April 2, 2010 3:02 PM
Last night Bob Goodman passed away. His death followed that of his brother Irv last August. Together the Goodman Brothers lived a life filled with extraordinary community service. Madison's first community pool is appropriately named after them because it could not have happened without their gift and their vision. Similarly, the Goodman Atwood Community Center is another key part of their legacy.
But those are only the two most recent examples of a lifetime of philanthropy. In ways large and small, in buildings that bear their name and in quiet contributions that made a loud difference, Robert and Irwin Goodman represented the epitome of what it means to be community spirited. They were smart businessmen who did well and then did tremendous good. Their legacy will live on at the Goodman Pool, at the Goodman Community Center and in so many other places that exist or that are better because of them.
While we might never see a pair quite like Irv and Bob again, the selfless community spirit they embodied lives on in their foundation and in so many other Madisonians they touched and who will be touched by the opportunities they created. The Goodmans didn't care too much about recognition. I'm told that Bob will have a simple, quiet funeral. But do me a favor. This summer if you're at the Goodman Pool and you see young kids taking swimming lessons with the help of the Goodman endowment, take a moment to appreciate the joy those kids have in their accomplishment and, quietly, say a word of thanks to Irv and Bob Goodman.