Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 25

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1/28/2013 4:49:00 PM
Reverend Susan Carol Goodwin

Reverend Susan Carol Goodwin, 57, of Waldoboro, died at Chase Point in Damariscotta on January 11, after a long battle with lung disease. Born in Boston, MA to Van P. Goodwin and Phyllis C. Liese, Susan grew up in Sudbury and graduated from Lincoln Sudbury Regional HS in 1972. An art major at Southern Massachusetts University, she used her creativity with words, all forms of visual expression, plus strong organizational skills in a variety of positions with the Boy Scouts of America and Digital Equipment Corporation. While Sue succeeded in those roles, she did not find the self-fulfillment she desired.

For many years, Susan had felt called to ministry. After the sudden death of her dad she decided to pursue her dream. In 1991 she received her Masters in Theology from Harvard Divinity School and was ordained in the United Church of Christ, Burlington, MA in 1999. While preparing to pastor a church of her own, she volunteered and served as assistant minister at churches in the greater Boston area, taking on responsibilities for education, community outreach, and a church soup kitchen.

Sue delighted in being able to help her mother fulfill her lifelong dream to visit Paris. She was the confident companion her mom needed in order to feel safe navigating airports and unfamiliar surroundings. Together, they made several trips to France, exploring the French countryside, culture, and cuisine. Fearless and adventurous, Sue learned enough French to read menus and bargain with shopkeepers. Even the notorious Paris traffic could not daunt Sue's enthusiasm, thanks to her dad's lessons in aggressive Boston driving - and her utter faith that God would keep her safe and always guide her home.

She was called to the First Congregational Church of Farmington, NH in the fall of 1999 and served as "Pastor Sue" for seven years. Her UCC colleagues describe Susan as a faithful and deeply committed minster of the Gospel, with many gifts for ministry, service to the church and an engaging manner that invited people to know Christ. She had a wonderful way with words, but also believed strongly in the "doing" aspects of ministry, evident in her passionate work on many UCC state conference committees, including the Commission for Witness and Action.

While Susan's first love was her faith, a close second was the Maine seacoast. During one of her many weekend trips to Maine with her aunt "Nanny" in the early 1980s, she discovered Pemaquid; the dream to pastor a church in mid-coast Maine was born. Hoping to pursue that dream, she moved to New Harbor in 2007, and in 2008 purchased her first-ever home in Waldoboro. Declining health did not permit pastoring her own church, but it did not prevent continued service and ministry in other ways. She joined Broad Bay Congregational Church in Waldoboro, served as moderator for one year, and worked for the Maine UCC Conference. In 2012, despite significant physical challenges, Sue not only attended the UCC annual meeting, but also delivered what attendees describe as an outstanding program, demonstrating her combined mastery of the written word, graphic arts and technology.

Sue never preached to her family and friends, but gently ministered to their needs. Her extended family put well-placed trust in Sue's skill and compassion, calling upon her to conduct the emotionally challenging funeral services for her own three aunts and uncles, and, most difficult of all, her mother. In 2012, compelled by devotion despite serious health issues, she travelled to NH to conduct services for the daughter of one of her prior parishioners.

Sue's remarkable talent and love for history, architecture, design, photography, and the beauty of God's natural world, are all reflected in her many artistic endeavors - from birthday cards and memory books to cross-stitch and wall hangings. Her passion for genealogy led her to pursue extensive research of her mother's lineage, and to collaborate online with several Goodwin cousins on their shared genealogy. She combined these interests and talents to organize a Goodwin family reunion in 2004 Fascinated with the history of the British Royal family, Sue relished any film about its members, from Henry VIII and his many wives to Princess Diana.

Sue could be immersed in deep philosophical discussions with the most erudite scholars one minute, and crack jokes with the best of them the next. Sue loved to laugh, could be boisterous and even a little bawdy, had a quick wit and was great at repartee. In public she was outgoing and delightful company, but she also valued her alone time, especially when she walked and talked with her God.

Although her time in Maine was brief, Sue tried to explore every peninsula, inlet, village, valley and mountaintop in the mid-coast area. She became chief researcher, event coordinator and navigator for day trips with her aunt and cousin Cathy. Favorite outings were picnics at lighthouses and old graveyards; musical events of many kinds, especially Castlebay, the Bath Band, Down East Brass, St. Cecelia and Sheepscot Choruses; plays at Lincoln County and Biddeford Theaters; church suppers, Maine Maple Sunday, breakfast at Deb's Diner in Waldoboro, pie at Moody's, and seafood anywhere and everywhere.

At a simple memorial service on January 24th at the Broad Bay Congregational Church in Waldoboro, Sue's friends and family sang her favorite hymns and shared memories. It was just right, the perfect expression of Susan's faith, witness and calling. In the spring ashes will be scattered at Pemaquid Point. Family will gather this summer when Susan joins her mom and dad in Leavitt Cemetery, Charlemont, MA.

Predeceased by her father in 1984 and mother in 2002, Susan is survived by her brother Jeffrey, his wife Nancy and daughter Holly of NC, aunt Ann Doyle (Nanny) and cousin Cathy Stockwell of South Bristol, ME, many loving cousins from CO, MA, NC, NH, VA, VT and Germany, and her beloved "boys" Ebony and Onyx.

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