By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times
Brendia L. Goldsmith, a longtime resident of Birmingham’s Norwood neighborhood and career civil servant, died July 7 at Princeton Baptist Medical Center. She was 76.
Paul Anthony Goldsmith, Sr., one of Mrs. Goldsmith’s five children, said she would make anybody “feel right at home.”
“She would take you in. She would feed you if you were hungry. She was that type of person. A lot of my classmates, and people who grew up in the neighborhood, they always called her ‘Moms,’” Goldsmith Sr. said.
“That was a big part of me that just left this world,” he added.
Born in Herring, North Carolina, Mrs. Goldsmith went on to graduate from the Highland Falls, New York school system and received formal training at the United States Military Academy at West Point before moving to Birmingham, where she would later retire from the city’s Social Security Administration office.
In addition to her work, Mrs. Goldsmith loved to sing gospel music, travel, to eat the strawberry shortcake from Bob Sykes Barbeque in Bessemer and to cook.
Brendia Lewis, one of Mrs. Goldsmith’s daughters, said her mother was the strongest woman she knew.
“She didn’t have an easy childhood. She didn’t have an easy adulthood, but . . . she was just tough, and she was resilient, and anytime life handed her lemons, she would make the best lemonade you’ve ever tasted,” Lewis said.
Mrs. Goldsmith had a “spitfire personality” and great sense of humor and would “pick at anyone” to get them to laugh, Lewis said, but she was also generous.
“If she found out you liked something, say that you like a certain type of cake, or you liked a certain type of food, if she had nothing to do that day, she was going to cook it and bring it down and call you up and say, ‘Hey, you’re in your office?’ And you say yes, she’d say ‘Well sit right there, I’m on my way,’” Lewis said.
Wennette Parker, the youngest girl in the family, remembered her mother as a strong individual who always helped any and everybody without questioning or curiosities.
“She was a character that loved to joke around she, but was serious when it was time to be,” Parker said. “She touched so many people over the years in so many different ways … She is well known for her funny slogans; we all laughed with mommie all the time. She would go on family vacations with us to hang out til morning playing games and cracking jokes around the table occasionally if you messed up too much.”
Anthony Davis, another of Mrs. Goldsmith’s sons, said he was proud of his mother’s life.
“She came from very humble beginnings in North Carolina. I don’t know if she ever thought she would achieve any of the things that she did, but she did a good job,” Davis said.
She leaves to cherish her memories three sons: Clarence Anthony Davis, Sr., Paul Anthony Goldsmith, Sr. (Robin Starks), Glenn U. Goldsmith; (Maritza) two daughters: Brendia M. Lewis (James, Jr.) and Wennette D. Parker (Roderick); as well as a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren that she cherished and loved beyond words.
Mrs. Goldsmith is also survived by two brothers, John Whitehead (Brenda) and Terry C. Selby (Crystal) and one sister, Pamela M. Hassan; one very special and life-long sister-friend LaVoun Perdue. She leaves a host of uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Family that preceded her in death are husbands Paul R. Goldsmith and James E. Hines; two sisters Janice Satterfield and Barbara Ball; two brothers Gary Selby and Jerry Selby; one nephew Philip Satterfield and one niece, Jasmine Sell.
A public viewing for Goldsmith will be held at Bushelon Funeral Home at 300 14th St. SW on July 22, from 1 to 7 p.m. On July 23, a Home Going Celebration will be held at United Apostolic Church of God at 3125 Wesley Ave. SW at 11 a.m.
Updated at 7:50 p.m. on 7/16/2022 to include a quote from Wennette Parker.