Susan Brown Goldsmith, a fighter for women’s rights and equal opportunity, died in San Francisco on Jan. 23, 2021. She succumbed to Parkinson’s disease and dementia at age 89.
Susan and her sister, Carol, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughters of Cecile Roth and David Brown. After graduating from Walnut Hills High School, Susan left home for new horizons. She traveled by train to attend Connecticut College, having never visited the school.
Diploma in hand, she moved to New York City and became a working woman in the early 1950s, even though the conventional path at that time was to get married and become a homemaker. In 1957, she married Joel Goldsmith, and soon after the pair moved to the suburb of Chappaqua, N.Y., where they started their family and a retail clothing store named Whigg’s.
They ran that business together for over 25 years. Whigg’s had four locations, including one in Wellfleet that was open only during the summers. The couple’s Truro home became the central gathering place for friends and family for decades.
She loved and cherished Joel and, together, besides enjoying time at the beach in Truro, they traveled to various corners of the globe, touring by bicycle, sampling bakeries, and admiring gardens.
In 1992, after Joel’s death, Susan left Chappaqua to open a new chapter in Cambridge, where she took classes at Harvard Learning in Retirement and enjoyed all the city offered. Being in Cambridge also brought her closer to her dear Truro, where tennis became a major pastime.
She adored her family, especially her grandchildren, who called her Bird — a nickname her husband had given her, as she was always flitting about. After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008, she found the courage to move across the country to San Francisco to be closer to family.
Susan leaves three children and their spouses: son David and wife Marie of Santa Fe, N.M.; daughter Jill and husband Perry of Burlingame, Calif.; and son John and wife Catherine, who live in Annecy, France. She also leaves four grandchildren: Alex, Ben, Matthew, and Allie. And she is survived by many wonderful friends and relatives, whose lives she touched with her vibrant energy.