Carmen Golden, the longest-serving member of the Board of Elections in Virgin Islands history, died early Saturday morning at age 80 after a second bout with cancer.

“She was a beautiful Puerto Rican woman and she loved the Virgin Islands,” daughter Helen Danielson said Sunday.

Born in Vieques, Golden relocated to St. Croix where she married Arnold Golden Jr., and together they raised six children and became a political power couple in the Democratic Party.

Her late husband was a former Public Works commissioner and their children are Danielson, former senator and Casino Control Commission Chairwoman Violet Anne Golden, Peter Golden, Carmen Golden-Walker, and Arnold Golden III.

Arnold Golden III said his mother died in Texas where she’d relocated to live with daughter Carmen after the 2017 hurricanes to receive cancer treatment.

Most of her life was spent on St. Croix and Danielson recalled her mother inviting friends from St. Thomas to stay at their home for Festival, Christmas, and Ag Fair, and “she’d always welcome them with a nice little shot of guavaberry.”

A legendary cook who specialized in pasteles and sweet bread, Golden also taught sewing and cooking lessons through the Catholic social center, and served on the Board of Elections for about 40 years, Danielson said.

His mother had many friends and confidantes, including former Gov. Juan Luis and First Lady Luz Luis, and “a lot of political decisions were made in our house,” Golden said.

“Everyone had a lot of fun with her at home, and our home was a central point of everybody’s joy.”

— Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email