Jerry M. Goddard

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Jerry Mark Goddard passed away Thursday, August 5, 2021, with one hand holding his last son on earth and the other reaching toward his two sons in heaven.  Within the light, Jerry’s lifelong love, Mary Ann, also waited with open arms and a warm smile. 

Jerry was born in his family home in Wolverine, Michigan on October 6, 1953, to Richard Edwin & Martha Amelia (McCall) Goddard.  As the youngest of eight children, Jerry recalled memories of hardship, mischief, chores, love, and his mother’s freshly baked bread.  This young farming child quickly learned that everything of worth in life would come from his own hard-working hands.  By the age of 13, Jerry owned his own herd of 5 cattle.  Early each morning, he fed and milked the cows before hopping onto the school bus.  Through changes in life, he was forced to sell his cattle, move, quit school, and gain full-time employment.    

Jerry met the love of his life and married Mary Ann Zimbicki on Sept. 2, 1972.  Their marriage was filled with many hours supporting their three sons at sporting events through St. Mary’s School, their companies; Jerry’s Roustabout and Goddard Catering, and enough memories to fill their hearts two-fold.  

Jerry was a trickster and loved to play jokes and share garage humor.   Laughter was his medicine and he offered free doses to all.  He relished spending much of his time with his family and his grandchildren, especially Turd Bird.   He also enjoyed summers at the family cottage in Cheboygan, fishing, woodworking, tinkering, playing cards, antiquing, bartering at garage sales, cooking hearty meals, hunting at the Rosa, and doing what made him happy. 

During his later years, Jaja lived with Joe, Kristen, and their children, at the Rosa creating memories.  They would make maple syrup, raising honeybees, and living off the land with Joe; hunting morel mushrooms with Kristen; seeking puddingstones with Anthony; critiquing fashion shows with Emma; creating recipes in the kitchen with Gracie; and watching Tom & Jerry cartoons with Noah, his Southpaw buddy.  Jearbear also took pleasure in fishing in the pond, 4-wheeling through the woods, watching the deer, listening to spring peepers and fall owls, tilling the land, planting crops, harvesting fruit and vegetables from the garden, raising various animals, sitting on the deck and feeling the warmth of the sunshine, and sharing family meals while sneaking in the ever-expected nubbed sandwich or slippery butter knife trick.

Jerry was the husband of Mary Ann Zimbicki; father of Joseph (Kristen) Goddard, Jason Goddard, and Mark Goddard; “Jaja” to Noah, Grace, Emma, Anthony, and Shelby Goddard as well as Isaac, Addie, Evan, Aliza, and Lydia; he was the youngest brother of Richard (Loretta), Fred (Hilda), Corwin, Floyd (Rose), Clifford, Corthale, and Edith, and “Uncle Jerry” to many beloved nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his sons, Jason and Mark, and his wife, Mary Ann as well as his brothers, Floyd, Clifford, and Corthale.

A funeral service will be held Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. at Nelson Funeral Home. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.

Contributions in memory of Jerry Goddard may be made to Saint Mary’s High School Archery Club, 606 N. Ohio Ave., Gaylord, MI 49735.

Arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, PO Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734. 

19 comments on “Jerry M. Goddard”

  1. Ken and Sue Powers

    So very sorry to hear of the loss of a lifelong friend. We had many good times both as kids and men. Jerry was like a brother to me. May he Rest In Peace. Our condolences to Joe and the family

  2. Jerry was a wonderful person He would put a smile on your face when he entered a room. Rest In Peace you will be missed but never forgotten.

  3. Patricia Lilak Kitchen

    What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. Jerry was my classmate in high school and was always known for his kind and compassionate heart. May he rest in peace. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time.

  4. Keith and Chris wells

    So saddened to hear of Jerry’s passing. We went to school together. We would run into him here and there and would catch up on each others lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Such a great guy and will be missed by many. Rest in God, Jerry.

  5. Uncle Jerry will be so greatly missed by so many people. My children loved to spend time with Uncle Jerry and Aunt MaryAnn, and they treated my kids so very well. Wonderful people who are all gone way too soon. May you rest in peace with your family Uncle Jerry. Our thoughts and prayers will be with Joe and his family as they work through this healing process.

  6. Jerry was one of the kindest and most ambitious men that I ever met and certainly greatly admired by all who knew him.

  7. Deb and Curt Ogden

    So sorry to hear of his passing. We remembered him from high school in Wolverine when he attended for a brief time. Then we got to reconnect when he stayed at our place in Florida about five years ago. He always had a sense of humor even when he wasn’t feeling well. He will be missed.

  8. Bryan and Autumn Powers

    Sorry to hear about Jerry’s passing, what a very cool and generous man. Lots of good laughs playing cards out at the cabin! Will never forget how excited he was when someone got a deer, good times and great memories. Keeping everyone in our thoughts and prayers!

  9. Jim, Judy and Toni Duhoski

    To Joe, Kristen and all five of the grandkids,
    We were so sorry to hear about Jerry’s (Trouble) passing. Toni and I always called him Trouble and he called us the same. We always enjoyed running into Trouble throughout the years.
    I’m sure he is happy now being reunited with Maryann, Jason and Mark. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all!

  10. Doug & Connie Squires

    So sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. We will remember him with fondness. He always had a big smile and an even bigger hug for everyone. May his reunion with Mary Ann, Mark and Jason be a joyous one! Sending prayers to Joe and his family. RIP Jerry.

  11. So very sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. My thoughts and prayers for Joe, Kristen and family. Have many fond memories of your family.

  12. I am so sorry to hear of Jerrys passing. I always considered him a good friend. He always had a smile on his face and a deal up his sleeve. I enjoyed working with Jerry as much as visiting with him. RIP My friend!

  13. Jerry was like a father to me. He believed in me when no one else did. I only wish I would have known of this. I should have been there for him. I will miss our talks, our sorrows. He was one of the best people I, have ever had in my life. I will you miss your Dad very much . I am so sorry for your loss Goddard Family, I will always remember him as one of my best friends .

  14. Joe and family. We were so sorry to hear of the loss of Jerry. We remember him fondly as a caring and fun neighbor and friend. Always had a smile and wave and always willing to lend a neighborly hand if needed.

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