Earl Goodwin, 68, of Memphis went home to be with the Lord on January 3, 2022, at 1:51 am. With his loving family by his side, he surrendered to his battle with cancer at BaptistEastHospital in Memphis, TN.
Preceding him in death are his grandfather, Walter Goodwin; grandmother, Bertie (Sanders) Goodwin; mother, Ruby Jean (Goodwin) Mathews.
Earl was born at home in Lexington, MS. He was raised by his grandmother Bertie, Uncle Buddy Seay and his wife Louise. In 1972, Earl joined the United States Marine Corps, where he rose through the ranks from private to Gunnery Sergeant before being promoted to the Chief Warrant Officer ranks. Although quite a feat, Earl still had much more to accomplish as a well-respected Marine and was later offered a commission as a First Lieutenant. Eventually retiring in 1992, after a 20-year career, he obtained the rank of Captain. One of Earl’s proudest career accomplishments as a Marine was earning the title of “Mustang”- a term used to reference an officer who was once prior enlisted. Another highlight of Earl’s Marine Corp Career was his time as a Drill Instructor; a coveted role in which only the best Marines are chosen to break-down, train, develop and mold future Marines. Prior to his retirement Earl obtained his Associates Degree in Technical Arts from Olympic College of Bremerton, WA. After retirement, Earl worked in the roofing industry in Silverdale, WA prior to relocating to Memphis, TN to be closer to family. Once home in Memphis, he began working in cable installation prior to moving into his role as an independent contractor in the Security Installation field until his retirement in 2021.
Earl loved his family. He was a devoted husband, father, Papa, brother, uncle and, of course, friend to many. Earl was not only a beloved family man, but he was also a great friend, neighbor and mentor to many. Earl’s legacy of “love faithfully, work hard, and trust in those you love” will live on. Earl’s sense of humor was unmatched as was his kind words. He will live in our hearts and memories forever.
Earl was always a diligent worker regardless of what he did, and never did anything just half way. Never one to sit around, Earl was always up doing something either for his family, friends or even neighbors. All but three of the houses on his street had their roofs replaced by “Leroy” Earl. Words cannot even express the generosity of this man. We lost a good one while heaven gained a special angel.
To know Earl is to know that he was proud of his children and especially his grandchildren. He was also one to always say that “if you put your mind to it, then anything is possible.” Generosity was always at the foundation of his character. He would give to anyone in need, even if it was his last dollar.
Earl Goodwin is survived by his loving wife, of 47 years, Debra (Hilton) Goodwin of Suitland, MD; sons, Joseph Goodwin and his wife Loreda of Bartlett, TN, Captain Nicholas Goodwin, USMC Retired and his wife April of Weddington, NC; daughter, Carissa (Goodwin)Sanders and her husband Brian of Drummonds, TN; grandchildren, Austin Cole, Aubriana McCarty, Noah Goodwin, Ethan Goodwin, Liam Goodwin, Adyson Sanders, Addriana Simmons, and Scarlett Goodwin; brother, Ivey Courtney and his late wife Donna of Louisville, KY.
Viewing will be held at the Memphis Funeral Home Parlor at 5599 Poplar AveMemphis, TN38119 on Friday, January 28, 2022 from 12:00-1:00 pm. There will be a family and friends service that will be at the same location from 1:00-2:00 pm with Jimmy Seay presiding, and then the internment will be at the West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at 2:30 pm.