Jeffery “Jeff” Allen Goddard died unexpectedly of medical complications on September 21, 2019, in Portland, Oregon. He was 62.
Jeff was born September 29, 1956, to Charles Winston (Winn) and Marianne Goddard. He was the third son and fourth child in a home that grew to include six children. When he was young, the family moved to Mount Scott, then covered with woods and small farms. He loved nothing more than kicking off his shoes and running through the leafy woods just behind the house. Building forts with friends (including one structure under tree roots that collapsed when a storm blew the tree over), picking blackberries by the bucketful, massive kick-the-can games, plays and productions for the neighborhood, hunting crawdads in Johnson Creek, and much more, Jeff’s childhood was filled with wild adventures. Always at his side was the family dog, Lassie, who loved Jeff best.
As Jeff entered his teens, he struggled to stay focused in school and out of mischief. His father once received a call from the principal of David Douglas High School, who said Jeff had just jumped over the school fence and ran off with friends. His long, red hair flying out behind him made him easy to identify as he ran away. It was during his teens that Jeff started to question and doubt his early faith. Although he continued to attend youth group, motivated in large part by the chance to spend time with cute girls, he began to drift into a life that he later said he had regrets about. He remained close to his family, especially his Grandma Almquist, who loved to call him “Yeffrey Boy.” Jeff threw himself into whatever project came along. He was fiercely competitive, and became very good at pool and golf. He loved camping and fishing and working with his hands. He also loved telling hysterical, long, complicated stories, many of which had a strong element of truth. His model was “Alice’s Restaurant,” which he played every year on Thanksgiving Day.
After school he worked with his father at Winn Goddard Remodeling. Working side by side, father taught son about the skills of carpentry and the value of a strong work ethic. He also continued to teach him about the value of a deep faith and love of family. When his father retired in 1994, Jeff took over the company and re-named it Jeff Goddard Remodeling. As his own children grew, Jeff taught them the same lessons he learned from his father.
Jeff married four times, gaining the children he loved along the way: Jennifer Rose, Angela Marie, Kristen Elizabeth, Chad and David Lloyd were the light of his life. And their children have added joy on joy. It was in meeting his current wife, Rhonda, that Jeff felt he found the love of his life. Together they lived and loved for twelve years. They brought out the best in each other, and he adored her. They explored many places around the country. At home they settled into a church where they found a new faith family. Faith and family became the cornerstone of their marriage. Jeff said he felt like the prodigal son, who had to leave in order to return with new gratitude and appreciation for all of his blessings. He especially loved being a Sunday School teacher for young children, who he said taught him a lot, too.
Jeff’s children remember him as enlightened and determined to help them avoid his mistakes. Mostly, they said, in the form of lectures. And often when they were trapped in his truck on the way to church on Sundays. He worked hard to stay connected to his extended family, and friends. He loved to gather them at his house, where he built an elaborate tree fort and put in a zip line. He was a big kid, who wanted to create childhood magic for his own children and grand-children.
In spite of health problems over the past several years, which eventually forced him to retire, Jeff was always ready for the next adventure. He spent this past winter re-building a camper so he could camp and explore with Rhonda. They planned to attend Jeff’s nephew’s adoption, and celebrate Jeff’s birthday, in Bend the last weekend of September. He lived a very full and fulfilling life and will be greatly missed by many. He lives on in the hearts and souls of the many people he knew along the way. We live in the hope that he is now at peace with his Lord, free of pain, and telling long and elaborate stories.
Jeff is survived by his father, Charles Winston Goddard of Bend, OR; his wife Rhonda Goddard; children Jennifer Buddington, Angela Martinec, Kristen Mazurenko, David Goddard, Chad Ackerman, Crystal Kauffman and Jennifer Sampson; his sisters, Marilyn Rowland of Bend, OR, and Shari Shambaugh of Portland, ME; and grandchildren Katelynn Turbin, Zackary Buddington, Heather Martinec, Azaria Mazurenko, Shelby Martinec, Aydan Mazurenko, Josh Sampson, Destiny Kauffman, Phillip Kauffman, Anthony Giorgi, Carissa Giorgi and Leo Thomas. His family takes comfort in knowing he is reunited with his siblings David Goddard, Susan Goddard, Paul Goddard, his mother, and many more.
A celebration of Life is scheduled for Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 10:00 am at Temple Baptist Church (1319 NE 7th Ave., Portland, OR). A reception follows in the upstairs banquet room. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Jeff’s life.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to The American Heart Association at www.heart.org
The American Heart Association