Former first lady of the state of Virginia, Katherine Beale Godwin, age 98, a long-time resident of the city of Suffolk, passed away March 5, 2015. She was a member of Oakland Christian Church, a former teacher of the youth classes, and served on numerous committees.
She was born in Southampton County. Her parents, Fenton Parker and Dilla Bradshaw Beale, died during the flu epidemic of 1918, when she was 20 months of age. She was reared in Holland by her uncle and aunt, W. Emory and Bernice Herring Beale. She was a graduate of Holland High School and Madison College, Harrisonburg. She returned to Nansemond County and taught third and fourth grades at Chuckatuck School, where she soon met her future husband, Mills E. Godwin Jr., with whom she would share 58 wonderful years of marriage. She followed her husband’s career from attorney in Suffolk to state legislator, lieutenant governor, and two terms as governor, 1966-70 and 1974-78, with constant support for whatever he felt was his duty to Virginia, the state they loved so deeply.
In 1977, Mrs. Godwin authored “Living in a Legacy, Virginia’s Executive Mansion,” recounting the history of the residence of the commonwealth’s governors since 1813, and offering a collection of stories of others who have called the historic house home, as well as reflections on public life and sharing her secrets for successful entertaining. She concluded, “If I am to be remembered at all, I hope it will be in a role supportive to my husband.” Surely, she may have her wish; but she will be remembered, as well, with gratitude, for her graciousness, thoughtfulness, and warm and natural personality.
Mrs. Godwin was predeceased by her husband and by their beloved adopted daughter, Becky Katherine Godwin.
She leaves to cherish her memory, her cousins, Frances Anne Beale Goode, Anne G. Drewry, David B. Goode, Thomas E. Goode, J. Reid Pulley and Carolyn P. Pulley; and her nieces and nephews by marriage, Kaye Keith Tice, Betty Keith Williams, Dr. William J. Jones Jr., Dr. Mills Godwin Jones and Dr. Webb Darden Jones.
A graveside service will be conducted by Pastor Gregory Ryan at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 13, in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Suffolk, followed by a memorial service at 3 p.m. at Oakland Christian Church, 5641 Godwin Blvd., Suffolk. A reception will follow in the church social hall. The family will receive friends on Thursday, March 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington St., Suffolk. Memorial donations may be made to the Becky Godwin Memorial Scholarship Fund of Oakland Christian Church, P.O. Box 2008, Suffolk, VA 23432, or a charity of your choice. Condolences may be registered at www.RWBakerFH.com.
Article taken from The Suffolk News-Herald – http://www.suffolknewsherald.com
URL to article: http://www.suffolknewsherald.com/2015/03/06/katherine-beale-godwin/