E. Urner Goodman : biography

May 15, 1891 - March 13, 1980

In retirement, the Goodmans enjoyed a rich family life, visiting often with son Theodore ("Ted") and his wife Carol, and daughter Lydia Ann ("Ann") and son–in–law Bob. To his unabashed delight, Urner and Louise Goodman had nine grandchildren. Their son George was killed in action in France during World War II, however. Upon hearing the news in December 1944, Goodman was deeply grieved, and Louise, his wife of 60 years, said it was the only time she ever saw him cry.

Although retired, Goodman remained active in Order of the Arrow affairs during the 1960s and 1970s. Acclaimed as an eloquent orator, his keynote addresses at the OA's biennial National Order of the Arrow Conferences reportedly made an unforgettable impression upon his youthful audiences. Nelson Block writes in A Thing of the Spirit, that even in the 1970s the octogenarian founder "crisscrossed the country to attend lodge and section events... surrounded by young Arrowmen...witty and charming, keeping everyone enthralled with his stories." Displaying his self–deprecating humor, Goodman himself was more prosaic about all of the adulation he received at OA gatherings, writing that, "to many of the young men I was a museum piece. In fact I have been informed that there was considerable surprise because I didn't hobble in on a cane and mumble in my dentures." But, he added, "I looked upon them with deep emotion, for there was a spiritual bond".

Reflecting on his career, Goodman said late in life:

He continued speaking with OA members until shortly before his death at age 88, when he succumbed to pneumonia on March 13, 1980, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He was buried at Penney Farms, Florida, on March 29, 1980. At his funeral, held at the Penney Memorial Church in Penney Farms, Goodman was eulogized by Executive Secretary of the Order of the Arrow William F. Downs: "The shake of [his] hand, sincerity of greeting, twinkle in the eye, smile and dignity immediately relayed...the feeling of confidence from the leader, so necessary to build teamwork. Urner made you feel important".

Living octopus

Living octopus

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