Lynne Z. Gold-Bikin, 80, an attorney noted for her expertise on divorce and family law, died on Oct. 9 of multiple myeloma.
Her knowledge came from firsthand experience. She got a divorce from first husband Roy Gold two months after she graduated from Villanova University Law School in 1976.
While most know her from her legal acumen, she was a devoted mother and grandmother. Gold-Bikin was politically active and a lover of music, community theater and bowling.
“Like other moms, she was really intent on making all of us succeed; she read to us and sang with us when we were little. We grew up watching her perform in community theater musicals, and later she used to throw season-starting parties to help the local summer stock theater,” said Russ Gold, her eldest son.
She was also active in her community, something Gold recalls from childhood.
“There were a lot of accidents on our street in Pottsville, which people attributed to the lack of stop signs. Despite the failure of previous attempts to get the city council to install them, she took up the fight and succeeded,” he said.
When she returned to school, she transitioned from a stay-at-home mother of four to a student, but she always made time for her children.
“When the youngest of us, my brother, started in elementary school fulltime, Mom went back to college, commuting half-an-hour each way, making sure to be home before we were back from school,” Gold said.
Gold-Bikin was a devoted, active grandmother. When Russ Gold’s oldest son showed interest in film production, she found a summer course on that subject and enrolled him in it.
“It allowed him to develop his skills, both as a cameraman and editor. She did similar things for each of her grandchildren, as appropriate,” he said.
Gold-Bikin kept busy, as she traveled, served as patron for museums — among them the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center — and donated to charities. As an active member of the Democratic Party, she held candidate get-togethers.
She was a long-distance congregant at Congregation Rodeph Shalom and was supportive of the congregation.
During law school, she was active in the student division of the American Bar Association, serving as governor her second year of law school and as president her third year — a first for a woman. She later helped found the ABA Preserving Marriages Project.
Gold-Bikin was a member of the committee that helped create the no-fault divorce enacted in Pennsylvania on July 1, 1980. She wrote several books on the subject of family law: Divorce Practice Handbook (1994), The Divorce Trial Manual: From Initial Interview to Closing Argument (2003) and National Trends in Family Law: An Immediate Look at Economic and Societal Changes Impacting Divorce Law Across the Country.
She began her career as an attorney with Pechner, Dorfman, Wolffe, Rounick & Cabot. Gold-Bikin was a practicing attorney until her death, serving as a partner and chair of the family law department at Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, LLP.
Most of all, Gold-Bikin was devoted to her family; it was her main passion.
“At one meeting of a group of lawyers, when each was invited to take about their greatest accomplishments, and each listed awards or legal triumphs, she told the crowd that her greatest achievement was raising four terrific kids. When family members called on her, she even put us ahead of her clients,” Gold said.
She is survived by her husband, Bruce Martin; four children, Russ Gold (Gwen), Sheryl Gold (Marla), Lisa Untracht (David) and Michael Gold (Silvana); 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. l
Andrew Crowley is a freelance writer.