Alfred J. Godin
of Fitchburg, was biologist, Navy Vet; 86
FITCHBURG -- Alfred J. Godin, 86, of Fitchburg, passed away Monday, March 3, 2014, in his residence with his family at his side.
He was born in Fitchburg, MA, April 4, 1927, the son of Romeo and Georgette (St. Pierre) Godin and was raised in Fitchburg. He attended and graduated from Fitchburg High School Class of 1945. After he graduated, he enlisted in The U.S. Navy
Reserves for two years and then was placed on active duty in 1947. He remained in the Navy as a Seaman First Class and served during the Korean War
. He was honorably discharged in 1954, having served over six years.
After the war, Al went back to school and graduated from the University of Missouri in 1955 with his Bachelor's Degree in Wildlife Management and then got his Master's of Science Degree in Biology/Ecology from UMass Amherst in 1960. He was an instructor at Rutgers University for 16 years.
In 1975, he authored and wrote a comprehensive nature field guide titled "The Wild Mammals of New England", which took eight years to complete. In 1977 it went to hard cover, printed by the John Hopkins University with drawings by Alfred. This booK is still today, required reading by many colleges and universities around the country.
Alfred worked as a professional consultant while working for the Fish and Wildlife Service for the N.T.S.B. on bird strikes at airports and railroads, giving his professional advice on their hazards to the aircrafts and locomotives. He was hands on in the fields of determining species and cause of accidents.
As a biologist for wildlife, Alfred became interested in whales in 1972 and researched the whale in New England on why they became stranded. He retired in 1991 after 30 years as a biologist. In 1991, he entered Mt. Wachusett College Art Dept. to study sculpture. He sculpted every species of endangered whales and had them cast in bronze, to which the college sponsored an art exhibit in his honor He went to the Bearing Sea for his research. One of his sculptures, the Northern Right Whale was given its final critique by the curator of marine mammals at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.
Alfred's whale sculptures will this year be exhibited in Maine at the Maine Coastal Islands NWR, which is managed by Beth Goettel of South Thomaston, Maine
He is survived by his sister, Louise Delguidice of Fitchburg, MA; his main care givers for several years; his nephew, William and wife, Diane Delguidice; and great nephew and niece, Kathleen and Benjamin Mayer who Alfred loved to share his stories with, and his great- great-nephew, Luke. He also leaves nephews, James, Robert, and Tony, and niece, Deborah Delguidice.
GODIN -- Donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis Tennessee, 38148-0142.
A Memorial will be hosted at The Gables Assisted Living, 935 John Fitch Highway at a later date.
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