You are on page 1of 3


Pam King Southern Live Oak trees are among the most revered of trees. They are so deeply rooted and of such dense wood and strength, they have been known to live more than 1,000 years; some with girths of over 30 feet, more than 80 feet tall and crowns that could provide shade for half a football field, including the sidelines and first several rows of seats! Live Oaks are known, too, for the superior strength of their lumber, used tool handles and shipbuilding rather than furniture or decoration. It was lumber from the Live Oak that built the USS Constitution, later known as Old Ironsides, because the cannonballs fired by the British purportedly bounced off its hull, in the War of 1812. Thus, it will be a Southern Live Oak that is planted in Lantana in memory of the man known throughout this North Texas community, since its inception, simply as Doc. Deep-rooted, strong, and well-respected and so much a part of the what meets the eye in Lantana, Doc died this past May, from acute leukemia, after a twelve month battle. Few, if any, knew his given name, yet Doc was known and loved throughout Lantana. He was always on the job. Doc, who worked for Gold Landscaping, personally handled all of the landscaping for the Lantana community. Doc was one of the first men on the Lantana development site and it was he and a dozen men who did all of the landscape installation, landscaping and maintenance for the homes and yards, the neighborhood parks, Golf Club, Amenity and Visitor Centers and Home Owners facilities. Even as the community grew and Docs role expanded to managing a crew of 75 to 80 workers, three supervisors and a fleet of vehicles, Doc personally supervised everything and always put the customer first. He loved work, recalls his nephew, Aaron Goldstein. Doc was very dedicated to work: it came first. He never missed a day for 35 years. Even when he was sick with leukemia, says Goldstein, he wanted to know what was going on with each of his clients and the community. Lantana resident, Fresh Water Supply District #6 Board member and realtor, Donna Robichaux, says, I worked with him a lot: what a nice guy and Johnny-on-the-spot! I was working with him on a property for a client, Robichaux recalls, and we were calling each other back and forth one day, to

get something done. I finally said, Where are you, Doc? and he said, In the hospital. He was taking care of everything for me from his hospital bed! Docs father, originally from New York, came to Dallas in the early 1900s to work for his uncles, soon opening Daves Pawn Shop & Mercantile Co., at 2544 Elm Street, in Dallas. Dora and David Goldstein had six children, the last, Martin, was born on May 14, 1939 and grew up in the bustling family home over the pawn shop, on Elm. His older sister, Gladys Altschuler, says, He was the prettiest baby you ever saw! He was called Little Doc, after my Dads best friend Doc Bennett. From his teen years, Doc worked for his father and older brother, Robert, learning both the business and people skills that would distinguish him throughout his life. When Dave Goldstein closed the pawn shop in the in the late 60s, he and sons Robert and Martin opened Daves House of Guns, which became the largest privately owned gun distributor in the United States. (It was Docs father and brother, Robert, who identified the gun that killed President John F. Kennedy.) In the mid-80s, federal law prohibited firearms distributors, however, putting an end to the Goldsteins distributorship. Doc, known by his family for his love of Elvis Presley, sports and Chevys, went into the auto repair business for a handful of years before following his brother, Robert, into the construction business, focusing on landscaping and soon working exclusively for Golds Landscaping. Docs first work can be seen on the meticulously landscaped Lake Forest subdivision, which sits on the original EDS campus, at Forest and Hillcrest in Dallas. His last work was Lantana. Aaron Goldstein, who watched his uncles work through Gold Landscape, Inc. for 16 years, knew the respect Doc earned for the work he did as much as his personality. People adored him, says Aaron. He was loud, funny and always cutting up, Aaron continued, but it was his work ethic that amazed his crew and people knew they could always count on Doc. Although he hadnt driven his truck for a year, the day before he died, he sent his daughter to get it fixed, so hed be ready to go, when he left the hospital. Says resident Jeanine Gray, You just dont see that kind of customer service anymore. Doc always went the extra mile for each of us. Its just the way he was, Gray said. He was very, very special, one of a kind, and not many weeks go by even now without us still talking about Doc.

Because folks in Lantana could count on Doc dropping by to make sure the tulips were blooming, the shrubs were pruned the right way or the annuals were the right color, he was sorely missed when they learned of his battle with leukemia. Golds Landscaping says 40 or 50 clients a month would add personal notes to their payments, sending their best wishes and word of encouragement to Doc. He was so upbeat throughout his illness, we all thought hed beat it, says Gray. We were shocked when we learned hed died. Today, Doc rests with his family at the Shearith Israel Cemetary, in Dallas, but for many, his memory will continue to linger over the landscape for years to come. - 30

Related Interests