Coach Bob Goodwin 1925 – 2014

CHS Coach Bob Goodwin c 1964An obit for Coach R.B. “Bob” Goodwin showed up on the McComb’s Funeral Home website today.

R. B. “Bob” Goodwin II, 89, of Cape Girardeau, passed away Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau.

He was born May 9, 1925, in Jackson, to R. B. and Marguerite Bowman Goodwin. He and Carol A. Dunn were married August 8, 1950, in Doniphan, Mo.

He was a 1944 graduate of Jackson High School, and a U.S. Army veteran of WWII, serving honorably in the 11th Airborne Paratroop Division, in the South Pacific Theater.

Played basketball for SEMO 1948-50

Cape Central High School Coach Robert GoodwinHe then attended Oklahoma A & M College in Stillwater, Okla., where he played basketball under Coach Henry Iba. He later transferred to Southeast Missouri State University where he played basketball from 1948 – 1950, and was co-captain of the team his senior year.

Upon graduation, he taught and coached a total of 33 years in southeast area high schools, including Lilbourn, Mo.,Chaffee, Mo., Cape Girardeau, and Jackson, retiring in 1983 as coordinator of physical education and athletics at Jackson High School.

Coach had winning teams

Central High School pep rally c 1965While coaching in Chaffee, Bob had an undefeated football team, a basketball team that won numerous championships, and a baseball team that went to the state tournament. While coaching at Cape Central High School, he had an undefeated football season plus conference championships, and a basketball team that went to the state tournament.

In addition to teaching and coaching, Bob spent 20 years playing baseball and softball for area teams, including the Cape Capahas, earning the 1954 batting title. He also played with Holdrege in the Nebraska Independent League, and was an organizer and member of the Howard Swan Jets, a men’s fast pitch softball team that won four state softball titles.

Active in softball

Faculty softball game Central High School 1963His other interests and affiliations include: recipient of the SEMO District Teachers Association Meritorious Service Award; longtime membership in the Missouri State Teachers Association; secretary of the SEMO Football Association; charter member of the SEMO Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, also serving as a board member; and lifetime member of VFW Post 3838 in Cape Girardeau.

Loving survivors include his wife of nearly 63 years, Carol of Cape Girardeau; a daughter, Teresa (David) Bigham of Olive Branch, Ill, and children, Katie (John) Ford and Kelsey Prater of McClure, Ill.; a son, Robert B. (Amy) Goodwin III of Fruitland, Mo., and children, Danielle and Samantha Goodwin of Batesville, Ark., and Addie and Tyler Gage of Fruitland; four great-grandchildren, Kayman, Eva, Eliza, and Mavis Ford of McClure; two brothers, James L. Goodwin of Alton, Ill.; and Dr. Lane A. Goodwin of Lacrosse, Wis.; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 PM, Friday, June 27, 2014, at the McCombs Funeral Home in Cape Girardeau. The funeral service will be at 10:30 AM, Saturday, June 28, 2014, at the funeral home, with the Rev. Lee Goodwin officiating. Interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery in Cape Girardeau, with a graveside service by VFW Post 3838 and full military honors by Team Delta and the Marine Corp League.

Memorials may take the form of contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Stories with mentions or photos of Coach Goodwin

Even if the story wasn’t ABOUT Coach Goodwin, readers would thrown in comments about him. Here’s a selection of those posts.





Howard Bock Changed My Life

Howard Bock CHS 23 When I ran across this portrait of Howard Bock it got me to thinking about a post I did about him on my bike blog when he died. It’s worth revisiting and revising. You can click on the photo to make it larger. I really like it.

Howard Gilbert Bock, 87, lifelong resident of Cape Girardeau, died Monday, May 11, 2009.

It was a longish obituary by most standards because he had a much more active life than I ever knew.

B-26 Engineer Gunner in WWII

The quiet-spoken man had been an engineer gunner on B-26s in World War II. You would never know from talking with him that he had he been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, five air medals, American Defense Medal and campaign ribbons (Battle of Europe, Battle of the Rhineland and Battle of Ardennes-The Bulge).

Howard BockHe had been a teacher, coach and administrator for 32 years.

The Bocks lived on my newspaper route (on the left side of the road on a downhill stretch; they didn’t have any special requests, so I could fling and wing without slowing down). Jo Ann Bock, his wife, was my Cub Scout den mother.

When I was 12 years old, our family took a vacation / business trip to Florida. (Dad was looking for construction equipment to buy.) He gave me a Kodak Tourist II folding camera and I fell in love with photography.

When I was a high school freshman, I discovered the debate club, which caused photography to take a back seat.

My partner and I were undefeated for the year, so I thought law and politics were in my future. (You’ve heard me tell about why I abandoned politics.)

Do you want to join photo staff?

Howard Bock CHS 24Mr. Bock approached me one day, said he had heard that I was interested in photography and wondered if I might like to join the newspaper and yearbook photo staffs.

Darkroom was our special place

Cape Giradeau Central High School Girardot Photo Staff 1965I don’t know that I gave it much thought, but I joined the staff and learned how to process film and make prints in a tiny darkroom on the second floor down near the science classrooms. There wasn’t enough room to swing a cat, but we photographers had a key to the darkroom and it was our special place to hang out between classes.

It wasn’t long before I was freelancing for the local papers and discovering that being a photographer doing exciting things was more fun than the prospect of doing dull lawyer research. I can thank Mr. Bock for sending me off on a career path that was satisfying and rewarding. You never know where the ripples are going to go when you drop a pebble in the pond.

Uncle Milty and General O

Two of Central High School’s other science teachers were equally colorful and were war veterans of note.

Mary Z. Reed: Gentle Soul

Mary Z Reed, CHS English teacher, c 1964Mary Z. Reed was at Central High School when Dad was a student.

When I ran photos of the teachers who bridged the generations, Bill East remembered Miss Reed, “I’m sure anyone who knew her remembers her affection for trees. It may be apocryphal, but supposedly at the beginning of the year, she always asked students what they did during the summer. As the story goes, there was always one guy who said he was a lumberjack to upset her. I guess she was one of the original ‘tree huggers.’

Bill and Miss Reed have both graduated to The Other Side, so she’ll be able to give him his bonus points for using the word “apocryphal” in a sentence in person.

Alene Sadler “most influential”

Alene Sadler 1963We were blessed with some excellent English teachers at Central. Miss Alene Sadler was one of the most demanding teachers I ever had – in college or high school – but she was rated “most influential” by her students in their later years.

Miss Reed was less intimidating, but she was still able to convey her passion for language and literature to her uncouth and uncivilized students. I bet even the “lumberjack” felt bad by the end of the semester.

1963 Faculty Softball Game

From time to time, there’d be student vs faculty ball games, but this appears to be an all-faculty softball game on the southeast corner of the Central High School campus. The negatives were dated 1963. You can click on the pictures to make them larger.

That might be Senor Dan Moore, Spanish teacher, pitching.

Calvin Chapman is on third

Debate coach Calvin Chapman is tagging up on third. I don’t know who the other players are. It’s a real high-class game: they’re using a baseball mitt for home plate.

Coach Goodwin crosses plate

Coach Robert Goodwin crosses the “plate,” but it’s hard to tell if he beat the throw.

You can see from my shadow in the lower righthand corner that I’m trying as hard as possible to hide behind the school’s 4×5 Crown Graphic camera. Hiding from Coach Goodwin was something I practiced as often as possible. My ilk was usually beneath his notice, but when he DID notice me, nothing good happened.