John Willis Goodman M.D.
May 20, 1930 – May 8, 2018
John Willis Goodman, a highly respected physician, father and friend, passed away May 8, 2018, of heart failure. He was 87. Dr. Goodman was born in Clarksville, TX, on May 20, 1930. He grew up in Clarksville during the time of the Country’s financial depression and learned at an early age the value of giving and helping others. One of his first jobs was working at his father’s Texaco gas station. His first love, aviation, came from his father, who owned an airplane. John learned to fly in Clarksville and fell in love with the joy of flying.
He didn’t stay in Clarksville long. Soon after, he enrolled in The University of North Texas and would fly back and forth from Denton to Clarksville to attend school. He received his Bachelors of Science in Limnology, the study of lake biology at Lake Texoma.
At age 23, John joined the Navy and served for the next four years. Dr. Goodman was a naval aviator, flying patrols from Iceland, French Morocco, The Azores and The Mediterranean. As a collateral duty in addition to his flying, he was the legal officer for his squadron.
In the Navy is where he met his wife, Martha Jean. Wally, John’s Navy flying buddy, now his brother-in-law, introduced Martha Jean to John and they were married on December 23, 1961. John and Martha soon moved to Galveston for him to attend The University of Texas Medical Branch. He joined the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity while attending the University. John received his doctorate in psychiatry and was awarded the prestigious Gold Headed Cane Award, which recognizes a physician who symbolizes the pursuit of the highest standards of scientific excellence and integrity.
For the next several years, John would practice psychiatry at the highly regarded Titus Harris Clinic on The Island. He taught at UTMB, studied at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and practiced privately for many years thereafter. His next place of practice was in Rusk, TX, where he was senior psychiatrist for the eastern half of Texas with the State Prison System. Perhaps his most important contribution was during his last 31 years of dedicated service to The Hospitality House in Mount Pleasant, TX, where he was the Psychiatric Medical Director.
'Dr. John', as he preferred to be called, enjoyed many enthusiasms, including cooking, the opera and the symphony. He was an accomplished pianist, and for some time, debated between music and medicine as a career choice. John was fascinated with the mind, both the neurology and the study of the various theories of behavior. Dear friends believe psychiatry to have been a logical progression for someone who was driven to know everything. Dr. Goodman followed the lives of his patients and friends for quite a length of time, with many going back to when he first became an MD in Galveston. He loved learning and if he ran into something he didn’t know, by next week, he could teach a semester on it. His lifelong work ethic set an example for his family and friends. He loved sharing his stories of his adventurous life; and as to his love for Martha, a heart doctor, noting his wedding ring, asked where his wife was, to which John simply said, "she has passed, but is always present".
John left an indelible mark on every person he met and left a chasm that no bridge could ever cross. And lastly, our father didn’t tell us how to live, he lived and let us watch him do it.
John was preceded in death by his parents, John Purvie Goodman and Ruby Lois Willis Goodman and his beloved wife of 47 years, Martha Jean Parks Goodman. Dr. Goodman is survived by his children, Martha Elizabeth Goodman Neff, son-in-law Jackie Neff of Galveston and John Parks Goodman of Lewisville. He is also survived by his brother, Kelsey Brice Goodman, wife Faye Creighton Goodman of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, three brothers and sisters-in-law, Richard and Bonnie Parks of Georgetown, TX, Ed and Sue Lilley of Lampases, TX, and Wallace and Patricia Burbridge of Richardson, TX. Three grandchildren, Katye Elizabeth Cooper, husband Jim Lee Cooper, Karen Ann Neff, Paula Margaret Neff and three great grandchildren, Kyoto Neff, Keira Cooper and Christian Cooper and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family will visit with friends and family on Tuesday, May 15, 5-7p.m., at Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home, 7405 W. Northwest Highway, Dallas. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, May 16, 2 p.m., at Lover’s Lane United Methodist Church, 9200 Inwood Road, Dallas. A reception will immediately follow back at the Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home. Graveside service will be Friday, May 18, 2 p.m. at Galveston Memorial Park Cemetery, 7301 Memorial Street, Hitchcock, TX.
In lieu of flowers, kindly donate to Hospitality House, attn. Jacob Ainsworth, 804 West 16th Street, Mount Pleasant, TX, 75455.
- Visitation Tuesday, May 15, 2018
- Memorial Service Wednesday, May 16, 2018
- Reception Wednesday, May 16, 2018
- Graveside Service Friday, May 18, 2018