NORTHPORT, N.Y. — John "Jack" Arthur Goodwin, formerly of Forty Fort, passed away peacefully on June 9, 2014, at his daughter, Denise's, home in Northport after a long illness.
Born Jan. 30, 1929, in Olean, New York, Jack was a son of the late Robert and Lillian Goodwin and lived his early life in the Wyoming Valley before moving to Buffalo, Virginia, and Cincinnati, ultimately settling in Newtown, Bucks County, in 1979. He was accompanied through the best adventures of his life by his wife of 52 years, the late Joan McGeehan Goodwin, who died in 2004.
Jack Goodwin was well-loved by family and extended family and a multitude of friends for his generous nature, laughing spirit, devotion to doing what was right and his Irish lineage, which he celebrated without fail every St. Patrick's Day or any time he got together with his clan…or any time at all for any reason.
He taught his children that they were no better than anyone else, but no one was better than them. He taught them all to be good readers and to treasure the power of the written word. He taught them to be unafraid of thunderstorms by taking them out to the back porch to watch the power of the flashing lights in the sky during long-ago Pennsylvania summers.
He sang vaudeville in his youth; he loved Al Jolson and George M. Cohan and knew all the words to all their songs and taught them to his family, usually by performing them. He and his wife, Joan, were always in the middle of the dance floor at any event, swing dancing like they did at the Spinning Wheel, where they met almost 70 years ago.
Jack graduated from Kingston High School and served in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Korean Conflict as sergeant first class, 4th Division, 8th Infantry Regiment. He attended King's College upon his return.
Though he loved to amuse gatherings with tales of his various early jobs, including working as a bellhop at the Durkee Hotel off Public Square and as a collection agent for Household Finance, he found his career calling as railroader, which included stints at the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Association of American Railroads and as a special investigator for the Interstate Commerce Commission.
In addition to his wife, Joan, he was preceded in death by his son and namesake, John "Jack" Goodwin; his sister, Rosemary Dempsey; and brother, Robert Goodwin.
Jack is survived by his children, Denise Goodwin Pace Sellar, Northport, Molly Goodwin Landerkin, Marcellus, New York, Timothy McGeehan Goodwin, Cranford, New Jersey; his daughters-in-law, Louise Butkiewicz Goodwin, Forty Fort, and Kimberly Duggan Goodwin; his sons-in-law, Richard Landerkin and David Sellar; and his grandchildren, Colleen Goodwin and Maura Goodwin Smith, Casey and Brenna Landerkin, Joseph Pace and Katherine Pace Scappaticci and Jack, Lily, Henry and Nora Goodwin. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law, Edward Smigelski, Berkley, Michigan, and Thomas McGeehan, Mountaintop; his cousin, Noreen Mahoney, Hornell, New York; dozens of nieces and nephews; and even more grandnieces and grandnephews.
Viewing will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Hugh P. Boyle & Son Funeral Home Inc., 416 Wyoming Ave., Kingston. A Mass of Christina Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Ignatius of Loyola Church, North Maple Avenue, Kingston. Interment will be in the St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish cemetery, Pringle.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in John's name to the St. Vincent De Paul Kitchen, 39 E. Jackson St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701; or the Wounded Warriors of America, http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/