Alfred Sherman Goldfield


Died November 4, 2009

College: Silliman

Widow: Ms. Joan Goldfield
215 East 68 Street Apt. 5J
New York, NY 10065

Children: Amanda, 1973; Alexis, 1978

Alfred was a kind, generous and compassionate man. His optimism was felt by all who came in contact with him. He made a profound impact on the lives of his family, friends, clients, and others. He was an extraordinarily bright and witty person with an amazing sense of humor. Alfred led a rich life by combining his passion for the arts, his profession, and his love for family and friends. He generously gave his time, energy, and ability to others selflessly. The following are excerpts from letters written by those who were touched by Alfred. They speak of the exceptional man he was.

Yale Classmate: Alfie brought such a unique perspective on the world, a remarkable blend of wit and wisdom, kindness and dedication. His wry, ironic sense of humor kept us laughing and thinking. What treasures he brought to the class of 1961.

Mentee: Alfred made an impact on my life that will last forever. He made me comfortable when I was not a very comfortable person. Without Alfred’s kindness and good heart, I would not have made it to college. I had a rough and challenging life with a learning disability, being adopted from Central America and growing up with two mothers. I was told at times that I would not succeed or that I should aim lower. But Alfred always believed in me. He gave me the chance to prove my potential.

Car Service Driver: Mr. Goldfield, I am going to miss you so much. To the people who don’t know me, I am a taxi driver for everybody except you because you made me feel that I was your friend, not at all a taxi driver. Every time I picked you up, even for a thirty minute ride, you brightened my day, made it sunny, positive and funny. The knowledge you gave me I couldn’t get it from books or college or television, newpapers or magazines. I know Mr. Goldfield is now in paradise with people around him, solving their problems and making them laugh.

Community Service/Board Member: Throughout the last three decades, Alfred has provided invaluable expertise and support that has been of major assistance to the Foundation in successfully bringing many more low-income senior buildings and social service programs to fruition. Alfred was a genuinely caring, jovial gentleman and true friend to the Foundation Board.

Client: Mr. Goldfield was one of the pillars in my life- supportive, generous, quick-witted, mega intelligent and very kind. He became my friend and advisor. Mr. Goldfield had all the qualities one so rarely finds — mainly compassion. He was a rare treasure.

Law School Mentee: Alfred was a mentor and guiding light to many people, including me. He taught me to blaze my own path and follow my passion for traveling and exploring the world, a gift I thank Alfred for each day.

Friend: To listen to Alfred as he would speak- to teach, to persuade, to act, to humor us- was such a wonderful experience. His humor was caring and loving and never mean-spirited. He was always there for me. My life and the lives of my family is richer for having Alf as a friend.

Son-In-Law: I knew Alfred for twenty years. Watching Joan and Alfred over the years, it was obvious how in sync they were. Joan, thank you for your tireless devotion to Alfred so we were able to fulfill many of our dreams. Alfred was always available to his daughters, Amanda and Alexis. He was completely accepting of everything they did. As a father, he set the bar very high. At family affairs, you could always count on Alfred. If you had someone coming to Thanksgiving dinner, and you didn’t know where to place that person, you could always sit him next to Alfred. Inevitably, everyone on that side of the table would be laughing and having a good time. For me the most enjoyable thing was to watch Alfred as a grandfather. I’ll never forget the first time his face exploded with expression when his granddaughter pushed his nose. As he twisted his tongue and his eyes popped out of his head, she laughed and laughed.

We are all richer people for having known Alfred. He left a lasting impression. Alfred accomplished what he set out to do in life. He touched the lives of many, and we miss him very much.

—by Joan Goldfield


GOLDFIELD—Alfred S., on November 4, 2009, at the age of 70. Cherished husband of Joan, adored father of Amanda (David) Sarno and Alexis (Seth) Leven, loving grandfather of Olivia and Chloe Sarno, devoted son of Anne and the late Max Goldfield, son-in-law of Marian and the late Frank Strassburger, beloved brother of Michael (Ronnie) and H.P. (Kristin). Precious uncle and nephew, treasured friend, esteemed colleague and generous mentor. Graduate of Yale University (’61), Columbia University Law School (’64), and partner in the New York law firm of Balsam, Felber and Goldfield. To have known Alfred is to be truly blessed. Funeral Friday, November 6 at 1:30pm, Frank E. Campbell, Madison Ave. at 81st St. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Alfred’s memory to The National Kidney Foundation National Kidney Foundation , 30 East 33rd St., New York, NY 10016 or