Mozelle O'Briant Goodwin went Home in the early morning hours of Friday, January 6, 2017. She was living proof that "You are braver and stronger than you think."
She was born in Durham, North Carolina, on May 25, 1924, the sixth child of Mary King and Samuel O'Briant. As a child of the Great Depression, she suffered the throes of poverty in which many lived during that time. During those days, school books were confiscated if one did not have the money to pay "book rent." In the O'Briant home, there was never enough money for books and food ( and sometimes, very little even for food. ) Determined to get an education, she borrowed books from classmates to do her homework if she agreed to do theirs as well. Later she was able to get a cleaning job with the NYA, one of the federal programs created by FDR.
Regardless of financial hardship, family pressures to quit school, and other enormous obstacles, she persevered and did indeed finish high school. Soon after high school, she married her high school sweetheart, Herbert Goodwin. But on the horizon loomed WWII. After less than a year of marriage, Herbert was drafted. He deployed 2 months before their first child, Shelby Jean, was born. It would be 4 years before he would return home to Durham.
Life can be a hard teacher, but Mozelle and Herbert navigated their hardships well, teaching their children the tremendous value of an education, of hard work, and of caring for others. To be near their children, Mozelle and Herbert moved to Athens, Georgia, in 1985. Herbert preceded Mozelle in death in 2003.
Mozelle is survived by two children, Shelby Jean (Jeani) Goodwin of Athens; H. Truett Goodwin, Jr. (Sharon); two grandchildren, Jessica Price (TJ), and Dr. Jeremy Goodwin (Lisa), and five great grandchildren , all who reside in Monroe County. Mozelle was buried in a family grave site in Forsyth on Sunday, Jan. 8. Officiating at the service was Reverend Marilyn Mckelvey Tucker-Karek, pastor of Forsyth Presbyterian Church.
Heartfelt thanks to the many friends who have reached out with loving thoughts and prayers; special thanks to friends and staff at Talmage Terrace/Lanier Gardens; to Holy Cross Lutheran Church (ELCA) where Mozelle and Jeani have been members for the past 5 years; and to Gentiva Hospice whose loving care and expertise during these difficult days will never be forgotten.
Memorials may be sent to Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 800 West Lake Dr., Athens, Ga., 30606, with special note to the fund for "Seasoned Citizens."
Mozelle Goodwin, "You are braver and stronger than you think." (Pooh) Mama, "You are more precious and loved than you will ever imagine." (Jeani & Truett).
Monroe County Memorial Chapel has charge of arrangements.
Monroe County Memorial Chapel - Forsyth
86 W. Main St.
Forsyth, GA 31029
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Jan. 10, 2017