John C. Godfrey Sr.

August 24, 1981June 22, 2019

Gone too Soon

On August 24, 1981, in Miami, Florida, the late George Wendell Raymond and the late Yolanda Victoria Godfrey proudly welcomed their sixth of seven offspring, John Clifford Godfrey.

John began his primary education in “Overtown." Though his travels took him all over the United States, he always viewed himself as a “Towner” (specifically, a “Swamper”).

John attended Phillis Wheatly, Dunbar, Liberty City, and Little River Elementary Schools before transitioning to Horace Mann, Booker T. Washington, and Carol City Middle Schools. His secondary education concluded in the Job Corps as he learned trades, which enabled his transition into the workforce. As a member of the Job Corps, John traveled all over the country before settling in Phoenix, Arizona—his home since 2004.

On February 9, 2006, the arrival of his son, John Clifford Godfrey Jr., marked his transition to fatherhood. One of John's proudest achievements in life was becoming a father. He often lauded about his son’s achievements (like most parents) and he was always prepared to share the most recent social media updates.

Since settling in the Phoenix area, John held a variety of positions, spanning from general contracting to food preparation. He always welcomed a hard day’s work with a positive attitude. He remained committed to self-improvement and helping others until his last day.

John grew up in the church, but more importantly came to know the Lord as an adult. His personal relationship with Christ enabled his 21st century renaissance. He would often share his testimony with his siblings and strove to strengthen his relationship until he was called home in June 2019.

He loved his siblings Nadine, Lea, George, Walther, Jerry, and Christopher with all his heart. This passion carried over to first-cousins April and Gladys, and to his many nieces and nephews. He enjoyed fellowshipping with his family. Whether it was a quick link up during travels, a wedding, family vacation, promotions, graduations, or anything in between, John worked to maximize family time. He drew strength from these times and infused us all with his infectious smile, laughter, wit, and charm.

John, inarguably the most resourceful of Yolanda’s seven children, is best described as a combination of the ‘Crocodile Hunter’ and Richard Pryor. He took chances most only inscribed on their ‘bucket lists’ and could discern humor in situations where others saw only despair.

John departed this life on Saturday, June 22, 2019. John’s legacy of family and friendship endures; celebrated by his son John Clifford Godfrey Jr. and brothers Antonio and Antwan Simmons, his sister Nadine Tiffany Merren Godfrey, his brothers: Lea Foster Godfrey, George Wendell Godfrey, Walther Wilson Godfrey, Jerry Albert Godfrey, and Christopher Lee Godfrey, devoted sisters-in-law: Michele Godfrey and Jovia Godfrey, nieces and nephews: Kimberly Merren, Trinity Merren, Tyler Godfrey, Victoria Godfrey, Walther Godfrey Jr., Alexander Godfrey, Alyssa Godfrey, Christopher Godfrey II, Jaquel Godfrey, Garrett Godfrey, Benjamin Godfrey, and Hunter Godfrey. First-cousins April Frazier and Gladys Smith were especially dear to him; many more family and loved ones carry his memory forward.

We mourn. He rests. God Bless. Amen.


  • Celebration of Life Tuesday, July 9, 2019


John C. Godfrey Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Taneshia Sherrill

July 8, 2019

We will miss you, we will make sure your son is taken care of and keep your memory alive.

Walther Godfrey

July 7, 2019

I love you little brother. Like Jerry said we got you no worries! Your death is not in vain. I love you!

Jerry Godfrey

July 5, 2019

Lil’ Bruh, I miss you so much. Take your rest. We’ll hold it down! Until we meet again...