Kenneth E. Goddard

July 3, 1946September 5, 2019

Ken was born July 3, 1946 in Waltham, Massachusetts to George ("Buster") and Gertrude ("Trudy") Goddard, both of whom predeceased him. He attended school in Waltham, Mass. and graduated from Lexington High School in Lexington, Mass. He attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. He was in the naval R.O.T.C. in high school, and after leaving Vanderbilt, he joined the U.S. Marines, where he served as a pilot, flying F14s. He spent his career as a commercial banker until his retirement. Throughout his life he was active in various charities, among which were the Arthritis Foundation, where he served on the board of directors, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, for whom he assisted with fundraisers for research. After financing the "Ernest" movies, he became involved with, a charity whose mission it is to support the film/video industry in Nashville, and assist those wanting to get involved in the industry. He, along with some investors, and his partner, Andy Van Roon, produced a documentary in 1999 addressing the concerns of Y2K. Leonard Nimoy was the film's narrator. He is survived by his wife of nearly 25 years, Debbie Hughes Goddard of Nashville, and two daughters, Kendra Melnyk (Mike) of Franklin, TN, Katie Julian (Brad) of Chattanooga, TN, and one step-son, Chad Truitt (Stephanie) of Franklin, TN. He has five beautiful granddaughters that he was always happy to brag about! He is also survived by two sisters, Carol Goddard McCabe (Jon) of Clarendon Hills, IL, and Deborah Goddard Jeffery (Dan) of Brunswick, ME, and a niece and three nephews. He loved Vanderbilt athletics, and was a football and basketball season ticket holder for many decades, as well as a member of the Commodore Club. He was a Tennessee Squire and a Kentucky Colonel. He loved to fish, and he and his wife loved travel, especially adventure travel. He enjoyed scuba diving and snow skiing, snow shoeing, snorkeling, and canoeing. Some of his favorite travel spots were Machu Picchu, Peru; San Mateo, Costa Rica; Paris; Colorado; and Grand Cayman Island. He and his wife were planning a trip to Italy in March to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Ken was a caring person, a genuine friend, and had an optimistic, cheerful outlook on life. He had had a couple medical issues over the last year and a half that had sapped some of his energy, which frustrated him, but was looking forward to getting his strength and energy back and enjoy his wife's upcoming retirement so that they could travel more, and have more time to spend with the grandchildren. His biggest joy in life was his family.


20 September

Gathering of Family and Friends

4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home & Memorial Park

660 Thompson Ln
Nashville, TN 37204

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at


Kenneth E. Goddard

have a memory or condolence to add?

Conrad Jones

September 15, 2019

Ken, thanks for being a supporter of our Kangarate project. Our thoughts are with your awesome family.

Preston Sullivan

September 15, 2019

Ken was just simply The Best! Ken believed in me when I started in the music business. He gave me my first loan to start my music publishing companies. I had no real credit and he asked for no collateral. he did not really even know me that well back then. Just blind faith and out of the goodness of his heart! The rest was a long amazing relationship. He was my friend. A real friend. Always there for me. Always. He will be missed by so many people. He touched our lives in so many ways. He always had time for everyone. I wish we had had more time together in these last years.... God love you Debbie. he loved you and the kids more then life itself! You all were always first on his mind and in his heart! See you one day again my friend!

Dawn Sharp

September 13, 2019

Ken and Debbie, so in love! You could see it and feel it when they were together. Ken was always so kind!

Rob Carpenter

September 11, 2019

Thank you for being a great friend and supporter at all our banking stops over the past 20 years.

Rob Carpenter

Andy Van Roon

September 11, 2019

As many have heard, I am profoundly saddened to convey that my long-time pal and collaborator, one of the long-time pillars and friends of our film/television community, Ken Goddard, passed late last week. While he had valiantly forged through one major health issue and medical procedure after another over the last year, his passing was very unexpected, as he was to undergo a final operation this week to get him on the road to full recovery. He just took a trip to Canada with his beloved wife, Debbie, and was in good spirits. They had a built a beautiful second-story back porch, replete with canopy and hummingbird feeders where they would sit outside to relax. Debbie came home in the afternoon last Thursday to find him on the back porch asleep in one of his easy chairs…

Ken was a major contributor to the growth of Nashville’s film & television industry, going back over four decades as he financed many film and entertainment companies in the Nashville area, including the original Ernest movies, a Nashville creation that has generated over $200 million in revenues, and catalyzed many careers in our local community. Ken was known as the “film banker” – he would support Nashville area film-related ventures when all other bankers would steer clear. He may be the most important film financier in the history of our city and community, though he was too genuinely humble to talk about much of what he had accomplished. In the non-profit realm, he was a President of FilmNashville, Treasurer of the Nashville Film/Video Association, and current President of FilmNashville Foundation, the entity producing the annual Film-Com business market.

Ken had many hundreds of friends in all walks of life, both in our city and in other parts of the country. His passing is a profound shock to all who knew him, and his presence will be substantially missed, in all respects.

We are planning a more thorough recognition and honoring of Ken's contributions to the community, as he was literall

Demetria Kalodimos

September 11, 2019

So sorry to hear of Ken's passing. The film community in Nashville will always remember his generosity and vision. May his memory be eternal.

Lynda Evjen

September 10, 2019

When I first came from California, Ken was one of the first people o met! His smile and his kindness meant so much especially when you are new. I got on the Film Com board and he was always there to help wherever to make Film Com great! It is funny in life when you meet someone and just know from the beginning that you would always be friends! He and Debbie always had a warm and welcoming heart and always wanted the best for all they met! My heart goes out to the family and I know he is in a better piece and looking down laughing and enjoying the love!!!!!

Larry Lovelace

September 10, 2019

Ken, was a fine banker that always put his customers first. He was level headed, smart and liked by all. He was searched out by many for advice and wisdom. A wonderful family man and always fun to be with. Will never forget his friendship and his wonderful laugh.
May God bless his soul and provide comfort to his family .

Cheryl Watkins

September 10, 2019

Debbie, My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for your loss. Know you are in the thoughts and prayers of so many people right now. Your family and friends are here for you. Sending prayers and hugs.

Betty Stark

September 8, 2019

I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I know how this hurts but just feel all the arms around you for support. You had such a special relationship and have many memories to hang on to. Ken will forever be in your heart. 💗💜