Remembering Bobbye, my first and forever friend

Over the years, as a design editor I wrote articles on homes decorated by Bobbye Goldburg and her husband David.  I never expected to write about Bobbye’s funeral.

The best I can say about the service last Wednesday: it was simple and beautiful, as Bobbye would have wanted. Daughters Gretchen (Klein) and Lindsey collaborated on remarks. Gretchen, who talked to her mom “50 times a day,” delivered them.  “I can’t believe I’m writing Mom’s eulogy without her help,” she said.

The saddest I can say: I can’t call Bobbye to tell her how proud she’d have been.

(Gretchen mentioned small things about her mom she’d miss.  Post it notes bearing smiley faces with a bow on top, Refolding of napkins after dinner. Johnny Mathis, Chocolate chip pancakes.

She said, “Like most girls, I grew up determined not to become my mother.  I’m beginning to think turning out like my mom might be okay.  Mom had it all. She loved beauty.  She created beauty.  She was surrounded by beauty.”

About Gretchen’s remarks (delivered and received through copious tears), Rabbi Daniel Syme said, “According to Jewish tradition, words that come from the heart touch the hearts of all who hear them.”

Rabbi Syme talked about how Bobbye and David worked together, collected art together, visited museums together.  And about what a fine caregiver David was during the 18 years Bobbye fought breast cancer.

Personal boast: Bobbye and I have been friends since age 6.  We lived across the street from each other and went to the same schools. Our first jobs were in Chicago. I wrote ads for Carson Pirie Scott. Bobbye worked for the prestigious architecture/design firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill. After lunch one day as we walked back to work, we spotted a good-looking young man in a trench coat.

She said, “That’s the new guy in the office.”

I said, “He looks like your type.”

They were married for 46 years.

Rabbi Syme spoke of Bobbye’s love for grandsons Nate, almost 9, and Charlie, 5. They called her “B.” Nate sleeps with a ragged stuffed bunny. His mom bought back-up bunnies to be sure spare parts were available. The rabbi said that during the last week of Bobbye’s life, though short of breath and debilitated, Bobbye spent an entire day sewing Bunny back into shape.

In closing, Rabbi Syme said Charlie had asked if he could see B’s soul. “Not with your eyes,” he responded. “But surely with your heart.”

Several of Bobbye’s girlfriends followed her casket down the aisle. Zina Kramer said, “That’s the longest 100 yards I ever walked.”

R.I.P., dear friend.

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17 thoughts on “Remembering Bobbye, my first and forever friend

  1. Lynne C. Hollbacher

    What a beautiful tribute, Suzy, and an even more beautiful friendship that you and Bobbye shared through those many years. I wish I had known you both much better throughout the years at Kingswood; I do feel closer now because of all the wonderful things I’ve read.
    Very best to you and all Bobbye’s family,

  2. Sally

    Thanks Suzy for your memories of Bobbye,
    I remember well visiting both your and Bobbye’s houses across the street from each other. A real pleasure at both.
    Take care,
    Sally Fead Gray

  3. Elaine Greenberg

    Suzy–so hard to say goodbye to a good friend—but your article told the whole story—so well written—it brought me back when I had to say goodbye to a dear friend two years ago, and I still pick up the phone to talk to her–so much to tell her.

    1. Suzy Farbman Post author

      Thanks, Elaine. As cancer survivors, we feel especially vulnerable at times like these. So glad you appreciated the post and enjoyed your blog meeting my f&f friend, Bobbye.

  4. Anne

    You have captured the essence of Bobbye and the service so beautifully. Thx for sharing and creating special memories to hold onto.

    1. Suzy Farbman Post author

      Thanks for your lovely comment. I know how special you and Bobbye were to each other.

  5. Solange Messelian

    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. She will be missed by so many.

    1. Suzy Farbman Post author

      Thanks, Solange. I didn’t realize the extent to which Bobbye was loved by so many.

    1. Suzy Farbman Post author

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Gail. You probably met Bobbye when you visited me years back.

  6. Amy Escene

    Prayers to the family! I have fond memories of babysitting the girls (it was my first job) and visiting with Bobbye. After 40 years I still remember talking with her while she made a cheesecake (I was in awe of the amount of cream cheese it took). She was a wonderful lady, and a loving mom!

    1. Suzy Farbman Post author

      Thanks, Amy. Bobbye was a special lady. What a fine first boss you had.

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