VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The community is mourning the loss of a Virginia Beach father, husband and businessman.
If you don’t know Jeffrey Allen Goldberg’s face, you may know his voice. He was also a local radio DJ.
Jeff Goldberg died unexpectedly on Friday. We are told he passed away in his sleep.
When you showed up at Goldberg’s deli, Route 58 Delicatessen, he’d be there slicing pastrami and corned beef. He actually wanted to install a microphone by the slicer so he could yell at people when they came in and sat down. But his manager won out on that discussion and refused to let him do that because she thought Jeff Goldberg was too loud already.
“He was the kind of person who would call, text me at least once a week to tell me how proud he was of me, and he loved me,” said his daughter, Lauren Goldberg.
Above all else, Jeff Goldberg was a terrific dad and friend.
“He was the ultimate caregiver for my brother, for me, and the ultimate friend for whomever he came into contact with,” Lauren Goldberg told us while sitting at a table in the Route 58 Delicatessen.
You may remember him as Jeff Allen on 106.9, The Fox that pays tribute to him on their website,
“The man knew how to listen to music, and tell inappropriate jokes,” Lauren Goldberg said with a smile. We followed up asking what were some of the jokes. “No, I can’t say — too inappropriate.”
Laughter all around.
Jeff Goldberg was a big deal at Fox for nine years as the morning personality. He was much more than a “personality” — Jeff Goldberg was a force. He was all about music and was popular on-air.
“Music gets us through everything because music is our therapy, and who we are,” Lauren Goldberg said.
Then there was the food thing.
“My dad and I, we were always ‘foodies.’ We would see how much we could eat without getting sick,” she said.
Jeff Goldberg had a higher calling than radio. His new calling was creating what is now considered by many as the greatest reuben in Virginia.
“Dad hated the fact that you don’t get good deli food in Virginia, so the only natural step after the radio was to make corned beef sandwiches. It is who we are,” she said.
He took ideas from Katz’s Deli in New York, Wolfie’s Restaurant in Miami, unique experiences with his parents growing up, then got hundreds of photos and signs and sayings and laid them out all over the walls. That created the 58 Deli.
“Big. Everything has to be big. The sandwiches, his personality, the restaurant — it is just big,” said 58 Deli Manager and close friend Heather Maxwell.
Lauren Goldberg added her father’s life experiences made him stronger.
“My dad fought a lot of demons in his life. He could take all those experiences, and put them together, and make him a better person,” she said.
Lauren Goldberg mentioned her father was also the caregiver for her brother.
Everyone wanted to be on Team Ben when he joined Cycle for Survival Crush Cancer team to raise money for cancer research.
Jeff Goldberg’s son, Ben Goldberg (whose nickname was “Dutch”) taught us all how to live and fight the rare cancer that eventually took his life. Jeff Goldberg allowed us to tell Ben’s story. He called him “Dutch” to push the issue to crush cancer.
Back in April 2016, 10 On Your Side interviewed Jeff Goldberg, who told us about the efforts they were involved in with cancer awareness,
“Two years from now, we are going to have a completely different conversation. We will find out more about this treatment, and they may be treating it completely differently,” he said.
“I think [the WAVY-TV stories] really helped him and gave him something he could continue to fight for to share Dutch’s story,” Lauren Goldberg said.
Lauren Goldberg says the stories we produced allowed her and her father to continue to be entertained by Ben.
“Just to watch him being able to walk out of cancer treatment and doing the moonwalk like Michael Jackson. If Dutch can do that, we can get through anything,” she said.
He also continued to inspire them,
“My brother was our soul. He was our happiness. He was our laughter. He is the reason we believed in the good news of the world because he was so genuine and so true,” Lauren Goldberg said of her brother.
Lauren Goldberg remembers her last interaction with her father was on Thursday,
“When he sent pictures of his thermostat in his car at 91 degrees, and he was miserable, and anyone who knew my father knew he hated humidity and hated the heat,” she said.
Lauren Goldberg says her dad is now where he wants to be: with Ben.
“Dutch was ready for my dad, and I think my dad was ready for Dutch, and I think they went up there together and they listen to the music,” she said.
One question is, ultimately how will Jeff Goldberg’s death impact the 58 Deli?
The sign on the door reads, “We reopen Friday, and we will fill your stomach with good food.”
Jeff Goldberg would demand nothing less.
Noon at the Altmeyer Funeral Home on Rouse Drive off Witchduck Road Virginia Beach. There will be a reception at the 58 Deli from 2:30-6:30 p.m.