The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 10, 2013

James Edward 'Jim' Goddard

Published 12-11-13


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — James Edward “Jim” Goddard was born Jan. 29, 1924, in Coffeyville, Kan., while his mother was visiting her sister. He was the son of Floyd Vernon and Bessie Eva (Knight) Goddard.

Jim was raised and attended school in Osage, Okla., graduating in 1943.

Shortly after graduation, Jim enlisted into the service of his country into the United States Army Air Corp on June 15, 1943. Upon completion of basic training, Jim was further trained in his specialty as a cook and in aerial combat as a tail gunner on a B-27 bomber. He spent most of his military service in central Burma and India, attached to the 51st Fighter Control Squadron. To provide better protection for the growing Allied offensive into north Burma, a forward relay station was established at Fort Hertz, Burma, on Oct. 20, 1943, and a fighter control center was established at Jorhat, India, on Jan. 8, 1944. This also helped to give more protection to American transport airplanes flying supplies over the “Hump” to China. Following closely behind the advancing forces of Gen. Stilwell, an area control center was established at Shingbwiyang, Burma, on March 13, 1944. Ground control intercept stations also were established at Titabar and Digboi, India, for the purpose of making better interceptions of Japanese aircraft. Sgt. Goddard often moved between these stations.

Sgt. Goddard was honorably discharged on Feb, 6, 1946, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., separation center, and he returned to Osage.

Upon his return from military service, Jim was united in marriage to Betty Louise Sanders on Oct. 19, 1946, and the couple made their initial home in Osage for nearly 11 years, starting their family there. They had four sons, Terry, Andrew, Bud and Alan.

While residing in Osage, Jim worked for the Katy Railroad as a freight clerk. In 1957, Jim accepted a similar position with the Rock Island Line in Enid, and the family moved to Enid at that time.

Jim retired from railroading in 1982, and the couple returned to Osage for their retirement, although Jim did accept a job with John Zink for a couple of years working in the tile department.

Jim loved hunting, fishing and gardening. He would fish any way he could wet a line, but especially enjoyed trot lining for catfish. He hunted all types of game, including deer and rabbit, and, on one occasion, chased down a jackrabbit and caught him with his bare hands. He raised almost any type of vegetable, including a small batch of cotton and tobacco just to see if he could. He even grew Chinese okra, which you can eat when it is immature and becomes a luffa sponge when it develops to maturity. The family’s freezer was always full of vegetables.

For many years, Jim played on independent baseball and softball teams in Cleveland and Hominy. He was an avid Oklahoma State University Cowboy fan, loved watching sports on television and most of all enjoyed listening to Betty play the piano and singing along. He was described by his family as an amazing husband and father, who was proud of his Oklahoma heritage and could be a bit opinionated at times. His family recalls fondly the many trips taken to Canton, Hulah and Salt Plains after Jim got off at midnight on Saturday night.  They would spend time together camping, fishing and hunting just enjoying each other’s company and Jim sharing his life’s lessons with his sons.

Jim passed away Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, at his home in Osage at the age of 89.

He was preceded in death by his by parents, Floyd Vernon and Bessie Eva Goddard; a son, Terry Leon Goddard; four brothers, Robert, Jack, Clarence and Dick Goddard; and a sister, Ruth Nichols.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Betty Louise Goddard of the home in Osage, Okla.; three sons, Andrew M. and Kathy Goddard of Ringwood, Okla., Kimball Floyd “Bud” and Joyce Goddard of Goltry, Okla., and Alan D. and Kathy Goddard of Tulsa, Okla.; six grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; a brother, Donald Goddard of Peggs, Okla.; three sisters, Wanita Baughn of Owasso, Okla., Lynetta Jones of Springdale, Ark., and Lou Etta Hacker of Sand Springs, Okla.; and numerous other friends and relatives who will mourn his passing.

Funeral service will be 2 p.m. today, Dec. 11, 2013, at Chapman-Black Chapel, with the Rev. David Head officiating. Military honors will be provided by the Veterans of Foreign War, District 5 Honor Guard. Burial will be in Osage Cemetery, Osage, Okla., under the direction of the Chapman-Black Funeral Home, Cleveland, Okla.

(Submitted by family)