Paul Winston Goddard, pastor, teacher, and writer, with a gift for loving those around him, left us for God’s loving presence in heaven on March 18, 2019. He fought hard through five years of cancer, but died at peace with himself, with others, and with God.
Paul was born in Anchorage, Alaska and lived his first months in a trailer near the Air Force base where his father was stationed. He was the second of six children born to Marianne and Winn Goddard and grew up exploring the woods of Mt. Scott in Portland, Oregon. His avid curiosity made him a good student and led him on the many adventures that spanned his lifetime. He attended local schools in Portland, Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and advanced degree work at Bethel Seminary and much later, Western Washington University.
The cradle of Paul’s faith and childhood was the Swedish community of Temple Baptist Church in Portland. His Swedish immigrant grandparents had attended there since his mother was a baby, making it a multi-generational network of faithful and loving people. He also enjoyed visiting grandparents and family in Western Pennsylvania when he could.
His family’s strong emphasis on missionary and pastoral professions led him to his first career as a church planter and pastor. Church was also where he met his beloved Ruth, wife, and partner in ministry. They together earned master’s degrees at Seminary and together started churches in North Fork, California, and later in Everett, Washington. In North Fork in the Sierra mountains, Paul so adapted to the community that tourists commented “now there’s a real cowboy!”
Two sons were the light of Paul’s life and heart. Timothy was born during seminary studies in St. Paul, and Matthew was born while pastoring in North Fork. He loved teaching them about life, love, corny jokes, faith, and how to be godly men. Mostly he taught by example, using words only when needed.
Paul changed his direction in his forties, studying technical writing and adult education as he found work at Boeing. He went on to become a technical systems designer there, where he loved working with people on complex projects that used his problem-solving and people-caring skills.
Paul is survived by his wife Ruth; sons: Timothy (wife Lorraine) and Matthew (wife Julia); grandchildren: Gideon, Lucy and Naomi; father C. Winston Goddard; siblings: Marilyn (Stan) Rowland, Jeff (Rhonda) Goddard and Shari (Ben) Shambaugh; cousin Vera Wilkins; as well as many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. He is predeceased by his mother Marianne, brother David and sister Susan.
In the last year, Paul said he had figured out our purpose on Earth: to learn how to love better and to help others do the same. Throughout his life, Paul lived that truth as a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a pastor, a teacher, a colleague and a friend. His love was his greatest gift, and he gave it freely and without reserve to all who walked into his world, often served up with a bit of wry humor.
For those who would like to make a donation in his memory, Ruth, Timothy & Matthew designated the Everett Gospel Mission, Global Radio Outreach, and the newly established Paul & Ruth Goddard Scholarship Fund at Bethel Seminary, as three causes that most exemplify Paul’s heart.