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On behalf of the state of Florida, NAPS brothers and sisters, our sincere condolences go to the family of Stanley Gold who died Jan. 1 from COVID-19-related issues in Atlanta. Stanley was an honorary member of NAPS Miami Branch 146; we will cherish him for years to come.
I first met Stanley around 1988 when I worked in Labor Relations and he worked in EEO as a counselor/investigator. He always did his due diligence in obtaining all pertinent information on his cases. He was fair and objective; however, he confessed he usually was for the “underdog.”
How well did you know Stanley?Did you know him as a NAPS member who always asked for contributions for the Florida SPAC Walkathon? Or did you know Stanley who earned the first Gold Standard Award? There is so much he accomplished in his 90 years. Let me try to fill you in on “the rest of the story.”
Stanley (Melvin) was born in Brocton, MA, and married his teenage sweetheart Carol in 1954. They had two daughters. His family was of utmost importance to him. He shared many stories of their accomplishments and of the extended family.
Stanley served proudly in the Navy during the Korean War. His favorite hat he wore everywhere, even in the halls of Congress, displayed he was a Korean Veteran and served on the USS Braine. It’s still with him; he was buried with his memorable hat.
Stanley started in the Post Office, as it was called in 1958. He would tell us stories from the time he was president of Miami’s American Postal Workers Union and negotiated for all the members. He remembered when the Miami Post Office was segregated. There was one lunch area for Blacks and another for Whites at the Miami Plant (Biscayne Annex) at that time.
A touching story he told was about when he left the Whites’ area and went to have lunch at the designated area for the Blacks. He crossed barriers and stood by—doing the right thing, not the popular thing.
He served on the Miami Postal Service Credit Union’s Board of Directors for many years and attended legislative conferences in Washington, DC. He did grassroots lobbying on credit union issues and served as the board’s secretary. Stanley introduced me to the credit union movement.
He was a charter member, founder and commander of the American Legion’s Post Office Post 311. Stanley would sign as members everyone to whom he spoke who were veterans. He even signed my husband and many other postal employee spouses.
For years, Stanley volunteered at the Miami Veterans Hospital and did a great job calling the bingo games. If anyone needed information about veterans’ benefits, you knew you could call Stanley for the best advice.
He served as commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA’s Post 223 in Miami. As a member of the American Legion, he organized luncheons for Florida congressmen in the Legion’s Gold Room. So fitting to be assigned that room for his luncheons! He would laugh proudly whenever passing the room, saying, “That’s my room.”
He loved many restaurants in DC and shared information about his favorites, including Filomena’s, Phillips Seafood (he would compete with whoever was there to eat more clams and mussels than he could), Ruth’s Chris and Blackie’s House of Beef (he always asked for the end cut of the prime rib). Some of these restaurants don’t exist anymore. He loved lobster and you had better have gotten to the shrimp platters before Stanley at events!
He had so many friends. One belonged to the National Press Club. Stanley would have his friend arrange for us to have lunch at the Press Club. He invited many to have lunch. At one point, the group was so large, we had our own private area for lunch. Guests would walk up the stairs and look over at us at the huge table; we felt like diplomats! Stanley made sure we had enough time between legislative appointments to make it to the Press Club and back.
He volunteered at Friends for Israel. He told me how he would stay in Israel for a month at a time and fold blankets, make up medical supply kits, paint tire wheels and more. I asked him, “Stanley, aren’t you afraid to stay on the kibbutz?” He replied, “Ann, when your number is up, your number is up.”
Stanley was proud of his legislative contacts in DC. If I had a problem making any appointments, I just called Stanley and he would take care of it. He worked across party lines. He was a staunch Democrat and donated to many Democratic affiliations.
Former Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen gave accolades after the Shiva prayers, commending the life and work of Stanley. She said he was well-respected by everyone. When he asked her for support on issues with which she didn’t quite agree, he would say, “That’s okay. Think about it and perhaps you can help us out.” She said he never put the squeeze on you—always a gentleman.
Former Congresswoman Carrie Meek from South Florida asked Stanley to help her when, after many tropical depressions and hurricanes in South Florida, she was bombarded by phone calls from postal employees who were in harm’s way during the events, but were told to continue delivering and processing the mail. He worked with her and other legislators for years until a bill was passed that granted employees administrative leave during severe weather—protecting not just postal employees, but all federal employees.
Stanley was a walker and a swimmer. He swam every day it was possible to do so. He participated in every SPAC walkathon and won 1st place for the most money collected for SPAC at these events. He spoke at the first-timers’ events at the annual Legislative Training seminars. One year, Stanley laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and never felt ashamed shedding a tear or two while walking around Arlington National Cemetery.
He walked the halls of Capitol Hill and was a friend to many. Even when Stanley was blinded by glaucoma, he made his final trip to DC with us. He rode the Metro and went up the escalators with his walker (thanks, Michael). He kept up with our group, walking from office to office. He made us laugh when we asked him if he was okay. He responded, “I’m just following that blond head.” He was a very optimistic man and always did his best at anything he tackled.
Every Tuesday, Stanley played poker with his friends in Miami. He took Uber to Miami from Pembroke Pines, a distance of about 20 miles. Even with failing eyesight, his buddies would help him win a few hands. He said they always played for pennies! He played until October, then left for Atlanta in November. His favorite television stations were CSPAN and CNN.
Now you know a little more about Stanley—a special person who meant so much to his NAPS family. There are so many more good, fond memories—a lifetime of events that left us with a smile!