Mary Catherine (Fabos) Goodwin

April 25, 1954December 26, 2011


Mary Catherine was born in Toledo, Ohio, on April 25, 1954 to Emery and Mary Fabos. She was educated in Catholic schools and earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Engineering from the University of Toledo in 1976.

After 3 months of surveying work in Toledo, she accepted a position as a construction engineer with the US Army Corps of Engineers at Buffalo, New York. Her first assignment was to assist the in the clean up of Mobile, Alabama after it was struck by Hurricane Frederic in the summer 1976. After that she returned to Buffalo in 1977 and spent the next year going to various disaster sites. In 1979, she was promoted and sent to the Corps of Engineer Regional Office in Rock Chester, New York.

In October of 1981 she accepted a position with Middle East Division of the Corps of Engineer. She was sent Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where she worked as one of the project manager on the building of the new Saudi Arabian National Guard Headquarters. Unfortunately as a woman she was not allowed by the Saudi military to be on the actual work site. So the US Government and Corps decided she would be in charge of all contract change order negotiations. Therefore she dealt with senior Saudi Officers and engineers over a negotiation table. All negotiations were done at the US Military Mission Building in Riyadh. She earned quite a reputation of being a tough negotiator and holding the Saudis to the terms of the original negotiated contracts and allowing common sense changes to all construction change order requests.

On June 8, 1983 she met the man she would spend the next 28 ½ years with: James A. Goodwin II. Jim was a US Army Reserve Officer teaching and training The Saudi Arabian National Guard. He worked for the Vinnell Corporation. In April of 1984, Jim Was recalled back to Active Duty and was sent to Kaiserslautern, Germany. Mary soon followed when she applied for and was picked to be the Project Manager of Construction of the new American high school that was being built on Katterbach Kaserne, the home of US Army’s 2nd Armored Division. However, when Mary came to Germany she was engaged to Captain Goodwin. They flew to Toledo, Ohio in April of 1985 where they were married on April 13th.

In October of 1985 they came back to the United States for good when Mary accepted a position (which resulted in another promotion) with the US Navy Engineering Command. She was assigned to the Naval Research Lab outside of Washington DC where she took on a project of high importance that was in trouble. She became the chief Project Engineer of the US Navy’s Missile Research and LASER Laboratory that was being built was six months behind schedule an already $1,000,000.00 over budget. This laboratory was part of President Reagan SDI Missile Initiative also known as “STAR WARS”. In addition Mary was also named as the Deputy Resident Engineer in Charge of Construction; she was the senior civilian engineer at the Naval Research Lab. In July 1988 after 2 years and 9 months of hard work the Missile Research Laboratory was completed. It was finished 3 months ahead of schedule and it was brought in under budget. The $1,000,000.00 overrun was erased and made up.

In 1992 Mary moved once again. This time it was to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. She was assigned as a team leader to the Directorate of Fire Protection Management. She and her team totally revamped the fire suppression system within the bureau and stream lined the fire evacuation procedures. In 1996 she was made director of the directorate. In 2000 The Director of the Bureau named Mary as the Director of Building Facility Engineering. It was her mission to remodel the Bureau Building, and also to insure that Bureau met the requirement handed down by the Washington DC City Council that all Federal Buildings participate in the city beautification program. Another highly visible program.

Mary worked this position until she retired from the Federal Government in June 2005 after 28 years and 9 months of service. On December 10, 2011 Mary and Jim moved to Oak Park California where she died suddenly on December 26, 2011.

Arrangements under the direction of Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Mortuary, Westlake Village, CA.


  • Funeral Mass Friday, December 30, 2011

Mary Catherine (Fabos) Goodwin

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January 8, 2012

My heart goes out to the family. May you find comfort in the hope the bible holds out.


January 1, 2012

Dear Goodwin Family,
Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of your loved one, Mary. May you find consolation in the fond memories of your dear one along with comfort from the Most High-for "He is healing the brokenhearted ones, and is binding up their painful spots."-Psalm 147:3


December 30, 2011

Mary Catherine lead a wonderful rewarding life. May the God of all comfort be with you during this time.