Richard C. Goodman ’53

Richard C. Goodman ’53 died on September 1, 2018, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

(The following was submitted by the family):

Richard Goodman, playwright, traveler, humanist, family historian, beloved uncle, and treasured friend died September 1 while swimming laps in his Honolulu apartment pool. He was 87 years old. Dick lived a thoughtful, adventurous and creative life using writing as his vehicle of choice to navigate its twists and turns. He follows his two sisters, June Parker and Nancy Reilly, both recently deceased, and leaves behind seven nieces and nephews, many grand nieces and nephews, and a clutch of close friends in Hawaii and elsewhere. He will be deeply missed by all of us.

Richard Goodman was born in Bryn Mawr, PA where he lived with his family before they moved to Westport, CT where he graduated from Staples High School. He graduated with a BA from Bowdoin College and a MA from Columbia University. His nieces and nephews recall his tall, handsome cut in a Navy uniform. After serving in Korea, Dick stayed in Asia, living in Japan for seventeen years, where he wrote textbooks that taught Japanese school students to speak and read English. He traveled the world writing articles and taking photographs for magazines and documenting detailed family history back to its Irish, English, and German roots.

He loved Hawaii, where he taught English at the University of Hawaii and later collaborated with the theater department there as an actor and playwright. He was a member of the Actors Equity Association and worked in local theaters in San Francisco and Honolulu. Dick spoke several languages fluently including Japanese, French, and German. His droll British accent and dry humor won him interesting comedic parts. But his true passion was writing plays. His plays ran the gamut of drama to comedy including a recent musical. They were produced in several US locations. His plays portrayed a variety of characters including ghosts, gold miners, travelers on steam ships, and residents of a nursing home. But his most popular plays were serious dramas about a misunderstood president’s wife, in “Mrs. Lincoln” and courageous abolitionists in, “Resistance.” He continued writing plays until his dying day. He fostered the creative spirit in all his relationships and was loved for his personal support to that end.

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