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Published: Sunday, 2/5/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Cleo Goldie, 1924-2012: Longtime teacher focused on kindergarten students

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Cleo Goldie, a longtime educator who taught kindergartners and, later, would-be teachers of the youngest students, died Tuesday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue. She was 87.

She was in declining health the last 19 months, her husband, Frank, said.

Mrs. Goldie of Ottawa Hills began her teaching career at the former Hamilton Elementary School, which later became Leverette School.

"She always wanted to be an educator," said her husband, a retired U.S. Postal Service executive. "She just loved teaching kindergarten, and the parents loved what she was doing. Many of them complimented her and called her even after their children were out of kindergarten."

She put her piano-playing skills to use for the children.

"They marched around, and that was always a great time," her husband said.

She was recruited to be a supervisor of teachers for the Head Start program in Toledo, her husband said, and later was a department director for Lucas County Children Services.

In the early 1970s, she became an instructor in her field of expertise, early childhood development, at Bowling Green State University. She guided prospective teachers in what to look for as they observed young children in a day-care setting. She also oversaw student teaching assignments.

"It was on a professional level she liked," her husband said.

"She thought that was her best job."

Her husband was postmaster of Toledo in 1977 when he was appointed postmaster of Chicago. The couple moved, and she became a director of Head Start for Chicago.

"She helped me along in my career, by being there all the time," her husband said. "We worked together. I asked her what she thought, and she asked me what I thought."

He retired in 1987 as field general manager of the Postal Service's Chicago division. She retired in 1990, and the couple moved to the Columbus area. They returned to northwest Ohio in 2002.

She was born April 20, 1924, in Springfield, Ohio, to Laura Belle and Grafton Taylor. She grew up in Toledo and was a graduate of Scott High School. She had bachelor's and specialist degrees from the University of Toledo.

She was a charter member in 1954 of the Coterie Club, a social group. As a young mother, she was among the first members of the Toledo chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. She was a member of Charms Inc. and the Toledo chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Yet with friends, she rarely spoke of the social scene or her professional life.

"Cleo was not a person who would sit down and say, 'I did this' and 'I'm responsible for this' and 'I served on this,'" said longtime friend Marion Stokes.

Hawaii, Brazil, and Scandinavia were favorite spots in the Goldies' world travels. On a jazz cruise in the Caribbean about 15 years ago, they met Ruth and David Patrick of the Columbus area, and the couples hit it off. They traveled together and socialized.

"We considered them to be our dearest and closest friends," Mrs. Patrick said. "The chemistry was there. She was quite sharp witted."

Surviving are her husband, Frank, whom she married Sept. 15, 1941, and daughter, Sharon Watson.

Visitation will be from 2- 6 p.m. Sunday in the Dale-Riggs Funeral Home, with Charms Inc. services at 6 p.m., Coterie services at 6:30 p.m., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority services at 7 p.m. in the mortuary. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in All Saints Episcopal Church.

The family suggests tributes to the church.

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



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