Family and friends remember Elaine Goldberg

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Friends and family gathered to remember a young woman whose life became troubled, and whose death was even more tragic.

Elaine Goldberg was the first victim of the Kensington strangler.

It was a party friends say Elaine Goldberg would have loved. A DJ blasted music, friends caught up, and nobody went hungry.

The focus was not on her tragic end at the hand of the Kensington Strangler, but to celebrate her 21 years of life.

"We're celebrating that she was a joy to be around, she was fun, and she brought happiness to everybody," said Darrah Goldberg, Elaine's mother.

"Elaine's got a ton of friends, and they've all be dying to come up with something to do to show they were doing something in her honor," said Joe Goldberg.

Long before she was a nursing student at Gwneydd Mercy, Goldberg attended elementary school at Saint Martin of Tours in Oxford Circle where hundreds came to remember her.

The balloon arches were a nod to her prom committee days; the banners painted with pieces of her life. A slide show clicked through pictures, and a poster hung to write her messages.

It was at Spirit Day at Little Flower High School where she would have laughed in relay races that included potato sack runs and quilt competitions.

"Elaine was on student council when she was in high school. She loved these kinds of games. She really got the girls excited are got the crowd going," said Maureen Gillespie.

A new reason to celebrate emerged this past week when police apprehended Antonio Rodriguez, who authorities say confessed to killing Goldberg, in addition to Casey Mahoney and Nicole Piacentini.

His capture has helped bring the family peace.

"During the whole time I'd be driving around and thinking that could be him or that could be him; this dude's still walking around. But finally last night, I finally got that relief that it's not him," said sister Careen Goldberg.

Gift baskets were raffled off and tickets were sold at the door. All the proceeds go to helping the family pay off her student loans.

And while the woman of honor couldn't be here in body, her family believes she was there here in spirit.

"I know she's watching us."

From the games to the decorations the night was all about Elaine and the people who love her, and from the huge turnout, there appeared to be many.

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philadelphia, kensington strangler, local/state, katherine scott
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