James "Jim" R. Godfrey Jr.
January 31, 1944 – March 12, 2019
James “Jim” R. Godfrey Jr., 75, of Hot Springs passed away March 12 surrounded by his loving family. Jim was born Detroit, Michigan, to the late Leeida Clark and James R. Godfrey, Sr. He was also preceded in death by his son Jeffery R. Godfrey, his brother Odell Godfrey, his sister Melva Simpson, and his stepmother Audrey Ford Godfrey.
Jim was an alumnus of Langston High School, a U.S. Air Force Veteran, and a graduate of Pepperdine University. Jim’s career which included General Electric (Installations and Service Engineering), Xerox (New Product Launch Management), business consultant, entrepreneur, professor, and college administrator fostered a concern for the future of education.
As President of the Ouachita Area Council Boy Scouts, Jim believed in the scout tenant of “being prepared” and wanted community youth to have the opportunity to be just that. He supported upgrading computer systems, as well as, the science laboratories in local schools; he served on the Board of Trustees at Garland County Community College (now known as National Park College) from 1994 until 2000; and was a board member and executive director of the Webb Center for many years. Jim’s investment in local youth and their education included proposing alliances with the community college and the Webb center with initiatives such as health screenings, tutoring sessions, and job fairs. Through these programs, Jim was able to connect the college with segments of the community which were often overlooked. He personally mentored five students of whom he was very proud. They all have gone on to be successful professionals in various fields.
Jim did not limit himself to his local community. An active member of the Hot Springs National Park Rotary Club, he was asked to lead a team of five on an international mission to Bangladesh. There, they worked for six weeks teaching various methods of mosquito abatement. Jim and his wife also played host to many students of the International Student Exchange program at National Park College and supported the students in their endeavors always making sure they felt welcomed.
Jim leaves to cherish his memory a loving wife of 33 years, Dianne Rankin Godfrey; daughters Carla Godfrey of California and Kimberly (Todd) Davis of Virginia; grandchildren Brittny Peoples, James Godfrey-Parker, Quinn Davis, and Sloan Davis; three great-grandchildren; nieces Dr. Audrey (Lavon) Chatman and Ramona Simpson; nephews Lathiell Simpson, Sr. and Christopher Simpson; seven great nieces; four great nephews; several great-great nieces and nephews; a host of well-loved cousins and extended family members; more friends than he could possibly list; the family pup, Coco; and those still racing up and down the West Coast as part of Black Porsche Inc. of Southern California.
Celebration of Life
James "Jim" R. Godfrey Jr.
Dr. Janie Hill Hatton
March 15, 2019
Our family met James and his late mother, Mrs. Godrey at Greayer St. Paul Baptist Church, then located on Palmetto Street under the leadership of Rev. Reese S. Shorty. James was a childhood friend to adulthood friend "brotherly" of my late brother, Richard.
James was impeccable in his demeanor, dress and discipline- he was one of the gentleman graduates of Langston High School. He distinguished himself throughout his life and on behalf of us, via our names below, until we meet again:
MSgt Paul R. Hill ( retired), Malvern, AR
Mrs. Joyce White- KC, MO
Dr. Janie Hatton-Milwaukee,WI
March 14, 2019
My sincere sympathy to Mrs Godfrey and family on the passing of Jim Godfrey. I remember him from Hot Springs Rotary Club, Garland County Community College, and other organizations. He was always professional and so very intelligent. He was true to his convictions about different issues and willing to help anyone. His death is a lost for this community. In God’s Love and condolences,
Curtis and Joyce Craft