|Birth: ||May 3, 1912|
|Death: ||Feb. 10, 1999|
Louis was the only child of a second marriage for both Michael Goldstein and Esther Mendelsohn of Montreal. Michael was a widower with five children and Esther a widow with two little girls. Louis attended Strathearn Elementary School until he completed grade 7 at which time he began working to help support the family. He was an amateur boxer and, at one point, won the amateur boxing championship at the local YMHA. He later excelled as a handball player.
Because of the Great Depression, jobs became scarce and he decided to try his luck in the United States. He paid his way by driving a truck from Montreal to San Francisco.
There he did odd jobs even living in a garage for a time. He finally managed to land a decent job and then shared an apartment with several other young men including another Canadian, and managing to send some money home to help out. He worked there for several years but, by this time, Canada was at war (late 1939) and he could no longer continue to stay in the U.S. and so returned to Montreal.
He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 and was the first Canadian Jewish man to be awarded the British Empire Medal in the King's New Year's Honour List of 1943. At the time he was a Corporal although later he became a Flight -Sergeant. He served for five years at various stations including Newfoundland where he was in a Search and Rescue unit, patrolling the Grand Banks and Atlantic Ocean checking for German submarines which were attacking merchant ships bringing supplies to Europe. In 1944, on a month's leave from the RCAF, he married Gertrude Gottheil, a marriage that lasted for 55 years.
When the War ended in 1945 they rented a tiny apartment in Montreal and on Dec. 7, 1948, their son, Martin was born. In 1950, Lou (Louis) and an old friend, Ben Stein, went into business for themselves. They started a small men's neckwear (neckties and scarves) manufacturing business (Benart Neckwear) Ben being the "inside man and cutter" and Lou responsible for getting the finished product sold. Gertrude did the bookkeeping and office work for a long time and, when Marty was at nursery, would even come in to turn ties, etc. Ben and Louis got to and from work on bicycles. Originally, Lou lugged suitcases of samples on buses until 1953 when the business finally had enough money to buy a Ford so that he could drive with his sample cases which were becoming more numerous by then and also make out-of-town-selling trips. In 1970 he sold his share of the business.
The Goldsteins, with four other couples, founded Education for Hearing Handicapped Children in 1950, unique to the area, it was an oral nursery for deaf and hard-of-hearing youngsters. They worked long and hard to raise money and were able to add classes as the need arose. The name then changed to Montreal Oral School for the Deaf. Martin started his education in the Nursery in 1952. Today Montreal has a most successful oral school, looked upon as a model by many oral schools in the world.
After leaving Benart, Louis went to Dawson College for a year where he received his certificate as a Community Service Worker. He joined the Good Shepherd Centre (at a minimum wage) working with the poor and homeless. After his retirement in 1977 he did volunteer work in various departments of the Jewish General Hospital for fifteen years. In the winter of 1993 he received a Canada Volunteer Award Certificate of Merit from the Federal Government.
Despite a busy schedule, Louis enjoyed spending as much time as possible with his grandchildren, Gayle (born in 1978) and Jason (born in 1980). One of their favorite pastimes was to knead, form and bake twist challah, which Louis did with them. Baking bread had become a hobby for him by then. Challah is the bread prepared for the Sabbath (Shabbos) and other Jewish holidays.
As they aged, Louis and Gertrude escaped some of Montreal's cold winters by spending time in California. There, too, he continued to do volunteer work and earned his three-year pin for volunteering at the Braille Institute in Rancho Mirage. But his proudest moments were being able to attend both Gayle's Bat Mitzvah in January 1991 and Jason's Bar Mitzvah in September 1993!
A big thank you to M. Harrington for his sponsorship of this site.
Baron De Hirsch Memorial Park
Created by: Asterixfan
Record added: Nov 19, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22995444