Alan S. Goldberg, age 56, died from retroperitoneal liposarcoma on Wednesday July 30, 2014 at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg.
Alan was born in Baltimore, MD on November 11, 1957 to Solomon & Edna (Green) Goldberg. Alan grew up in Bel Air, Maryland and graduated from Bel Air High School in 1975. He attended Brandeis University in Waltham, MA for two years before moving to Madison in 1977 to attend the University of Wisconsin.
His work life in Madison began as a student worker at Memorial Union. Always a champion of justice and workers rights, he was deeply involved in student and labor issues from the beginning. He was involved in the student tenant union, the MNI strike of 1977-78, the TAA strike of 1980, and the Memorial Union Labor Organization (MULO) to name a few. Alan held offices and memberships in MULO, SCFL, HERE (SEIU), several AFSCME locals and WPEC (AFT) including the retiree chapter. He began his classified state service in 1989 at UWHC as a food service worker and quickly advanced through several clerical and program assistant positions at UWHC, Hill Farms and Highway District 1 at DOT. While at District 1, he was afforded the opportunity to learn more about computers and from that point on, Alan found his niche. Alan learned his trade on the job and through continuing education opportunities. He was largely self-taught which speaks to his intense curiosity and passion for learning. He worked primarily as a server/infrastructure technologist with his last positions at UW-Madison in Business Services and AIMS. Alan retired from state service on his 55th birthday in 2012.
Alan met the love of his life, Barb Graverson, in the kitchen of Memorial Union in April of 1981. They were united in marriage on May 1, 1988 (International Workers Day) at Gates of Heaven in James Madison Park. Their early years were spent playing city league softball, camping and annual anniversary trips to sunny Mexico. Alan managed men's and co-ed softball teams between 1981 and 1999. He loved professional baseball, first cheering for the Baltimore Orioles before changing his allegiance to the Milwaukee Brewers. He became an avid Packer and professional football fan under Barb's influence. He was a whiz at Scrabble and chess and his intensely competitive nature was never far from the surface. In later years, Alan and Barb's love of travel took them to many new places, including the Caribbean, Europe, North Africa, North and South America, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. Sally Vultaggio was a frequent companion on cruises; the three of them were often "Velcro-ed" together and had a wonderful time. When asked what his favorite destination was, Alan would always say "the next one". Alan & Barb met many wonderful friends in their travels and have many dear friends in Madison too numerous to name. You all know who you are. Alan adored his extended family, especially his nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, who were endless sources of laughter and joy for him. Alan lived each day with grace, courage, strength, and tenacity. He never looked back with regrets or worried about the future but spent every single day in the present moment. His smile could light up a room and his gentle nature made everyone feel welcome. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Alan is survived by his wife, Barbara Graverson; brother Mark (Susan) Goldberg of Crystal Lake, IL; brothers-in-law Russ (Joyce) Graverson of Jamestown, NC; Gregg (Rosemary) Graverson of Neenah, WI; Scott (Gwen) Graverson of Valrico, FL; nieces and nephews David Goldberg of Chicago, IL; Anna Goldberg of Crystal Lake, IL; Letty (Adam) Arbogast of Williamsburg, VA; Jon (Katy) Graverson of Appleton, WI; Christy (Ryan) Rank of Menasha, WI; Jeff (Rhonda) Graverson of Grand Chute, WI; and Michelle (Ian) Andersen of Clipper Mills, CA; and their children. He is further survived by aunts Adele Weiss and Helen Miller of NY, five cousins, including a special cousin Barbara Guinan of NYC, and very special friends Kathy Garity and Sally Vultaggio, both of Madison, WI.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Solomon and Edna Goldberg of Bel Air, MD; in-laws Howard and Hilda Graverson of Neenah, WI; infant sister-in-law Ingrid Dee Graverson; and uncle Milton Green of NY.
Special thanks to Dr. Howard Bailey, Dr. Steve Howard, Dr. Kevin Kozak, Dr. Sam Lubner, Dr. Toby Campbell, Dr. Jim Cleary, Dr. Kim Kinsley, the receptionists, medical assistants, nursing assistants, and all of Alan's favorite nurses at UWCCC and Agrace; you know who you are because he had a special bond with each and every one of you.
Alan believed that we should address the root causes of societal problems to create a just and fair society. To that end, Alan requested that you support "the people and institutions that support democracy in this country". Locally, Alan supported the work of the Goodman Community Center.
A celebration of Alan Goldberg will be held on Sunday, September 7, 2014 at the Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Road, Madison WI. Comfortable and casual attire is requested.
A visitation and refreshments will start at 1:00 PM and remarks and memories will take place at 2:00 PM.