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John Thomas Goodwin

March 24, 1946 ~ June 13, 2018 (age 72)

John Thomas Goodwin 1946 -2018

John Thomas Goodwin was born in Milan, MIssouri on March 24, 1946. He passed away on Wednesday, June 13th at the Liberty Missouri Hospital. His parents were Clarence and Josephine Goodwin. John grew up in Milan and attended the Milan schools until 1960 when the family moved to Los Angeles, California. He attended high school there while working part time with his father and mother in his auntʼs Fosterʼs Freeze drive-in on Sunset Boulevard in the Echo park region of the city. John graduated from John Marshall High School in 1964. One of his classmates was the then famous child actor Eddie Hodges of Disney and television movie fame. That part of his life was a startling but culturally enriching departure from the small town life he had enjoyed in Milan as a youngster. Upon his fatherʼs retirement the Goodwin family moved back to Milan in 1965.

John pursued a number of professions during his life. From the time of his return to Milan he served as a Sears, Roebuck appliance repairman, a press operator at Modine Manufacturing in Trenton, a worker in a shoe factory, a night watchman/jailer at the Grundy County Sheriffʼs office. And, in the midst of this he learned to fly airplanes. He eventually entered what was then Northeast Missouri State University and matriculated with a Bachelorʼs Degree in Criminal Justice and Photography. John married Ruth Ann Lehman in 1977.

Post college  graduation, John served as a counselor with the North Central Missouri Mental Health Center for a short time and then ended up at North Central Missouri College where he was a librarianʼs assistant until his retirement. Of the positions John held over the years he was happiest in the library where he helped guide young students to the best library resources for their studies. John genuinely liked to help people whenever given the opportunity.

John Goodwin is survived by one brother, Paul, his partner Ruth Ann Goodwin, a nephew, Michael Goodwin of Scranton, Pennsylvania and three cousins and their spouses who are the grandchildren of deceased, well-remembered Milan residents, Maysel and Pauline Beckett. The cousins are Mary Weidner-Pashek of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jenna Warner of San Ramon, California and Bill Weidner of Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

John dealt with a genetic disease for his whole life. He bore it with dignity and good humor but in the end it led to his death. The disease is called Neurofibromatosis and should anyone wish to offer a memorial, we are suggesting the Childrenʼs Tumor Foundation ( They are striving to catch and fight this awful disease when people are young and before it can alter their lives.

An inurnment will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Milan, Missouri.

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