Dr. Russell Curtis Goldbaum, 92, veteran, surgeon, author, sailor and gentleman farmer, of Haverhill and Florida, passed away Sunday morning April 30, at Penacook Place Nursing Home, Haverhill.
Born in Bradford, May 13, 1924, he was the son of the late Robert H. and Mary Ann (Oatman) Goldbaum. He attended Haverhill public schools, Tilton Preparatory School, University of New Hampshire and Washington University of St. Louis, where he graduated in 1944. In 1948, Goldbaum graduated from Tufts Medical School. He completed residencies at the Long Island, Boston City and Mount Sinai Hospitals.
In December, 1952, he married the love of his life, Miriam Joy Kagan of Bronx, New York. She predeceased him in 2009.
In December, 1942, Goldbaum enlisted in the Army and served domestically during World War II and in the Korean War (1953-1954) as part of the 45th Infantry Thunderbird Division of the Army’s Mobile Army Surgical Hospital under Brigadier General Phillip D Ginder. He attained the rank of captain and was awarded several military awards: Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Campaign Ribbon, the Victory Medal and a Bronze Star. In the Army, Goldbaum witnessed significant strides in the advancement of battlefield injuries and trauma care. He had an opportunity to visit Japan and observe first-hand the world’s fastest surgeon. While in Japan, he procured the highest quality photographic supplies to transport back to Korea to stock his photography club’s darkroom. He built and operated a 24/7 darkroom for MASH members to have something artistic to do in their free time. An avid photographer since a teenager, Goldbaum documented the Korean War and passed his love of photography to his daughters.
In 1956, Goldbaum opened a vascular and general surgery practice in Haverhill and treated patients from the surrounding cities of Lawrence, Amesbury and Newburyport. He would “outstudy” his peers, reciting science lessons while sitting in a row boat in the middle of a local pond.
He and his siblings Barbara and Richard, enjoyed a lifelong love of boating. Together they purchased a sailboat, the Ruribar, and their families would spend summers sailing the Maine coast. When he wasn’t working, writing, sailing, skiing or playing tennis in Florida, Goldbaum could be found at home surrounded by family, gardening, planting trees, pickling green tomatoes and working on his property in Haverhill. He loved to invent and build things and was especially interested in heavy machinery. He was the author of two books, Captain Red and Bite of the Blue Krait. Goldbaum was a longtime member of the American College of Surgeons, and Temple Emanu-El, Haverhill.
His survivors include his brother Richard and wife Evelyn; three children, Susan E. Kane and her husband Lee of Haverhill, David R. Goldbaum of Bedford, Elizabeth Mary Goldbaum and her husband Ross Wilson of San Francisco, Calif.; six grandchildren, Ruby H., Robert E., Noah J Goldbaum, Benjamin I. and Daniel J. Kane, and Russell J. Wilson; as well as several beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral service Wednesday morning, May 3, at 11, at H.L. Farmer and Sons Funeral Home, 106 Summer St., Haverhill. Burial with military honors will be in Children of Israel Cemetery, Haverhill. Reception immediately follows at Haverhill Country Club. In lieu of flowers contributions in his memory may be made to the Tufts University School of Medicine, Goldbaum Scholarship Fund, 136 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111.