Benjamin P. Goldfaden, 99, a retired agent for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. who did extensive volunteer work with athletic organizations in the Washington area, died March 25 at a hospice in Tavares, Fla.
He had congestive heart failure, said his daughter Sheri Levin. Mr. Goldfaden had lived in Washington and Prince George’s County for more than four decades before moving to Florida in the late 1970s or early ’80s.
Mr. Goldfaden retired in 1986 after working for more than 20 years in the insurance field. He was a recreation director, referee, swimming pool manager and coach for basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball and tennis teams in Greenbelt. He served on the Greenbelt City Council in the late 1950s and early ’60s.
Benjamin Paul Goldfaden was born in Newark. He played basketball at George Washington University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1937 and a master’s degree in education in 1940, his daughter said.
After Navy service in World War II, he played from 1946 to 1947 for the Washington Capitols under celebrated coach Red Auerbach. The Orlando Sentinel reported that upon Mr. Goldfaden’s death, he was believed to be the oldest living former NBA player.
His athletic honors included induction into the Greater Washington Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame. He belonged to what is now the Mishkan Torah synagogue in Greenbelt and served on the board of trustees of Prince George’s Community College.
His wife of 68 years, Elizabeth Brandes Goldfaden, died in 2005. Survivors include three children, David Goldfaden of Mount Dora, Fla., Vicki Emmert of Tavares and Sheri Levin of Olney; 10 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
— Emily Langer