Jewish 02

Shirley Jean (Gordon) Gold

February 14, 1936 ~ August 24, 2022 (age 86)


Shirley Jean Gold, 86, passed away on August 24, 2022 in Elkhart, Indiana. She was born on February 14, 1936, in New Castle, Pennsylvania to the late Jacob & Dorothy (Rabinovitz) Gordon. Shirley married Gerald (Jerry) Gold on November 21, 1954, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Together they celebrated 68 years of marriage.

Shirley graduated from high school at the age of 16, and then began her studies at the University of Pittsburgh on a full ride scholarship. At the completion of two years, Shirley put college on hold when she and Jerry were married. After moving to Elkhart, Indiana in 1961 and raising their three children, Shirley received her bachelor’s degree at Indiana University in South Bend.

In addition to being a homemaker, Shirley served as president of the League of Women Voters of Elkhart County for 35 years and was a member for over 50 years. During Shirley’s tenure as the League of Women Voters president, the League conducted a study and then lobbied local government officials which eventually led to the establishment of the Elkhart County Juvenile Detention Center. Also, during her tenure, the league conducted a study that led to establishing the first battered women’s shelter in Elkhart County. Shirley learned to do professional debates in Washington, D.C. and worked with all three television stations to televise live mayoral, county commissioner, and congressional debates. One congressional debate was broadcast nationally twice on C-SPAN. Other local debates were broadcast over three radio stations. She was very proud of the local League’s record on educating, registering, and encouraging voters to “get out and vote” regardless of political party affiliation. Shirley had many accomplishments as president of the League of Women Voters, such as bringing speakers from the United States State Department to speak to League members as well as to the schools.

In 1991, Shirley was celebrated for her civic accomplishments by being presented with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award by then Indiana Governor Evan Bayh. This award honors those who have made a significant contribution to life in the Hoosier State. Shirley also received Keys to the City of Elkhart twice, one from Mayor James Perron, and one from Mayor Dick Moore. In 2009, Shirley received a joint award from The Elkhart County Democratic Party and the Elkhart County Republican Party for her leadership. It was important to Shirley that the League of Women Voters of Elkhart County remain nonpartisan. Shirley’s accolades throughout the years are too many to mention, and in 2009 upon retirement from the League of Women Voters, she received a letter from President Barack Obama citing her many accomplishments and contributions.

Shirley enjoyed being a judge numerous times for the annual Elkhart Labor Day Parade. In 2001, she received the Citizen of the Year Labor Award. Shirley was also a docent at the Midwest Museum of American Art for 25 years. She especially enjoyed conducting tours for school children. Shirley was a voracious reader and at one time was a book reviewer for The Elkhart Truth. Shirley served on many boards, including the Board of Directors of the YWCA and the Elkhart General Hospital. Shirley was a member of many other organizations, including over 60 years of membership with the NAACP.

Shirley was also a world traveler having visited over 60 different countries on almost every continent, some of them several times. Shirley had a fascination for traveling and a wonderful sense of history. Shirley loved meeting people and enjoyed collecting items from all over the world. Her trips were always adventurous, and she had many stories to tell.

Surviving along with her husband, Dr. Gerald Gold, are their children Jody (William) Comer of Elkhart, Indiana; Robert (Rebecca) Gold of Newburgh, Indiana; and Cynthia (Michael) Ebersol of Mishawaka, Indiana. The grandchildren are Dr. Adam (Dr. Amber) Comer of Carmel, Indiana; Megan (Dr. Parag) Badami of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey; Timothy Gold of Newburgh, Indiana; David (Stephanie) Ebersol of South Bend, Indiana; Rachel (Jerry) Skelton of South Bend, Indiana; and Daniel (Rebecca) Ebersol, of Osceola, Indiana. Great-grandchildren are Amelia Comer, Annabelle Comer, Kennedy Ebersol, Logan Skelton, Rivka Skelton, Eliana Skelton, and Levi Ebersol. She was preceded in death by her parents, a granddaughter Elizabeth Comer, and brother Leonard Gordon.

Funeral services for Shirley will be held on Sunday, August 28th, 2022 at 11 a.m in the chapel at the Hebrew Orthodox Cemetery in Mishawaka where burial will take place immediately following services.  Rabbi Michael Friedland will officiate.  Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Shirley may be made to Sinai Synagogue, American Cancer Society, NAACP or the charity of one’s choice.

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Funeral Service
August 28, 2022

11:00 AM
Hebrew Orthodox Cemetery (Mishawaka)


Sinai Synagogue
1102 E LaSalle Ave., South Bend IN 46617

Elkhart County NAACP
3716 St. Andrews Pl., Elkhart IN 46517
Tel: 1-574-370-7777

American Cancer Society, Indianapolis
PO Box 681405, Indianapolis IN 46268

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