“It’s a beautiful day for a beautiful memorial,” said Angela Goldman, wife of Almac Hardware’s Paul Goldman, who passed away in February and who was honored on Saturday for his incredible commitment to Newkirk Plaza. She couldn’t have said it better, as dozens of friends, family members, local politicians, and customers gathered in front of the store on a lovely sunny day to share memories about a generous man.
Rather than request donations for heart research in honor of Paul, who died following a heart attack at age 65, Angela worked with the Flatbush Development Corporation to do “something really special so he would be remembered here at Newkirk Plaza,” she said. The plaque that was dedicated at the ceremony hangs directly across from the store that he became the third-ever owner of in 1984.
Sal Guiliano, Yanil Hernandez, and Paul’s grandniece and grandnephews unveiling the plaque.
“It’s very important for us to be celebrating Paul in Newkirk Plaza, because this was his baby,” said Robin Redmond, executive director of FDC, who led the ceremony.
Everyone who spoke seemed to echo that most memorable attribute about Paul — his dedication to his customers and to this community. A business owner and a board member of FDC, Paul was always trying to make Newkirk Plaza, and the surrounding neighborhood, a better place to work and live in.
“Paul was a true community figure who loved people and worked very hard at accommodating all of his customers here at Almac Hardware,” Angela said. “He will be greatly missed as a loving and caring husband, and an all-around great person. Paul truly made a difference in everyone’s lives he touched.”
Paul’s nephew Craig Barnett noted how his uncle gave back to the community, particularly neighborhood kids, with events like pumpkin painting at Halloween and a visit from Santa at Christmas, then providing them employment — and mentorship — when they were old enough. As for their parents, and all his other customers, Craig said that Paul could be counted on for one very important thing.
“He was not satisfied unless the customer walked away with a solution and a smile,” Craig said. “The smile sometimes came at the expense of a bad joke, but nonetheless the customer left with a smile.”
He said that Paul’s dedication to our area had always been very important to him.
“Paul built his life and livelihood around the area. In his heart, he always knew he would be here to stay.”
A proclamation honoring Paul Goldman from Assemblymember James Brennan
“I’ll always be very, very proud to tell people that Paul was my friend and associate,” said Nick Correra, owner of Newkirk Station Wines & Liquors. “In the 25 or so years that I knew Paul, I never ran into anyone who was more dedicated or supportive than him. His care and concern for the plaza, the neighborhood, the community, was second to none.”
As for the future of Almac Hardware, the community is fortunate to have Javier Saez to continue that warm, helpful service that Paul made sure to foster in his store.
“I’d like to thank everybody who supported Almac Hardware throughout this hard time, and this transition, and for still being our customers and supporting us,” said Javier, who Angela mentioned had been like a son to her and Paul.
“I will honor him and cherish Paul in my heart all my life,” he continued. “Paul groomed me to lead Almac to the new generation, and I will be here keeping up that tradition and the love that Paul shared with everyone. As for Paul, it’s very hard for me still. It’s been six months, and we’re all still mourning. I don’t know how long this is going to take to get over, but with friends, family, and support from everybody else, I know the transition will be easy.”
Javier concluded with a trademark line: “As Paul would say, ‘Have a great day!’
Rest in peace, Paul. You’ll be greatly missed.
Almac Hardware is located at 2 Newkirk Plaza, and it’s still open Monday to Friday, 8:30am-7pm; Saturday 8:30am-6pm; and Sunday, 10am-5pm. You can stop in or call 718-434-1736 to learn more about their services.