Deceased Name: Howard L. Goldy, 59 police officer who hated crime, not all criminals
The borrowed decade that brought so much joy to Howard Lewis Goldy and his family ended Monday when his big heart finally stopped beating. He was 59.
Mr. Goldy had a massive heart attack in 1989 that forced him to retire from the San Diego Police Department. A son, Ron Goldy, said that everyone including Mr. Goldy knew the heart attack should have killed him.
"I don't think that anyone would argue that he was a happier person after the heart attack than he was before," Ron Goldy said. "The past 10 years was the greatest thing. They gave him a chance to enjoy life like he never had before.
"He was a heckuva man before his heart attack, well respected by the other police officers and very willing to help anybody. But after, he was always happy. He was always smiling."
A native of Los Angeles, Mr. Goldy attended Helix High School. He was in the U.S. Army from 1958 until 1962.
Mr. Goldy began his police career as a foot patrolman in 1962. He moved to the vice squad in 1971 and became a recognized authority on battling child pornography, said Bill Robinson, a public information officer for the San Diego Police Department.
"The first time I saw Howard, he was kind of imposing," Robinson said. "But once he opened his mouth and looked you in the eye, you realized just how gentle he was. Everybody liked him."
Mr. Goldy was proud to be a police officer, his son said, and frequently visited friends at the police station after he retired. Mr. Goldy detested crime of any sort, but not all criminals, Ron Goldy said.
"He knew that some people were doing the only thing they could to survive," Ron Goldy said. "He always treated everybody with respect, no matter how much he hated what they did or stood for."
When Mr. Goldy had the heart attack 10 years ago, he received cards and letters not only from people he had helped over the years, his son said, but also from some he had arrested.
Mr. Goldy was hospitalized last Saturday. By Sunday, he was calling people and talking about how good he felt, his son said. He collapsed at about 3 a.m. Monday morning and then began to improve again.
"We were all thinking he had made another comeback and he was going to be OK," Ron Goldy said. "Then all of a sudden, he was gone."
Mr. Goldy is survived by his wife, Kay Goldy of San Diego; his father, Henry Goldy of Escondido; sons Ron Goldy of El Cajon, Craig Goldy of Los Angeles, and Eric Goldy of La Mesa; a sister, Arlene Olsen of San Diego; a brother, Michael Goldy, who lives in North County; and one granddaughter.