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Published: Saturday, 7/16/2011

Stanford C. Goldman, 1919-2011: Business owner loved serving his community

stanford C. goldman, 1919-2011


Stanford C. Goldman, who built the Toledo firm his father founded into a leading electrical distributor and spent his free time in community service, died of multiple myeloma Thursday in his Sarasota, Fla., home. He was 92.

He joined his wife, Doris, in Florida in 1993 after he closed his store, the Furniture Spectrum in Maumee. He couldn't help but return to northwest Ohio often.

"It was difficult for him to break the umbilical cord. He loved Toledo," his wife said.

After World War II, he was put in charge of the Commercial Electric Co. by his father, Nathan. The business became one of the largest independently owned General Electric distributorships. By the 1960s, it was the largest electrical distributor in the state.

But GE bought out its independent distributors in the early 1970s. Commercial Electric became a holding company as Mr. Goldman bought Rogers Furniture, which he turned into a series of galleries as Furniture Spectrum, and the Serendipity Shops. Former Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, after his unsuccessful 1987 mayoral bid, was a spokesman, briefly, for Furniture Spectrum.

He also bought an Indiana business, Pennville Custom Cabinetry, and when his son, Mark, was 24, made him president.

Commercial Electric "is one of the last companies in America that isn't for sale," said his son, now 44. "Our business wasn't about making money as much as some sort of vehicle to do good for the world, to make a difference, to have fun, to use our brain."

Mr. Goldman told the Toledo Rotary Club's newsletter in 1951 that his chief hobby was "community service work." He was a former Toledo JayCees young man of the year, and a former Jewish citizen of the year. He was on the board of the United Jewish Appeal. He was chairman of the Mercy Hospital advisory board and served on the Ability Center board for 20 years. He was a former board vice president of the Frederick Douglass Community Association board.

Born Jan. 31, 1919, to Helen and Nathan Goldman, he was a graduate of Scott High School and attended the University of Toledo. He had a bachelor's degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a master of business administration degree from Harvard University.

He was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II and served in the South Pacific.

He was formerly married to Jean Gordon.

Surviving are his wife, Doris, whom he married Sept. 18, 1965; daughter, Susan Goldman; son, Mark Goldman; stepsons, Bruce and Jeffrey Shaffner; four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Sunday in Historic Woodlawn Cemetery. Arrangements are by the Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to The Temple-Congregation Shomer Emunim.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.

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