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George J. Goddard (Papa George) died suddenly in San Antonio, Texas, on January 26, 2013, at the age of 96.
He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on July 31, 1916, the son of Guy and Leona C. (Kempker) Goddard. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, he also earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He retired from the U. S. Air Force as a Major in 1966, having served in World War II and the Korean War; his decorations include the Bronze Star and the Air Medal.
His wife Nancy McClintock Goddard predeceased him, as did his sister Mary L. Goddard. He is survived by his son Joseph ("Iain") Goddard (and his wife Joanne) of Salem, Massachusestts; and by five nieces and nephews, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
For the last twenty years he has resided in San Antonio at The Towers on Park Lane, where he treated many of us to real San Antone hospitality, and recently in Parklane West nursing home. The family is very grateful to the staffs of The Towers and Parklane, and to his wonderful and devoted companions, who assisted and befriended him over the years.
He did combat duty in bombers in the Korean War, and remained in the service after coming home. That posting and a later assignment to Athens, Greece (accompanied by his family) whetted his appetite for seeing the world. By the time he stowed away his roll-on suitcase for the last time, he had visited every continent on the planet. In the later years, his involvement with Korean War veterans' organizations took him on reunion visits to Great Britain, South Korea, Australia, and beyond.
One of his most famous roles among family and friends in late years was as a raconteur. He had a large repertoire of shaggy dog stories, wartime memories, and Aggie jokes. George also took up ballroom dancing, joining the dance club at the Towers and becoming in turns the treasurer and president. The discovered big band dance cruises, where a single gentleman is always welcome (frequently at a Discount!). This led to his very generous and far-sighted sponsorship of family cruises, which became a wonderful opportunity for bonding throughout the four generations of his family.
Contributions to honor Major George J. Goddard may be made to the Disabled American Veterans, http://www.dav.org/donate/MemorialHonoraryGifts.aspx online, or by mail to: Disabled American Veterans, Attention: GIFT PROCESSING, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.
A memorial reception will be held at The Towers on Park Lane, San Antonio, on Friday, March 22 at 2:00pm. A memorial service will be held in the Boston area sometime in May.
Published in Express-News on Mar. 15, 2013