Joseph Leo Goodding

November 14, 1950January 13, 2020

Joe Goodding lived his life engaged in what had meaning for him. Living from his heart was very important to him, both in the moment and as a principle with which to guide himself. He created numerous diverse communities for himself: those he golfed with, those he bowled with, those he worked with, various Buddhist communities he practiced with, colleagues he trained with as therapists, those he served at his job and friends gathered from years past. He especially loved working with the middle and high school students he encountered through his job. Consequently, though he lived much of his life by himself he was not alone. His communities of friends were his extended family. He both supported and was supported, loved and was loved, by many.

In his own gentle yet determined way, Joe lived the life he wanted, one that made sense to his heart, mind and spirit. He was not overly swayed by cultural expectations, nor driven by motivations that were primarily financial. Instead he sanely focused on what had meaning to him. And more often than not, what had meaning for him was driven by compassion and forgiveness.

Joe is survived by his younger siblings Marian and Charlie. Each year since their parents passed away, Joe would travel to southeast Missouri to visit them on the holidays. He always returned with stories of his sister and brother, their time together, and descriptions of the beautiful rural settings in which they lived. Joseph Leo Goodding was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 14, 1950, to parents Les and Jean Goodding. Joe never married and had no children.

He attended St. Louis Catholic grade school. He graduated from Southeast High School in 1969, where he was active in student government, photography, track, Honor Roll and the Human Relations Council. He attended the University of Missouri-Rolla with an interest in engineering. For a time he was active with his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. He eventually switched his academic focus to Social Work, and graduated with a Masters of Social Work from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Joe also graduated from the Body-Oriented Gestalt Therapy Training Program, with which he trained and stayed affiliated until his death. He also continued his interests in social work, education and photography for the rest of his life.

Brother Charlie and sister Marian, living in the Missouri Ozarks, believe that Joe would appreciate acts of social justice, donations to charities, support of education and educators and/or kindness to strangers in order to honor his memory.

His service is tentatively planned for Saturday, February 22. Times will be posted once confirmed.

Below is a traditional Jewish prayer which many of us believe is perfectly appropriate for Joe.

Meditations Before Kaddish:

When I die, give what’s left of me away to children and old men that wait to die. And if you need to cry, cry for your brother walking the street beside you. And when you need me, put your arms around anyone and give them what you need to give me. I want to leave you something, something better than words or sounds. Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved, and if you cannot give me away, at least let me live in your eyes and not in your mind. You can love me best by letting hands touch hands, and by letting go of children that need to be free. Love doesn’t die, people do. So, when all that’s left of me is love, give me away.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Joseph Leo Goodding

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barisha Hall

January 24, 2020

You will be truly missed, as a student and a teenager going through a lot at the time, you saved me from so much trouble! You taught me how to control my anger and be patient with people. I promise I will never forget everything you taught me Mr.Goodding ! Such a great man. I’m happy to have known you for all my years of middle school and throughout high school! You will forever live through all of the students lives you changed 🔐💗

Candice Boyd-Johnson

January 23, 2020

As a young child with Cerebral Palsy life was hard. Middle school was TOUGH! I pretty much hated everything about it when it came to the classes, the pain from all the walking and physical therapy, along with my beginning fight with depression and anxiety. Mr. Goodding was the gentle soul I needed in my life during that time of anguish in my life. I would spend what felt like forever in his office talking about my dreams and hopes for the future and he always made sure I knew I was capable of achieving them. He helped me get through the hard times so I could have the good times I have now. I’ll be forever thankful for that.

Sally Eyman Hill

January 23, 2020

Joe Goodding was a quiet and calm person who always helped kids cope with the hectic life at Grandview Middle School. As a teacher, I often referred kids to him for groups and individual counseling and I personally appreciated his ability to defuse any situation. The world needs more people like jimm. Joe will be greatly missed.

Quinci Dacus

January 23, 2020

Mr. Gooding was always warm and welcoming to anyone that he encountered. He truly had a heart to help anyone he could.

Both of us felt so good when we got our people of the year awards; him, support staff of the year and me, teacher of the year. We were so happy that we won together.

I am blessed to know such a beautiful soul.

Jared Sirna

January 23, 2020

Joe, brother, friend, mentor. You are dearly missed. That is only eclipsed by my memories cherished of every professional interaction we shared, expected or no. I last seen you at the work Xmas function, all purple-headed, and enjoying life to the fullest. The baskets your brother made last year brought so much joy to myself, my family and acquaintances, my coworkers, etc. That's the impact Joe was and still is in our hearts and minds. Safe travels on your journey, sir, Joe.
(if you could please contact me, Charlie, at your convenience, thanks. )

Paula Scott Robinson

January 22, 2020

The obituary created for Joe is one of the most beautiful and fitting I have ever seen, particularly the ending prayer. Thank you for sharing it. I pray for peace and comfort for those who cared about him. I also pray that each of us who are so inclined find ways to extend his legacy beyond his earthly life.

David & Donna Jo Lawson

January 22, 2020

Dear family, We graduated from high school with Joe and were shock and sadden to hear of Joe passing. Joe was a kind,caring and thoughtful person to many. In the high school newspaper he was known as "One of the good guys!" by the students and teachers. He like to laugh and called himself Joe #1 with another classmate as Joe #2 who had to same first name. He came to a reunion meeting with purple hair and wanted to see our reaction and then he explain why he had it dye. Joe will be greatly miss by us, the reunion committee and the many who had the honor to know and have him in their lives.

Maeghan Comfort

January 22, 2020

Everyone at ReDiscover's TLP Program will keep you in our thoughts, Mr. Goodding. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. May peace be with you and remember all the fun and loving memories.


January 21, 2020

My condolences to the family Joe was a very kind person and will be missed!

Sam Geolas

January 21, 2020

I was in disbelief and had to sit down after I received the message about Joe having passed away. It had only been three months since we worked on and attended our 50th class reunion Joe and I were classmates at Southeast high and we served along with other close friends on our reunion committee. I also knew Joe through other friends of his. I don’t believe there is a person who ever knew him that could say anything but good about him. At our 50th reunion Joe narrated and read the names of our classmates who had passed away as we watched their faces on the screen. It is ironic that he now joins them.
Everlasting be his Memory 🙏