Miriam E. Goder

Miriam Elaine (Gainer) Goder, 88, formerly of Keene, died in Hamburg, N.Y., on May 22, 2019, after suffering a stroke the day before.

Miriam and her late husband, Harold Goder, moved to Keene in 1962 after accepting teaching positions at Keene State College, where they then taught for over 30 years. In addition to raising their three children in Keene and teaching at the college, Miriam also taught generations of private piano students, owned the Keene Sewing Center for a time, and later founded the Keene Institute for Music and the Related Arts.

Miriam was born in West Virginia on June 5, 1930. After receiving double master’s degrees in chemistry and music from West Virginia University, she started her teaching career at the University of Wisconsin in Platteville. She met Harold, a biology professor at the university, and they married in 1957. After living in Keene for over 40 years, they retired briefly to North Carolina, and after Harold’s death in 2008, Miriam moved to the Buffalo, N.Y., area to be closer to family.

Up until her death, Miriam had a very active social and professional life. She was still teaching piano, was involved in various orchestra, piano, and women’s groups, and in the last few years had taken up T’ai chi. She was a very proud and encouraging grandmother to her three grandchildren. Miriam was a teacher not only by profession but also by character, and inspired all who met her with her positive outlook, boundless energy, wise advice and sympathetic ear.

Miriam is survived by her three children, Phoebe (James) Waller-Sharp of Hamburg, N.Y., Jehu Goder (wife Leslie Sepuka) of Queens, N.Y., and Meghan Goder (husband Daniel Reiser) of Sudbury, Mass.; three grandchildren, Alec Waller-Sharp, Max Goder-Reiser and Beatrice Goder-Reiser; other relatives, and countless students and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 2, at the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home in Hamburg, N.Y.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Buffalo String Works (a nonprofit that gives music lessons to refugee children) or Planned Parenthood.