Born in Austria, four-year-old Golda Schonbach immigrated to the United States with her mother Anna in 1910 and settled in New Orleans. In 1912, according to news accounts, Anna died by suicide, leaving a short note for her husband in Yiddish and German.
Two months later, the board admitted “Goldie” into the Home, where she lived for the next eleven years. In 1923, she graduated from the Isidore Newman Manual Training School, where her classmates dubbed her “a speed demon on a typewriter and a crack shot with a basket ball.” For her senior quote, Goldie chose, “Marks, not men, have been my aim.”
Golda Schonbach, 1923, Newman Pioneer.
Goldie worked clerical jobs, including as a bookkeeper for Imperial Shoe Store, and in 1931 received her certificate in shorthand from Soule Business College. In 1941, Goldie won appointment as assistant to the chief of the newly formed Louisiana Civil Service League, created to support the non-political and merit-based administration of state and city civil service laws.
Golda Schonbach, left, wins appointment as assistant to executive secretary John White, center with phone, of the Louisiana Civil Service League. New Orleans Item, May 21, 1941.
In 1944, following her naturalization as a U.S. citizen, Goldie enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps, and was stationed in California. Following her discharge from active service in 1945, Goldie returned to New Orleans, where she lived with Lawrence Avegno and his wife, Jean Segal Avegno, a Home alumna who served as secretary to Home superintendent Harry Ginsburg.
In 1959, at age 53, Goldie married Max Dreyfus, a widower with three children, who operated his own laundry machinery company and other enterprises in New Orleans. When Goldie died in 1974, she was buried in Gates of Prayer Cemetery with a military headstone honoring her service in World War II.