Harriett (Betty) F. Goodwin died peacefully with her son by her side on July 8 at the McCall Hospice House in Simpsonville following complications from a heart attack. She was 95. She was a resident of Westminster Retirement Center in Greenville, S.C., for five years.
She was born in 1919 in Fort Caswell, N.C., and reared in Salem, Va., by her mother, Josephine Northcross. Betty attended Longwood College and began teaching school at the age of 19. She met her husband, Dexter B. Goodwin, while he was attending Roanoke College in Salem. They married in 1939 and Betty kept the home fires burning while her husband flew 68 combat missions during World War II. They had two daughters before the war, and a son was born following her husband’s return from overseas. Their last duty station allowed them to raise their family in Branford, Conn., where Betty resumed teaching.
At their retirement, the Goodwins moved to Martha’s Vineyard, where Betty continued to teach and volunteer. They had many friends and a full life on the Island, but returned to Salem, Va., to care for Betty’s mother. Betty’s husband Dexter died in 2005 after 66 years of marriage.
Betty, or Gummie, as she was called by her growing brood of grandchildren, never stopped teaching and always enjoyed a party with lots of children gathered around her knees, listening to stories and singing songs. She always looked as if she’d just walked out of a spring garden because she dressed in colors that complimented her sparkling blue eyes. Quick to smile and a friend to everyone she met, Betty was the quintessential lady, who made everyone around her feel special and always enjoyed her evening cocktail among friends and family. She lived each day to the fullest and would always offer a toast to her husband, “to another day together.”
Since moving to Greenville following her husband’s death, Betty thoroughly enjoyed visiting with her son and his family, lunching at the Pickwick Pharmacy, and celebrating her birthdays with family, who would travel from far and wide to enjoy Gummie time.
Betty was survived by her children Dexter B. Goodwin Jr. (Gale), of Greenville; Bevin G. Cetta, (Vito), of Charlottesville, Va.,; and Ann G. Draper (Jerry) of Chattahoochee, Fla.; nine grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren — soon to be 19 this month.
Her family is sustained by many happy memories of Betty, and knows that she was always proud of all of them and their accomplishments.
Following cremation, her ashes will be moved to Edgartown, to be with her husband’s remains, and a memorial service will be held there in the fall.
Memorial contributions may be made to the McCall Hospice House, 1836 West Georgia Road, Simpsonville, SC 29680; or to the Mass Audubon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, 100 Felix Neck Drive, Edgartown, MA 02539.
Condolences may be sent to the family at thomasmcafee.com.