 89. A memorial service was held on December 7th at the Forest Home Chapel. Carl had lived in Forest Home since he was a boy, helping his father to build their home at 310 Forest Home Drive from a Sears mail-order design and materials. Years ago Carl put a TV antenna on an old windmill tower on Halcyon Hill, then ran wires from it down to his shop, and from there to many parts of the Forest Home community, in what was perhaps the first cable TV service in Tompkins County. More recently, Carl served as chair of the FHIA Oral History Committee, and organized and collected many oral histories of old and former Forest Home residents. He also revised and printed the Forest Home Directory for a number of years, under the name of "Potterbit Press." He was instrumental in initiating the New York State Scenic Road designation process for Forest Home Drive. Carl was a genuine FH-er, and a colorful character.
Isabel Peard, formerly of 214 Forest Home Drive, died Sunday, April 11, 2004, at Oak Hill Manor. Isabel was almost 94 years old when she died and her life was full of meaning. She was an only child and from the first day of school knew that she wanted to be a teacher and so she was. When she came back home after the first day of school, she asked her mother and father to sit down and she started teaching them. Isabel was a master teacher. Over the years she taught thousands of students and had an impact on many. Some of them remained close friends until she died.
Isabel loved Forest Home and was an active member of the community. Many of her friends and neighbors miss her greatly. Almost until her last day she was the newsletter delivery person in her area. Isabel had a strong will and cherished her freedom. She continued driving her small old Honda that had scars all over.
The last few month of Isabel's life were not easy. She was not able to stay in her home by herself and moved to LakeSide Nursing Home, then to Altera and finally was moved to Oak Hill where she breathed her last.
Isbael's gentle and beautiful voice filled her home with song every day. One day when I came to pick up her dog for a walk, I heard her voice and tiptoed to the living room. This started a long-term meaningful relationship between us. Isabel taught me to sing, and for several years we went together to various nursing homes around the area where Isabel played the piano and we were singing together to the old residents.
Isabel loved poetry and belonged to a local poetry club. There
was one poem that Isabel taught me (and did not remember the source)[but it is likely John Laird].
Isabel loved this poem and used to recite it to me often (even after losing
Across the street from Isbael's old house on 214 FH Drive there is a small park that our community uses for occasional gatherings. Some neighbors suggested to name it informally as Isabel's Park.