Lillian Viola (Herman) Golub

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Lillian Viola (Herman) Golub

Lillian Viola (neé Herman) Golub was a force of nature. We were shocked when she died on May 22, 2024, after a very brief illness, four months shy of her 99th birthday.

She was born in 1925 to Frances and Irving Herman in Boston’s West End and spent her formative years in the shtetl of Dorchester. She attended Jeremiah E.Burke High School, following which she worked as a welder during World War II. She lied to the DMV, claiming to be 5’ 1” tall, but what she lacked in stature she made up with her intrepid entrepreneurial spirit.

In 1948, when she married Leo Golub and moved to Lynn, the couple started a bakery business, bringing Jewish breads and pastries to the North Shore. She gave up the bakery to become a stay-at-home mom after giving birth to two children, Ellen and Richard. The family joined the wave of Jewish emigration from city to suburb, moving to Marblehead in 1959. But after only a few months in the new house, Richie developed cancer and died. The family was bereft. And Lil, who lost her mother as a young child, became inconsolably restless and promptly took a job in retail.

From that moment on, Lil threw her enormous energy into a variety of business adventures. She bought and sold promotional gifts, jewelry, and houses, and spent many years in catering, managing venues from vending machines and cafeterias, to private airline food and weddings. When she retired at age 65, she became captivated by a new concept: the membership box store. Lil began a second career working and shopping at Costco, the place where she spent the last 33 years of her life. She worked at every job and department in the store, made many friends along the way, and was celebrated as the oldest Costco employee, worldwide. She lived independently in her Marblehead home until two weeks before her death.

Luckily, Lil became the adoring Bobbe to Ellen’s four children and Savta to the nine great-grandchildren – giving her many people to shop for and many opportunities to scoop up a bargain. Lil was a kid at heart and her energy for shopping and fun knew no bounds. She showered her grands and great-grands with affection, excitement, toys, and candy – with trips to Salem Willows for skeeball and popcorn, to Grace Oliver’s beach, to Disney World, and family parties. She was a daily participant in everyone’s life and will be dearly missed,

Lil’s husband, Leo, and her son, Richard, predeceased her; as did her brothers and sister, Sydney, Melvin, and Shirley Herman. Left grieving are her daughter and son-in-law, Ellen Golub and Steve Sass of Newton; her grandchildren: Frannie and Abe Weinograd, Alex and Sharon Golub-Sass, Yoni and Debbie Golub-Sass, and Zoë Golub-Sass; and her great-grandchildren: Levi, Itai, Ayelet, and Ariella Weinograd; Lea and Eliott Golub-Sass; Mia, Leo, and Eli Golub-Sass.

Donations in her memory are welcomed at The Jimmy Fund.

One Response

  1. Who could not love Lil?
    She was a wonderful person who went out of her way to befriend everyone and if you said to her that something nice that she was doing was not necessary she replied “I do it because it makes me happy”
    I will absolutely miss her great smile and attitude for life. She was truly unique.
    Peter Kaufman

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