Carolyn Golde, 79; was advocate for troubled youth

Carolyn Golde

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Carolyn “Cookie” Golde, longtime advocate for troubled youth, a volunteer for the Senior Olympics at the Jewish Community Center, and part of the family that owned the old Golde’s Department stores, died Tuesday, March 22 at McKnight Place Extended Care in University City. She lost a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, family members said. She was 79 and had been a longtime resident of Creve Coeur.

Carolyn Levin Golde grew up in Richmond Heights and graduated from Clayton High School. She married her high school sweetheart, Edward S. “Ted” Golde in 1951.

Ted Golde was the son of the founder in 1915 of the Golde’s Department Stores. Under his management, the chain grew to 10 stores. The stores were known for being “customer friendly” even in the aftermath of a fire, which destroyed records of credit card purchases. The store sent letters to customers asking them to pay whatever they remembered charging. The store was a popular venue for Boy Scout and Girl Scout supplies.

Mrs. Golde worked with her husband in the department stores before earning an education degree at Fontbonne College (now University). She was a teacher in the University City School District, specializing in early childhood.

Mrs. Golde was a longtime and devoted volunteer on behalf of troubled youth. At the St. Louis County Juvenile Court she work as a court-appointed advocate for troubled young people. With the Senior Olympics, Mrs. Golde organized volunteers for the golf tournament. She also immersed herself in all aspects of St. Louis history and conducted tours to showcase the many attractions in Greater St. Louis.

Golde’s Department Stores were family-owned until 1972, and family- operated until 1989, when the new owner, sold it to a chain in Cleveland.

Edward Golde died in 2001.

Funeral services were held last Friday at Central Reform Congregation. Private burial was at United Hebrew Cemetery. Survivors include two sons, Mark Golde, of Creve Coeur and Scott Golde of Chesterfield; two daughters, Jill Golde of Philadelphia and Beth Walkup of Arlington, Texas; a brother, Bernard Levin of Los Angeles; and seven grandchildren.