John "Jack" Thomas Godfrey Atlanta, GA John "Jack" Thomas Godfrey, son of Hazel and Karl Godfrey and a Lansing native, died October 1 surrounded by family at age 85. He was born in Lansing on July 11, 1924, attended Eastern High School and graduated from Michigan State University. Before graduating from high school, he joined the then Army Air Corps and served as a B-17 co-pilot, stationed in Norfolk, England, during WWII, and completed 35 bombing missions over Germany. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Mr. Godfrey earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Michigan State University and went on to teach math at a middle school in Detroit, then work for General Electric in Schenectady, NY, and Phoenix, AZ. He next founded On Line Systems Inc., a computer-programming business in Pittsburgh, PA, and a highly successful company way ahead of its time. He was also a mathematician who invented and helped create early children's games that taught the fundamentals of computer logic: Dr. Nim and Digicomp II. He loved his family, first and foremost, and math puzzles, computers, bicycling, boating, swimming, dogs, magic tricks, finding Petosky stones, jokes, camping, and northern Michigan. After retirement, he lived in East Jordan, MI, on Lake Charlevoix during summers, and spent winters in Punta Gorda, FL. He was married to Velda (Cavanaugh) Godfrey, also of Lansing, for 60 years. They had four children. In their later years, Jack and Velda moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to be near family. Jack died at Park Springs Communities retirement home in Stone Mountain, GA, where Velda still lives. John Godfrey was a generous, smart, funny and extremely loving man, quick to help anyone in need and a role model who was adored by everybody who knew him. He will be terribly missed by all who survive him -- his wife Velda; daughter Barbara Keenlyside; sons Jim, Dale and Thomas Godfrey; his sister Mary Case; brother-in-law Roland Case; nephew Doug Case; nieces Rae Ann Beck, Sue Pride and Lynn Brownridge; and his nine grandchildren: Conan, Evan, David, Nora, Connor and Matthew Godfrey; Caitlin and Andrew Beck; and Miles Keenlyside, among many other people. Please send condolences and messages to his daughter Barbara at email@example.com. Contributions in his name may be sent to The Salvation Army.
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Published in Lansing State Journal on Oct. 13, 2009