Paul Alphonso Godley, MD
April 20, 1957 - March 31, 2019
Dr. Paul Alphonso Godley, a dedicated physician and devoted husband and father who was a renowned medical oncologist and Distinguished Professor of Medicine at UNC, died on Sunday March 31; he was 61 years old.
Paul was born and grew up in Detroit, MI, where he attended Friends School.
After graduating magna cum laude from Yale University, Paul earned his MD from Harvard Medical School and a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Case Western Reserve University Hospitals. He subsequently joined UNC-Chapel Hill where he completed fellowship training in hematology/oncology as well as a research fellowship in cancer epidemiology, earning his PhD from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in 1993.
In his more than 30 years at Carolina, Paul made significant contributions as a clinician, researcher, mentor and administrator. He dedicated his career to research and the treatment of prostate cancer, exemplifying empathy and expertise in his patient care. Paul was an accomplished physician leader at UNC where he was the Rush S. Dickson Distinguished Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the School of Medicine, Professor of Epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, and Senior Fellow at the UNC Sheps Center for Health Services Research. He developed and led the Program on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health Outcomes (ECHO), aimed at understanding and eliminating racial health disparities through multidisciplinary research, education and training, and community partnerships. His efforts created inter-institutional and community organization relationships that have yielded longstanding, productive research collaborations. Paul became the UNC School of Medicine's Executive Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in 2011 and its Vice Dean for Finance and Administration in 2015. In 2017 he became the School of Medicine's inaugural Vice Dean of Diversity and Inclusion.
Nationally, Paul was recognized as a leader in his field, serving as Chair of the Data and Safety Monitoring Committee for the SELECT Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, NCI/Southwest Oncology Group and on the North Carolina Advisory Committee on Cancer Coordination and Control. Paul was a recipient of the American Cancer Society
Clinical Oncology Career Development Award. He was a member of the American College of Physicians, American Society of Preventive Oncology, Society for the Epidemiologic Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Medical Association, and Associate Editor for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
He was a devoted husband and loving father; an avid traveler, who visited six continents with his family; a passionate photographer, capturing his family and travels through his lens; and lover of good music, which in his view meant jazz.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Dr. Adaora Adimora, and children, Alegro N. Adimora Godley and Bria Adimora Godley; his father Alegro J. Godley of Sun City West, AZ; his brother, Bernard Godley, MD, Ph.D. and his wife, Fara Behnia, MD of Galveston, TX; his sisters, Joanne Godley, MD, of Bangor, ME, and Beth Godley of Brooklyn, NY. He was preceded in death by his mother Juanita Fitzpatrick Godley.
A brief service will be officiated by Pastor Andy Thompson on Saturday, April 6 at 1 PM at World Overcomers Christian Church (main sanctuary), 2933 S. Miami Blvd, Durham, NC 27703.
Instead of flowers, please consider contributions to: The Southern Coalition for Social Justice https://www.southerncoalition.org/donate/
, The American Cancer Society
For those who would like to send flowers and or cards, they can be sent to Walker's Funeral Home, 120 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516, 919-942-3861, walkersfuneralservice.com
In lieu of a repast, a full celebration of his life and accomplishments is planned in the Fall 2019.