Ann Puffer McGoldrick, an Influential figure in Princeton civic life died suddenly on May 23. She was 75.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, at Trinity Church, which is located at 33 Mercer Street in Princeton.
McGoldrick worked with organizations involving students, the needy, the arts, Princeton University, and the Princeton Singers.
A resident of Princeton for 51 years, McGoldrick, was born in Boston to Charlotte Chapman Puffer and Robert W. Puffer, Jr. She grew up in Wellesley, Mass., where she attended the Dana Hall School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Vassar College in 1965, writing her senior thesis on the Israeli-Palestine conflict. In 1966, at age 23, she married her beloved John McGoldrick. Together, they were a formidable team. They moved to Princeton, where they lived for the remainder of her life.
Early on, McGoldrick worked for the Educational Testing Service, where she was instrumental in developing the GRE exam. Ann’s contributions to the Princeton community were deep and broad, and demonstrated her passion for social and political issues, and especially later in her life, to the arts. Ann was elected to the board of education for the Princeton Public Schools for 12 years, and served as president for a number of years. She was deeply committed to the students of Princeton and cared particularly about issues of equity. She served on the Princeton Borough Zoning Board for 17 years, and was involved with The Crisis Ministry (now Arm In Arm), which helps secure basic needs of food and housing to residents of Mercer County. A Friend of the Institute for Advanced Study since 1999, she served on its executive committee from 2001 to 2006. More recently, she was a member of the Institutional Review Board of Princeton University.
Her sharp mind, no-nonsense manner, and willingness to speak up on issues she cared about made her an invaluable asset to organizations. McGoldrick was, in all things, a “do-er”, a practical person who got things done, and who valued that quality in others, her loved ones say. She was a strong advocate for the arts, and had a special passion for choral music. She provided volunteer support to the choirs at Trinity Church, and served on the board of Young Audiences of New Jersey. One of the great joys of her life was the Princeton Singers, the extraordinary singing group with whom she was involved for 35 years. As chair of the Princeton Singers board, she worked tirelessly to support and foster the group, whose music brought her tremendous happiness.
Above all else, Ann was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She was steady, kind, and generous, and was humble beyond measure, always thinking about what she could do for others and wishing to keep herself out of the spotlight. Those who loved her always had a staunch and loving ally. She was an expert chef, a whiz at the New York Times crossword puzzle, a voracious consumer of political news, and a strong advocate who possessed a rare gentleness and grace. She was a supporter of Democratic causes, except when she saw special talent and wisdom on the other side. She was genuinely and fiercely egalitarian, with no exceptions. She deeply loved the summers she spent with family and friends on Cape Cod since 1966, and was rejuvenated each year by the natural beauty and solace she found there. Her absence will be acutely felt on the beaches of Wellfleet this summer, and every summer to come.
Ann is survived by John, her husband of 51 years; son Scott McGoldrick and his wife, Linda Noel, of Princeton; daughter Jennifer Solomon and her husband, Josh Solomon, of Needham, Mass.; grandchildren, Olivia and Julia McGoldrick, and Sam and Nathaniel Solomon, all the apples of her eye; brother Robert W. Puffer, III and his wife Jane Puffer of Acton, Mass., and countless friends. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Arm In Arm or the Princeton Singers.