Gerald H. Goldwyn, CEO of Richard D. Eiseman Jewelers in Dallas, died Feb. 17 in Dallas. He was 64.
A much-beloved figure in the industry, Goldwyn joined Eiseman 26 years ago. Prior to moving to Texas, he worked for Marchal Jewelers on Fifth Ave. in New York, the store best known for providing the charm bracelets used on the NBC weekly television program This is Your Life. Goldwyn was instrumental in developing the charm bracelet gift idea and gathering the charms that represented the life of each week’s guest.
Even in an industry where many—if not most—people are openly passionate about what they do, Goldwyn was known for his love of jewelry. “I was there on [Feb.] 7,” said designer Henry Dunay, a longtime friend of Goldwyn’s. “He was suffering, but he still wanted to talk about jewelry! He wanted to know what I saw, what was new. But that was Jerry.”
He was also known for his willingness to take time to talk to—and help—anyone. “While I was sitting there with him, someone called him for a job, and he said he’d try to help. On his deathbed!” continued Dunay.
Richard Eiseman, owner of the eponymous store where Goldwyn spent more than two decades, said, “Jerry was like a second father to me—and not only a father but also a friend. I’m just better for having known him. He had a real grasp of the whole picture—life, pleasure, work, and friendship, and his teachings continue to guide all of us.”
Goldwyn also was an award-winning self-taught nature photographer whose work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler and Gourmet magazines. His work in both color and black-and-white has been described as having similarities to the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe. An exhibit titled “Nature to Nature: Photographs by Gerald H. Goldwyn” opened at the Dallas Museum of Natural History on Jan. 18 and runs through May 11.
Eiseman said he and Goldwyn had had many conversations about photography vs. jewelry. “He didn’t want to leave the [jewelry] business, and we didn’t want him to retire, but he wanted to pursue his passion for photography. He figured that two or three years down the road, he would be ready to pursue photography full time,” said Eiseman.
Goldwyn, who was suffering from pancreatic cancer, was the recipient of the Couture Collection & Conference’s 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award. At the Couture show last May, he was clearly tired from his illness but happy to be with his friends and colleagues. Couture Collection brand director Nancy Robey says the Couture Lifetime Achievement Award will be renamed in his honor.
Goldwyn is survived by his wife, Zelda, children David and Ellen, and three grandchildren.