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Dr. Oliver David Gold

July 26, 1930 ~ August 1, 2021 (age 91)



Dr. Oliver David Gold, 91, died on August 1, 2021 in home hospice in Sedona, Arizona surrounded by loved ones including his beloved rescue dog, Louie. 

David was born in McEwensville, PA on July 26, 1930.   His family moved to Lewisburg, PA where David attended public schools and Bucknell University. 

He served as a Navy musician in the Korean War. Then, he returned to Bucknell and completed both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in History and Music.  He was appointed graduate assistant in history at Pennsylvania State University, followed by a 34-year tenure as a teacher of history and philosophy at York Suburban in York, PA.  In 1971, he earned his doctorate.

He married Barbara Grittner of Hughesville, PA in 1957. They relentlessly traveled the world, visiting every country in  Europe, China and Egypt.  Dubbed the “Obstreperous Traveler” – he often taught locals (and tour guides) their own history!   They lived life to the fullest during their 62 years together. After Barbara passed, he moved close to his daughter, Martha and adopted his  dog, Louie (now a cherished member of his daughter’s family.) 

David continued to teach philosophy, garden, learn, read, listen to classical music and fully enjoy life and his intellectual pursuits until 2021 when he experienced health issues. 

David authored two books, The Gold Family History  - Eleven Generations from Moravia to Pennsylvania and with Martha,  The Civil War Soldiers’ Orphan Schools of Pennsylvania, 1864 – 1889.

The following was written by O. David Gold: 

My Obituary

David considered himself to be something of an intellectual in the tradition of Richard Hofstadter’s seminal “Anti-Intellectualism in the United States,” (1963.) As a teacher, he early abandoned being a “God” in the classroom (“a giver of directions or lecturer”) and pioneered the more scientific-inquiry technique of teaching history, with the students working in groups using original documents and understanding the significance of frame of reference, hypothesis building, evaluation of evidence and arriving at a conclusion. This schema earned David the prestigious Carter Teacher Recognition Award among other National teaching awards. 

 David earned a Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Education from the University of Maryland. He returned to York Suburban High School and started teaching philosophy to seniors incorporating the technique of “Value Clarification” which allowed the students to state their feelings on what 50 years ago were such verboten topics as LGBT, women’s and African American rights, Death and Dying and whether there is a God and free will. 

His progressive attitudes in the teaching of history and philosophy often resulted in the displeasure of the school’s administration. 

After retirement, David started teaching intellectually minded seniors philosophy in the OLLI program at Penn State, York and after his move to Arizona, OLLI at Yavapai College, Sedona. 

Through it all, David was always optimistic about the pursuit of intellectualism.  He often quoted the famous 19th century philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, who when asked why he was so curious, replied, “isn’t that what life is all about!”

And that was Doc Gold – always questioning, curious, innovative and argumentative. 


In lieu of a service,  David hopes that his friends and former students would play a piece of classical music and toast his long and exceptional life with a Manhattan!

Arrangements have been entrusted to Hughesville Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 5069 Route 220 Highway, Hughesville. 

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