Robert Goodwin

Obituary of Robert H. Goodwin

Robert Howard Goodwin, of West Simsbury, CT, passed away on March 17, 2023. Born on June 6, 1925, he was months away from his 98th birthday.

Born in Stafford Springs and raised in Ashford, CT, the seventh of twelve children, Bob was the son of Howard F. and Genevieve (Bicknell) Goodwin. Bob was the last surviving child of the large Goodwin family.

Bob was a proud WWII Navy veteran serving on the USS Columbus in the Pacific Theater. He was decorated with Asiatic Pacific Occupation Medal, American Theater Campaign, and Victory Medals. Returning from the navy, he married Marguerite Bebbington, who predeceased him in 2021. They were married for a remarkable 73 years. His secret to a long marriage was the wise words "Yes, Dear." 

Both Bob and Marguerite were long-time New England settlers whose families go back to the 1620s. Keeping with their heritage, they were unassuming, frugal, honest, and gave much back to their communities. They lived much of their married life in Eastford, where Bob was active in the fire department, church, scouts and served on the board of an area bank in agricultural loan advising. He was a staunch conservative Republican. Bob attended Westford Hill School and Windham High School. After the navy, he was a transportation manager for Tatem Manufacturing in Eastford. He owned and operated a large, automated poultry business and raised stock for Arbor Acres/Perdue. Bob enjoyed horses and followed the CT Quarter Horse circuit with his daughter's shows, enjoying the company and the competition. Bob was an active member of both the Eastford Congregational and Baptist churches.

In his retirement, Bob continued his lifelong love of the outdoors, fishing, archery, trapping, shooting, and hunting with his English Setter, Pal. Bob and Marguerite loved to travel to Sanibel and other Florida locations. He lived in Woodstock on a lake for many retirement years, where he could fish at will and work in his wood shop. Bob's first ice cream as a child was a vanilla cone, and he continued to request vanilla ice cream throughout his life. He had a wry sense of humor, always prefacing a quip with the word Joke, to be sure we knew. He was unassuming, reserved, and proper, with a calm and steady resolve. He said recently, "I don't know why the good Lord has left me here so long. I've outlived everyone I know. But I know where my seat is saved, and when He's good and ready, he'll call me home. I guess I'd better use the extra time He's given." His long life spanned all of technology, and he recalled going to church with his grandfather in a horse and buggy and then recently wondering if he could be chosen for space travel. He was amazed that any fact could be instantly verified and often said 'look that up.' Bob will be dearly missed by all.

Bob is survived by three children, Thomas of Simsbury, Donald (Julie-Anne) of Woodstock, and Sharon (Michael) Gallerani of West Simsbury, with whom he and Marguerite made their home for the last nine years before a recent stay at Avon Health Center, Avon, where he passed. He is also survived by ten grandchildren, Andrea Cardinale (Michael), Melissa (Stephen) Richards, Daniel (Michelle), Nicholas, Jonathan, and Elizabeth Goodwin, and Dr. Catherine Herrington (Frank), Robert (Summer), David, and Thomas Gallerani and nine great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Besides his beloved Marguerite, he was predeceased by his brothers, Ralph, Lawrence, Arthur, Conrad, and Phillip, and sisters Ruth Dion, Alice Hackenschmidt, Beatrice Bebbington, Emily Richards, Constance Dombroski, and Clara Elson.

A special thank you to his caregiving aides in his home, Dannet, Marion, and Doris, and Avon Health Center's Karen, Fabiola, Helena, Olga, and so many more who provided loving care. Also, thank you to the Farmington Valley VNA, who supported him through his final journey.

A memorial service will be held at the Eastford Baptist Church, 133 Union Road, Eastford, CT, on April 1, 2023, at 11 am, followed by a burial with full military honors at the church cemetery with a reception at the Inn on Woodstock Hill. Smith and Walker Funeral Home, Putnam, is entrusted with arrangements.


Donations may be made in his name to the Farmington Valley Visiting Nurse Association, 8 Old Mill Lane, Simsbury, CT 06070 or at


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