Best friend, wife of 31 years, baby sister, financial guru, and decorated veteran of the
Eleanor (Nora) was born to Hubert and Theresa Golden in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, on April 11, 1962, the youngest (and cutest) of five daughters. The family moved to Wadsworth, Ohio, when Nora was a toddler.
All of the girls attended Sacred Heart of Jesus grade school. Along with their parents, they became part of Wadsworth's close knit Catholic community. Nora sang and played guitar in Sacred Heart's choral group called "The Word". She graduated with Wadsworth High School class of 1980 and took classes at the University of Akron.
Nora showed early signs of financial smarts by lending money to her older sisters. She learned the hard way that a shiny penny is not worth more than a grimy quarter, but a busy mother could sometimes be snookered into providing milk money and allowance twice.
Against her father's wishes, Nora left home to join the Navy in 1983. She trained as an Electronics Technician at Service School Command, Great Lakes, Illinois. Her first assignment was USS Dixon (AS 37), a submarine tender home ported at San Diego's Ballast Point. She drove her first car, a 1972 Chevy Nova from Ohio. The first night in San Diego her car was broken into and all of her possessions stolen, except for 'Fubar,' her stuffed bear.
Nora met her future husband, Rocky, on Easter Sunday, April 7, 1985, while they were both on temporary assignment for technical training at Mare Island, near Vallejo, California. They got to know each other while exploring San Francisco, Sausalito, Stinson Beach, and sailing on the Napa River. They returned to their assigned duties in San Diego and enjoyed sailing on Mission Bay, grabbing a bite from the potato bar before class at National University, concerts at Shelter Island, and camping in the mountains. They were married on December 21, 1987, at Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Spokane Valley.
Nora was next assigned to Ground Electronics at Naval Air Station Alameda where she excelled as a technical manager and was recognized with several awards, including Sailor of the Year for 1989. Nora was a talented listener and could have easily been a professional counselor. Her insight into people and their motivations helped her become a terrific manager, respected and admired by her department and colleagues.
Nora left the Navy in 1990 and attended Saint Martin's University in Lacey, Washington, graduating Magna Cum Laude in May, 1992, with a BA in Finance and Accounting. She joined Rocky at his new assignment on the tiny island of Guam. In spite of her anxiety about finding work in a strange place, Nora delivered resumes on Monday, interviewed on Tuesday, and was hired on Wednesday by KPMG Peat Marwick as a management consultant. Nora wanted more business experience, so she left KPMG and became the financial controller at Seiko Hattori, the biggest Seiko watch distributor in the Pacific. Nora became a Certified Public Accountant in 1993.
They retired from the Navy in May, 1994, and settled in Spokane, where Nora continued to gain experience and more responsibility in each position. She served as Spokane Community College's book store accountant and consulted for the Foundation. She then took a temp job offered at Sterling Savings to help reconcile their recent conversion to a new system of record. She and
Debbie Schmidt spent months on the project and became known as the cellar dwellers. They persevered and accounted for every last penny, and had learned every nook and cranny of the new system in the process. Nora continued growing at Sterling as an Asset/Liability Analyst, and was made an assistant vice president after being promoted to Assistant Controller. She received the Sterling Savings 2002 Leadership Award.
Nora moved to Spokane Teachers Credit Union in 2003 to become Director of Accounting and Finance. She was diagnosed with
soon after, and was overwhelmed by the care and support from the people in her new department throughout her treatment and recovery. She left STCU in 2008 to help care for her aging parents and returned in 2009 as Director of Business Services. In 2012 she became the Treasury Manager, responsible for growing STCU's investment portfolio, a role she considered the highlight of her career. She retired in December 2017.
She is preceded in death by her sister, Mary Golden and their parents. She is survived by husband, Rocky; sisters, Liz (Wayne) Swickley of Minneapolis; Sister Margaret Golden and Chip Golden, both of Wadsworth; and nephews, Joe Golden of Akron, and Mark Swickley of Edina, Minn.
Very special people in Nora's life include childhood best friends, Lisa Buccitelli, Tracey Perry; Patsy, Tina, and Art Jones; Beth Petch, Connie Benek, Joanie Stano, Nancy Dunning, and Martha Foote.
There will be no services.
Nora loved animals, both stuffed and real, and over the years adopted pets from local shelters. She asked for charitable donations to support SCRAPS and the Spokane Humane Society, or your local animal shelter.