Obituary: James David Goddard

James (Jim) David Goddard
October 2, 1929 – Jan. 16, 2024

James David Goddard, 94, passed away peacefully January 16, 2024, at Hill House Memory Care in Moscow, Idaho.

James was born in Salem, Oregon, October 2, 1929, the son of Albert D. Goddard and Mildred M. (Fisk) Goddard. He spent a good majority of his life in Oregon.

He met and married the love of his life, Beryl E. Simonson, in Portland, Oregon. They were married August 12, 1950. They had 66 years together until Beryl’s passing in 2016.

Jim’s professional career spanned four decades and two states, as he taught and coached basketball at Lincoln High School, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR and the University of Idaho, Moscow, ID. While coaching basketball at his alma mater, Lewis and Clark College, he took his team to the national championships and then the NAIA. Coach “Gym” and his 1962-63 team were inducted into L&C Hall of Fame. After a successful 3 yr. coaching stint at the University of Idaho, Jim and family moved back to Salem, OR where he worked for Oregon’s State Board of Education, ensuring that schools met minimum standards.

Jim’s love of life, positive attitude and upbeat personality made it easy for him to relate to people. Known for his great smile, he would sit and chat with anyone, whether he knew them or not! Jim’s life-long advice was to keep on learning and experiencing new things, but most importantly, enjoy life!

Jim was an active golfer and golf coach for years, even winning many tournaments. He loved Steelhead fishing on the Deschutes, Rogue and Coquille rivers. Jim was always whistling and singing a song. His love of music was ongoing, even until the end. He and his wife, Beryl, loved to dance and they enjoyed square and round dancing for 25 years. Always creative and always learning, he took up oil painting late in life and created many paintings, originally signing them with “Gym”, representing his coaching years. After Jim and Beryl retired, they traveled around the S. W. United States, seeing different sites in their AirStream, taking up residence in Arizona and the Las Vegas areas. Eventually, they returned to the Bend, Oregon area to be closer to family. 

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Beryl, brother, Roy W. Goddard and several other family members who helped shaped his life.

Jim is survived by his three children, Pam B. Piesker (Doug), Mark D. Goddard (Julia) and Cindy J. Keller (Kevin). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Nyssa Piesker, Nicholas Piesker (Karessa), Cody Keller (Jennifer), James D. Goddard and Sailor Goddard, along with eight great-grandchildren. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Hill House Memory Care in Moscow, ID, whose incredible staff consistently went above and beyond to make sure Jim was comfortable and well cared for.