Marcia Finberg Goldfarb

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  • "So very sorry for your loss. She sounds like a remarkable..."
    - Sharon Warren Crawford
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Marcia Finberg Goldfarb, 79
PORTLAND - Marcia Finberg Goldfarb, died on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, at home surrounded by her devoted family following a short illness just shy of her 80th birthday.
Marcia Susan Finberg was born on Oct. 22, 1933 in Manchester, N.H., the daughter of George and Ida Finberg. Several months after her birth, she moved with her family to Portland where her father founded Maine Hardware Company. She grew up in Portland, attending public schools - Oakdale Kindergarten, Nathan Clifford, and Lincoln Jr. High School and was a 1951 graduate of Deering High School where she was an excellent student and athlete. She was co-captain of the field hockey team and was on the undefeated basketball team, the swimming team and the tennis team. As well she was active with the ski club and developed into an expert skier. At age 19 she climbed and skied non-stop down Tuckerman's Ravine on Mt. Washington.
Marcia attended Pembroke College, the women's part of Brown University. In 1951, as a freshman, she wanted to major in chemistry but was told by her male faculty advisor that 'girls don't do science'. She majored in International Relations and graduated in 1955 as President of her class. It was at Brown that she met and subsequently married Walter B. Goldfarb, MD, her classmate. They were married in Portland on Dec. 17, 1955.
She subsequently lived in Boston during Walter's medical schooling, working as a children's librarian at the Boston Public Library. It was in 1958 that their first child, Jennifer G. Aronson, M.D. was born and for the next 14 years she devoted all her efforts to her children and family. During these years she lived in St. Louis during Walter's surgical training,; and subsequently at Fort Knox, Kentucky during his years in the U. S. Army. The family returned to Portland in 1968.
In the early 1970's her long wish to study science came to fruition. She enrolled at USM and took mathematics, physics, and all the chemistry courses offered. In those days, a USM chemistry major had to take the final two courses, physical chemistry and advanced organic chemistry at Orono as they were not offered at USM. With 3 children still at home she was able in 1974-75 to fulfill these course requirements at Bowdoin College, commuting daily for classes and labs. Bowdoin had admitted women just a few years earlier, and her oldest daughter, having entered Bowdoin as a freshman in 1976, could uniquely claim that her mother had gone to Bowdoin!
Marcia subsequently worked in the biotechnology field, first at Atlantic Antibodies, and then at Ventrex. Her field of interest was protein chemistry, and she became an expert at two-Dimensional electrophoresis, the separation, identification and quantification of proteins in a variety of biologic and other industrial fluids. She worked with a local pediatrician studying the proteins in human breast milk, examining their correlation with health and the likelihood of successful, nutritious breast feedings for infants. She authored several scientific papers, was a member of several professional societies, and received a patent.
In 1985, Marcia left Ventrex to start her own biotech company, Anatek - EP (analytical technology - electrophoresis). She did contract electrophoresis studies for hospitals, laboratories, and companies. She had customers and contracts all over the world.
Marcia Finberg Goldfarb
She continued to publish and participate in international meetings, particularly the prestigious International Society of Proteomics biennial meetings in Siena, Italy, which she regularly attended over 22 years. She closed her lab and retired in 2009. Over the years she volunteered for charitable causes such as the United Way and Maine Medical Auxiliary.
Marcia was a devoted mother and wife, the soul and heart of her family. She taught her children to ski. She was an omnivorous reader with amazing retention of everything she read. She was a marvelous cook as well as painter, mostly of oil paintings. She enjoyed travel to many places in the world with Walter. She organized several memorable family trips such as skiing in Vancouver BC and in the Austrian Alps, as well as to Nevis and other Caribbean resorts.
Whether on skis, ice skates, the back of a horse, fly fishing in Montana or at Grand Lake Stream, Marcia loved and mastered numerous outdoor activities. In recent years she took up nature photography, specifically southern Maine shore birds. The Scarborough Marsh was a favorite birding haunt of hers. There she identified over 190 species. Utilizing her computer skills with knowledge gained at digital photography, photoshop courses and workshops, she produced marvelous images of these birds, every year making beautiful calendars prized by family and friends.
Despite her multiple accomplishments and adventures, her main focus was her family. Her pride in her three children, all physicians, knew no bounds.
She also took great pride in her six grandchildren. She was married to her loving husband, Walter, for almost 58 years. She was a strong and remarkable woman.
Marcia was predeceased by her parents George and Ida Finberg; and her brother Norman (Buddy) Finberg. She is survived by her husband Walter; as well as her three children, Jennifer Aronson (Frederick) of Cape Elizabeth; and their children Jonathan and Max, Adam Goldfarb (Erica); and their children Natalie and Sarah of Charlottesville, Va., and Miriam Goldfarb (Manuel Santos); and their children Sophia and Pablo of Cambridge, Mass. She is also survived by her sister Nadeen Liebeskind of Israel, her sister-in-law Nancy Finberg of Portland; and many nieces and nephews; as well as a host of friends many of whom go back to her nursery, grammar and high school years here in Portland.
Marcia's family is grateful for the extraordinary care and kindness provided by the caregivers at Maine Medical Center, the staff at The Cedars, Dr. Andrea Klayman, and especially the Home Hospice VNA staff, who fulfilled her wish to spend her final days at home surrounded by family.
Services will be held on Monday, Sept. 30, at Temple Beth El, 400 Deering Ave. at 10:30 a.m., followed by interment at Temple Beth El Memorial Park.
Shiva will be observed at the home of Jennifer Aronson, 27 Lawson Rd., Cape Elizabeth, on Monday and Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. Friends and family are invited to attend to share memories.
Arrangements provided by The Jewish Funeral Home, Portland.
It was Marcia's request that all remembrance gifts consist of donations to:
The Portland Public Library, where her lifelong love of books and reading was fostered.

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Funeral Home
Jewish Funeral Home
471 Deering Ave
Portland, ME 04103
(207) 774-3733
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram from Sept. 29 to Sept. 30, 2013
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