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Leslie Robert Goodwin

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Leslie Robert Goodwin, 93, died on Friday, August 28, 2015, at Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville. Leslie was born in London, England. He was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy, 5 years ago.
Leslie was a warrant officer in the Royal Air Force in WWII. He was trained in Prince Edward Island and Victoria Island, Canada. He learned to fly in the bi-plane Tiger Moth. Originally slated to fly torpedo planes, his skill as a navigator led him to be transferred to Bomber Command. There, he served as the navigator in Hampden bombers briefly, then in Sterling bombers. He flew in North Africa and Europe in a variety of missions, including bombing and resistance drops. He also towed gliders during the Arnhem campaign, and was involved in POW repatriation at the end of the war. Prior to one mission, Leslie fell ill and was hospitalized. His plane was shot down, but the crew survived and quickly made it back home. The first thing they did was visit Leslie in the hospital and tell him they were never flying without him again.
After the war, his skill as a navigator and combat experience led to the US air force offering him a job with the rank of Colonel, but he decided to go with other options. Nonetheless, Leslie was disillusioned with the opportunities available to him in England after the war, and in 1952, he and Dorothy boarded a ship bound for Canada to immigrate. Leslie worked at several jobs in Toronto before becoming plant manager for Nielsen's, the largest chocolate and ice cream manufacturer in Canada. He left there in 1966, accepting a position at Warner Lambert headquarters in Morris Plains, New Jersey. There, he worked on various projects in their different confectionery companies, including leading the development project in Marseilles, France, for liquid center chewing gum. He traveled extensively all over the world during his career, and especially liked Thailand and Lebanon, once known as the Paris of the Middle East. He retired in 1985.
Les and Dorothy retired to Bradenton, Florida, and lived there for 18 years. In 2003, they moved to Lake Pointe Landing in Hendersonville, and loved the people and the surrounding area. Leslie enjoyed golf, was an avid gardener, loved cooking, and adored American football. He was also an avid reader. Whilst working in Brampton, Ontario, he read every WWII book in the library. He was a loving father, very perceptive, and had a wry sense of humor. He overcame many obstacles to escape the British class system, determined to give his family a better life. That included teaching himself the King's English, in difficult circumstances. He touched the lives of most of the people with whom he came in contact. He will be dearly missed.
He is survived by his daughter Janet Kay Goodwin, his son Christopher Robert Goodwin and wife Jo Ann Strother, granddaughter Hilary B. Goodwin and husband Jeremiah Denton Allen, his sister Delphine Brand, nephew Gerry Brand, brother Donnie Goodwin and his wife Olive, and brother Lenny Goodwin and his wife Madge.
Memorialization will be by cremation.
Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.kirkseyfhmarion.com.
Published in The Times-News on Aug. 31, 2015
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