BENNINGTON - Sarah "Sally" W. Goodrich, 65, wife of Donald W. Goodrich, a resident of South Stream Road, Bennington, died Saturday, December 18, 2010, at home, surrounded by family.
Born in Newton on May 12, 1945, she was the daughter of the late Peter and Mary Donavan. She spent her early years in Bennington, attended St. Agnes School in Troy, N.Y., and began her college education at Connecticut College where she was her freshman class president. She then married Don Goodrich and they both attended Castleton State College and the University of Vermont from which they graduated in 1967. She went on to obtain master's degrees in education from Boston University and Simmons College. In 2009, she received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Sally lived many lives in her 65 years on this earth. She was a woman who believed that helping others was of first importance. Sally approached life with a blend of curiosity, sincerity, honesty, reality and just the right amount of laughter; she was a ton of fun. She was a friend to anyone willing to be honest with her.
At 4 years old, Sally was quoted as saying, "nobody is the boss of me, grandmother!" This indomitable spirit was prevalent throughout her life.
Sally grew up on Crescent Boulevard in Bennington, Vt., living what she said was, "the ideal childhood." In her youth, she attended Camp Hochelaga on the shores of Lake Champlain. She married Don at the age of 19. Together, Don and Sally started a family early in their marriage.
Sally committed many years to raising her two boys and supporting local community causes in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. She organized events that supported many different causes; the only common thread was a "need."
Sally was a confidant and surrogate mother to many including the friends of her children. The Goodrich family officially grew by one in the 80s with the addition of Kim Trimarchi. Sally had always wanted a daughter.
Sally's professional life was devoted to educating elementary school children with a specialty in reading remediation. She worked in schools in Southwestern Vermont and Northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts and most recently was the Title One Coordinator for the North Adams Public School system. She was a board member of many organizations and founder of two. She spoke at commencement ceremonies, in classrooms and gave multiple presentations.
Sally's final chapter was marked with the loss of her son, Peter, and the creation of a personal crusade to help those in need. She co-founded Families of September 11th as well as the Peter M. Goodrich Memorial Foundation. Sally became a true global citizen and with her husband, Don, rallied communities here in the U.S. and abroad to support a better understanding of the worlds' people.
In Afghanistan, she and Don organized, raised funds for, and built a girls school. Through the Goodrich Foundation, she funded sustainable farming, healthcare initiatives, clean water projects and other educational opportunities in Afghanistan. These efforts culminated in the sponsorship of 20 Afghans who are here in the U.S. furthering their education.
She was a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, a mentor, a community activist, an educator, a creator of many things, a driver of initiatives, a leader, a founder of organizations, a world citizen, a lover of laughter, a friend, a truth serum, no one's fool, a listener, a caregiver, an advocate for others and a fighter for all that mattered to her and there was a lot that mattered.
It is not so much what Sally accomplished but how she did it. She will be missed by many. All who knew her loved her then, love her now and will love her always.
Sally is survived by her husband, Don; her daughter and son-in-law, Kim and John A. Trimarchi; her son and daughter-in-law, Foster and Janine Hetherington; her three brothers, Peter, Mark and Jed Donavan; five grandchildren; and multiple nieces and nephews.
FUNERAL NOTICE: Services will be held at the Old First Church in Old Bennington on Thursday, December 23, 2010, at 3 p.m., followed by an Irish celebration at the church barn on Monument Circle.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Sarah Goodrich may be made to the Peter M. Goodrich Memorial Foundation, through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.