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Marcia Goodman

In Memoriam Condolences

Marcia Goodman In Memoriam
Marcia Renée Goodman


Marcia Goodman died a year ago, on December 5, 2017, 19 years after being diagnosed with stage-4 ovarian cancer. She is deeply grieved by partner and spouse of 36 years Hank Levy; children Dani, Wesley, Noah, and Matt; sister-in-law Judy; niece Anna; mother Marilyn; and many friends who were like sisters. She was beloved by a large extended family as well, including many doctors, nurses, and hospital staff.
For most of her professional life, Marcia was an English Professor at Diablo Community College in Pleasant Hill. Her students were inspired by her to think, write, and pursue education. She was an equally inspired mother, an academic, a gifted listener and trusted confidant, and a passionate participant in the arts. In her youth she wrote musicals. She sang and played piano all her life. In her final two years, she studied the violin, accompanied a string quartet, and took tap-dancing lessons.
Mostly, Marcia was a dedicated writer. A poet, memoirist, playwright and mystery novelist, she never stopped writing her own story. The story of her difficult childhood, of the tragic death of her brother Wayne, of her fierce fight to live fully after her cancer diagnosis. Many of her poems and essays have been published, and in 2014 she self-published a collection of her poems. Three months before she died Marcia produced a staged reading of her one-act play, at a theater in Berkeley.
Marcia was a native of Canarsie, Brooklyn, and never lost her Brooklyn spirit (nor pride). In 1977 she came to Berkeley and earned her Ph.D. in English Literature, and never left. She created a rich, beautiful life. After her diagnosis, cancer never defined her. She lived vibrantly even through multiple surgeries, many rounds of chemo, pain, and exhaustion. Marcia loved life in all its complexity and leaves a legacy of embracing every moment.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 5, 2018
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