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Published March 10, 2013, 12:00 AM

John Edward Goodman

John Edward “Jack” Goodman, 95, died February 18, 2013 in Rochester, MN. Memorial service will be held in Fargo in the spring, details to be published later.

John was born March 8, 1917 to James and Byrtha Goodman in Sheldon, ND. He had an older brother, Joe, and a younger brother, Robert. He married June Kemmer Schossow in 1954, and adopted her three children, Jean, Daniel and David. A year later John and June had a son, James.

John Edward Goodman

John Edward “Jack” Goodman, 95, died February 18, 2013 in Rochester, MN. Memorial service will be held in Fargo in the spring, details to be published later.

John was born March 8, 1917 to James and Byrtha Goodman in Sheldon, ND. He had an older brother, Joe, and a younger brother, Robert. He married June Kemmer Schossow in 1954, and adopted her three children, Jean, Daniel and David. A year later John and June had a son, James.

John put himself through school, graduating from Valley City State, and earning his master’s degree in English from the University of North Dakota. But that was not before dropping out of school once, to take an extended road trip to New Orleans during Mardi Gras in 1939, with three of his buddies. (This information was well-exploited by his kids, who were not above using it to their advantage when wanting to tease their dad.)

John farmed at Sheldon from 1940 to 1955. He taught high school English from 1956 to 1962, in Coteau, Flaxton and Drayton, ND. In 1962 he accepted a position with the North Dakota Employment Security Bureau in Grand Forks, where he worked until retiring in 1979.

In 1980, John and June moved from Grand Forks and built their retirement home in Leonard, ND. Leonard held many attractions, not the least being a nine-hole golf course, where John could be found most summer days and many winter days as well. He said he had to golf 160 times per year so that his $160 membership fee worked out to $1 per outing, and he reached that goal several years. He was infamous for amassing a huge collection of golf balls at Leonard, where he was also on constant lookout for aluminum cans in the ditches.

John and June enjoyed a busy retirement in Leonard. They rode their bicycles around town, and were active members of the Senior Citizens Center and the United Methodist church. John also served on the Leonard Town Council. They especially enjoyed living near June’s sister, Audrey and husband Gordon Solhjem. John liked working with wood and made many keepsakes for his kids and grandkids. He also tended a large vegetable garden with several fruit trees. He experimented with tree grafting, and in his backyard were several fruit trees, each producing a couple types of apples.

In 2004, John and June sold their home in Leonard, and moved to Cooperative Living in West Fargo, where they lived until September, 2011. They loved this next phase of retirement, and cherished old and new friends in their apartment building and at Flame of Faith United Methodist Church.

John had a gentle and playful spirit. He never took himself too seriously, and laughed hardest at jokes at his own expense. He loved good and bad jokes equally well, laughing fully and slapping his knee when he thought something to be especially funny. As a child of the Great Depression, John was suspicious of millionaires and as thrifty as Jack Benny. He was impossible to beat at Scrabble, often feigning an air of cheating when placing an obscure word on the board. John appreciated good writing, and was a witty and clever writer in his own right.

John is preceded in death by his wife June, parents, brothers, son Dan, and grand-daughter Dolly Goodman. He is survived by his daughter Jeanie Gigstad (Gene) of Vining, MN, daughter-in-law Brenda Goodman of San Bernadino, CA, son David (Linda) of Rochester, MN, son Jim (Bruce Davis) of Minneapolis, MN, and sister-in-law and brother-in -law Audrey & Gordon Solhjem. He is also survived by four grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Memorials preferred to Flame of Faith United Methodist Church in West Fargo, or Seasons Hospice in Rochester, MN.

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