Born: May 08, 1947
Died: March 31, 2012
It is with abundant joy that a host of Angels welcomed Brenda Christine Farmer Goodwin into Heaven on Saturday, March 31, 2012, after a valiant five-and-a-half year battle with pancreatic cancer. She left this Earth peacefully at home surrounded by her family.
Born May 8, 1947, to the late Dolly Mae (Farmer) Rose in Maybeury, West Virginia, the smart, perky blonde-hair, blue-eyed Brenda (also affectionately known as “Susie”) was destined to bless the lives of everyone she met. This included a 16-year-old boy who constantly made “googly” eyes at her in high school geography class.
After much wooing and persistently attempting to carry her books to class, James P. (“Jim”) Goodwin succeeded in convincing Brenda to spend the rest of her life with him. Using logic that is only understood by teenagers in love, the pair decided to elope on July 4, 1964; the summer before their senior year in high school. However, the spontaneous elopement had to be postponed two days to wait for the local courthouse to open again (having been closed for the federal holiday) in order for them to obtain a marriage license. So the lovebirds tied the proverbial knot two days later in Richlands, Virginia on July 6, 1964 and entered their senior year at Richlands High School as the Cutest Couple in town.
Upon graduation, Brenda charmed customers while working as a sales clerk in a women’s dress shop as Jimmy obtained his associate’s degree. Four years later, they were blessed with sugar and spice upon the arrival of their daughter, Marla Beth Goodwin.
Then opportunity blessed the family of three and they moved to a little community called Concord, Virginia, which became the Goodwin family’s permanent home. Fifteen months after the birth of their daughter (much to Brenda’s chagrin), their brood was complete with bouncing baby boy Jeffery Sean Goodwin.
Always the social and spiritual butterfly, Brenda took the family to Calvary Baptist Church, where she and Jimmy discovered their second family. Foremost among the extended family were Ray and Carolyn Smith, who not only became Godparents to the Goodwin children, but remain lifelong friends. As a devoted member of Calvary, Brenda was passionately involved with youth group activities and used her impeccable organizational skills to serve in various capacities, including Sunday School Supervisor and all-around angel of mercy.
While juggling the demands of full-time wife to Jim, mother to two precocious children, and being a volunteer extraordinaire, Brenda also worked for more than 30 years as a licensed professional in the commercial insurance industry. Her last endeavor was to manage the office of Richards Insurance in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The Lord then saw fit to bless her with love in the form of grandchildren as she became proud Nana to Erin Frackleton (Washington, D.C), Conor Frackleton (Greensboro, NC), Mackenzie Frackleton (Charlotte, NC), Courtney Goodwin (Denver, CO), Jackson Colling (Charlotte, NC), Lilli Goodwin (Lynchburg, VA) and Danielle Colling (Charlotte, NC).
Among Brenda’s most amazing accomplishments was her work with the American Cancer Society. As a founding member of the Lynchburg Relay for Life event more than 20 years ago, Brenda poured her heart and soul into fighting this insidious disease. When the disease finally invaded our beautiful Brenda and she received the news that it was aggressive, she fearlessly journeyed to Johns Hopkins University where she participated in numerous clinical trial studies for pancreatic cancer. Though she was told this was not a cure for her but an attempt to find a cure, Brenda replied, “I’ll help as long as the good Lord is willing and the creeks don’t rise.” Even today, Brenda’s philanthropy at Johns Hopkins continues to make advances in creating a cure.
In addition to her husband, Jim (Concord, VA); her daughter and son-in-law Beth and Kent Colling (Charlotte, NC) and her son Jeff Goodwin (Concord, VA), Brenda is survived by numerous loving brothers and sisters and their spouses; nieces and nephews; as well as cousins and their children; and other extended family, including those special members of Calvary who have been with her throughout her courageous journey. She was especially close to her feisty cousin, Judith Lynn Mabe, and her husband, Elwood, as well as her equally fiery sister-in-law, Shirley Goodwin; without whom Brenda’s family could not have survived the sleepless nights and caffeine-induced days these past few weeks.
The family would like to also thank Dr. Kathleen Paul for her tireless efforts, the nurses and staff at the Alan Pearson Oncology Center, Dr. Daniel Laheru at the Johns Hopkins Cancer Center for his unwavering devotion to finding a cure, nurses Beth Onurs and Alice for their patient demeanor and loving approach, and the staff (“family”) at Days Inn in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for giving the family a home-away-from-home.
The family will receive visitors on Monday, April 2, 2012, at Calvary Baptist Church in Concord from 6-9pm. The celebration of Brenda’s amazing life will be held on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at Calvary Baptist Church at 2pm. The internment will immediately follow at Calvary Baptist Cemetery. Robinson Funeral Home in Appomattox, VA, is in charge of all arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.