Eleanor Kohlberg Goodman passed away peacefully on January 31, 2023.
Born on April 18. 1928, she was a third-generation El Paso resident and the granddaughter of pioneer El Pasoans Olga and Ernst Kohlberg, who came to El Paso in 1875. Her father, Walter Kohlberg, was born here in 1885.
Eleanor attended Dudley Elementary School, El Paso High School, and the University of Illinois before receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. In 1949, she married Leonard A. “Nardo” Goodman Jr., a member of another pioneer El Paso family, and they raised their four children here.
Eleanor will be remembered for her intelligent, compassionate, spirited, warm, elegant presence. She was a life force for all who knew her in her family, her friends, the El Paso community, and as a businesswoman. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and accomplished woman with a kind and caring heart who saw the diverse needs of her community and assumed her leadership roles with relish.
She spent much of her childhood in the now-historic home of her grandparents, Olga and Ernst Kohlberg, surrounded by “old El Paso” history. Like her father, an avid El Paso historian, she was fascinated by history. Eleanor enjoyed giving presentations as the official family historian, which she did with a delightful flair and humor that amused her audiences. She donated The Kohlberg Family Papers and Exhibits to Special Collections at the UTEP Library.
Eleanor was also the CEO of her family’s Kohlberg Corporation and had important roles in numerous community organizations. She was elected to serve on the first El Paso Community College Board of Trustees in 1973 and served as Vice President until 1983. She helped to expand the roles and courses for women and increase technical and vocational classes, daycare workshops, and staff and student development. She was President of the El Paso Symphony Guild and Debutant Chairman, a Co-founder and President of the Kermazaar Art Festival, and a Founder of the Los Artistas Art Show, both of which exist today. She was passionate about providing food to everyone. She valued her role as Chairman of Drive A Meal, delivering meals for years to the elderly on behalf of the National Council of Jewish Women.
Eleanor was also a loyal member of Las Comrades and the Pan American Round Table of El Paso and a member of the Members Guild of the El Paso Museum of Art, where she and Nardo established the Leonard and Eleanor Kohlberg Goodman Fund.
Eleanor took immense joy in her family and friends and entertaining large groups. She was a warm and gracious host well known for her impressive culinary talents and dinner parties. She and Nardo loved to travel with their children, taking them on camping road trips, cultural travels in the US and throughout Europe, and archeological trips in the Yucatan and elsewhere. As avid fly fishers late in life, Eleanor and Nardo enjoyed searching for the best fly-fishing spots, regaling their friends with fly-fishing stories.
Eleanor was preceded in death by Leonard “Nardo” Goodman, her loving husband of 45 years, and her parents, Genevieve McHugh Kohlberg and Walter Kohlberg. She is survived by her sons Leonard A. “Tripper” Goodman III and Walter Goodman of Boston; her daughters Elizabeth Levy (Jim) of El Paso and Karla Steinberg (Larry) of Dallas; and grandchildren Aaron Goodman, Leah Olivia Levy, and Oliver Steinberg. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Eleanor will be missed by her large and extended family and her wide circle of dear friends. Her beloved grandchildren will remember her fondly for her love and kindness. She maintained a lifelong devotion to her childhood friends. Eleanor embraced the great fullness of life.
We extend our appreciation to the Hospice of El Paso and our heartfelt thanks to caregivers Rosenda Bujanda, Norma Antunas, Raquel Serrano, Mary Ponce, Rosa Lopez, and Guadalupe Castruite.
Funeral services were held on Friday, February 3rd, at Temple Mount Sinai. Donations in Eleanor’s memory can be made to Temple Mount Sinai, 4408 N. Stanton, El Paso, Texas, 79902; El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, 9541 Plaza Circle, El Paso, Texas, 79927; or the El Paso County Historical Society, 608 W. Yandell, El Paso, Texas 79902.