Frank R. Goodwin ’60, P’95 died on October 17, 2020 in Brunswick, Maine.
(The following was published by the Portland Press Herald on October 21, 2020)
Frank Goodwin passed away with his family at his side on Saturday, October 17, 2020, after a brief illness. Frank was a native son of Brunswick, Maine, and left a lasting mark as a successful business man and tireless supporter of the community of Brunswick.
Frank Richard Goodwin was the second son of Joseph M. Goodwin, Sr. and Fern Gould Goodwin. Born on March 7, 1938, he grew up going to Brunswick schools, later spending two high school years at Hebron Academy before graduating from Brunswick High School in 1956. He eventually matriculated to Bowdoin College, where he graduated in 1960 with a bachelor of science degree in economics.
School was not where Frank was fated to make his mark. His father, Joe Goodwin, opened the Brunswick Fireproof Garage in the 1920’s and later acquired a franchise to sell Chevrolet automobiles in 1932. At that time he changed the name to the very apt Goodwin’s Chevrolet, which was then located in the current location of the Tontine Mall in the heart of downtown Brunswick. Upon graduating from Bowdoin, Frank joined the family business, immediately taking over leadership from his father. Frank liked to joke that he graduated on Saturday, went to work on Monday, and had been working there ever since (it wasn’t actually a joke – it was true).
Frank went to work immediately modernizing the business practices of the dealership, as most car dealerships were small family-owned operations, differing greatly from the large corporate-style operations often seen today. The business, like most businesses, had its ups and downs, but it was mostly ups, which enabled Frank to acquire a large plot of land at Pelletier’s Junkyard on outer Pleasant Street in 1975, now Goodwin Chevrolet’s current location of 195 Pleasant Street. At that time outer Pleasant Street was quite rural, making it a bold move in keeping with many of Frank’s business decisions over the years.
The success of Goodwin’s Chevrolet allowed Frank to acquire what was then Bates & Cunningham Volvo in Topsham in 1988, which he renamed Goodwin’s Volvo. He subsequently established and opened Land Rover stores in Scarborough, Maine, in 1996, and Bedford, New Hampshire, in 2000. Frank also bought Viking Motors in Oxford, Maine, in 2001, now known as Goodwin Chevrolet Buick. The Brunswick Chevrolet store added a Mazda franchise in 1990, and the Scarborough store added Jaguar in 2004. The five dealerships now compose the Goodwin Motor Group, the culmination of 60 years of hard work, timely risk-taking, and smart decision-making.
His businesses were incredibly important to Frank, but the community of Brunswick, and youth sports in particular, were also great passions of Frank’s. He served as President of the Board of Directors of Mid Coast Hospital and the local Chamber of Commerce. He and the dealerships provided key support to many youth sports and educational organizations, including the Brunswick Community Education Foundation, the Bath YMCA, RunBrunswick, and the Mt. Ararat Athletic Boosters. He was a fixture for years and years at games of the Bowdoin College women’s basketball team. He played basketball his entire life, into his 80’s, playing in the NBA (Noontime Basketball Association) at Bowdoin College and playing on many Senior Olympics basketball teams. Frank also served as the President of the Maine Automobile Dealers’ Association and was a founding member and President of the Board of Directors of the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Frank is survived his wife of fifty-one years, Nancy Conant Goodwin, and his three children: son Robert Goodwin of Freeport, Maine, his wife Camille Schuler Goodwin, and their three children, Weston, Eliza, and Amelia; daughter Katherine Goodwin Slocum of Brunswick, Maine, her husband Dustin Slocum, and their five children, Wyatt, Elliot, Cora, Lucinda, and Cecelia; and son Christopher Goodwin of Brunswick, Maine, his wife, Alyssa Earle Goodwin, and their two children, Hazel and Felix. He is also survived by his brother, Joseph M. Goodwin, Jr. of Harpswell, his wife, Joan, and a number of nieces, nephews, and cousins.