Story by Frank Rizzo
MONTICELLO Love of sports, athletes and his native Monticello were driving forces in the life of Warren “Buddy” Goldsmith, who died of cancer on September 27.
Goldsmith played goalie for legendary coach Ed Kennedy and was the captain of the Monticello High School swimming team. Yes, swimming team. This was in the 1950s and the Panthers practiced/competed at the Concord pool under the tutelage of a world-class swimmer.
But Buddy had a rebellious streak. He got caught smoking and kicked off the nautical squad by Athletic Director (and future Superintendent) John Lawler.
Later, Lawler went to bat for “Buddy” and helped him overcome some obstacles to graduating.
Such was the affection and loyalty Goldsmith inspired.
Though he wasn’t a teacher, Goldsmith never lacked for head/assistant/volunteer coaching assignments at his alma mater: Boys’ and girls’ soccer, alpine skiing and track and field came under his purview.
In his later years he was a pole vault coach. It was common to see Goldsmith dispensing advice during competition and not just to Monticello athletes.
Among his positions after a stint in the Army was working as Director of Recreation for the Village of Monticello.
His athletic resumé was impressive. According to the obituary: “He created the Monticello School of Gymnastics over 35 years ago and his team became one of the best in Central New York. He also served as the Director of Special Olympics for Sullivan and Orange County and worked with Special Olympics for 30 years taking his knowledge of gymnastics to create routines for girls with special needs to compete state-wide. In this capacity he attended many state, national, and international Special Olympics competitions.… He volunteered at several National Gymnastics events including the World Cup and the Russian Tour and was part of the Event Team of the USAIGC National/International Gymnastics Competition for the last nine years.”
Former longtime Monticello AD Ken Garry first met Goldsmith when Buddy was a volunteer assistant to his former coach, Ed Kennedy.
“I’m an Irishman, but the Yiddish word ‘mensch’ describes Buddy. He was the real deal,” said Garry, adding the attributes of “Loyalty, dependability and reliability.”
Garry added, “He taught me a lot about life. He had many varied experiences in his life.”
In addition to his sports activities, Goldsmith ran several businesses, managed the Emerald Green development and Lake Louise Marie water plant, was a union painter, and traveled to six continents and over 40 countries with his wife of nearly 49 years, Myrna (neé Rosenberg).
“He was,” summed up Garry, “an unforgettable character.”