Saturday, July 8, 2017

In Remembrance, 6/19-6/23/2017

My older brother, Robert Lee Goddard (January 22, 1951-June 18, 2017), died of heart failure in his sleep. He had a history of afib, as did our mother who died suddenly at age 60. He was two years older than me and the one (of my three brothers) that I spent the most time with throughout the years. As a kid, I was the little one chasing after him and his friends, shouting, "wait for me!" Check out this photo of the two of us when we were little...

In our teen years he sometimes dated my friends and I dated his. In adulthood he lived with us in PA for several years after I was widowed in 2008. He walked me down the aisle when John and I got married in 2010. The first photo is of the four of us: Mark, me, Bob, and Jim. 

I met John through Bob way back in the late 1960s.

We packed up Monday and drove to Charleston, SC, in our MINI Countryman with Sadie Tuesday, leaving the RV in PA. We had dinner with my oldest brother, Jim (7 years older) who had flown in from Columbus, OH, the day before. Jim and made all of the funeral arrangements with Bob's three sonsAndrewBryan, and Chandler at the McAlister-Smith Funeral Home for Thursday, June 22. 

Here's a photo of Bob with his three sons. And the other two with Andrew and his children, Hunter and Faith.

The rest of the family that could make it to Charleston arrived Wednesday. Bryan (Bob's son) arrived from CharlotteAmanda flew in from NYC; Jim's family (wife Nancy, daughters Karen (husband Rick and daughter Elizabeth) and Katie (son, Keegan), drove in from Columbus, OH. We had dinner with Jim and his family at a nearby restaurant. 

My youngest brother Mark and most of his family (Eileen and kids NikoleJames, and Jordan) drove down from PA on Wednesday and arrived after midnight.

Bob was also, Uncle Bob, to the children (Alyssa and Coral) of Staci, my step-daughter from my previous marriage in PA.

Visitation was at 1 pm and the memorial service was conducted at 2 pm at the funeral home by an Episcopal priest who we had met with us Tuesday. 

We appreciated all of the many friends Bob had in the area who came to the service. It was a real pleasure to meet so many. After the service, La Fontana, the restaurant where Bob had worked hosted a gathering where they provided all of the food (very generous). There were lots of fun stories and experiences shared there. Here is part of the La Fontana family

The "dance moms" were frequent patrons there. Their daughters attend the Just Dance Studio located next to the restaurant. Bob attended the kids' dance recitals and became close friends with their families. 

We were so appreciative for how much this group did for Bob's boys as soon as they heard of Bob's death, providing photos for the funeral home, and sharing stories with us at La Fontana after the service.

Bob's closed friend for years, Bryan, drove from Charlotte to attend the service. Here we are sharing memories and drinking a toast to Bob. Also, shown is Bob dancing with his high school sweetheart, Peggy, at one of their high school reunions. Peggy also came to the funeral from Columbia, SC, where she currently lives.

Half of the family went out to eat Thursday night (Katie and son Keegan; Nancy; Karen and daughter Elizabeth; Eileen and daughter Jordan) with Jim.

The cousins went to Voodoo, a favorite hang out for Bob and his friends, for what they called the "after party." 

My brother, Mark and I, were with them until about 10 pm when they moved on to yet another favorite watering hole. We went back to the hotel to hang out with John and niece, Katie. None of us drove home that night...Uber is great! We all departed the next day but continue to stay in close touch with Bob's sons.

While a death in the family is such a sad occasion, it was wonderful to have most of the extended family together. As many of you know, there are so many shared memories that come to mind when you lose a sibling. I still can't believe it. Rest In PeaceBob.

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