Richard “Dick” Goodie

PORTLAND – Richard “Dick” Goodie, born in Bangor, the son of Frank J. Goodie Sr. and Mary (Munroe) Goodie, passed away Oct. 8, 2020. To those who knew “Dick” would agree, he lived a very full life. As a freelance writer, many of his varied adventures were published in the Maine Sunday Telegram. He was author of three books: “The Maine Quality of Running”, a treatise on the early history of Maine distance running; “A Bracelet for Lily”, a World War II romance novel and an Amazon Kindle selection, and “Raindrops on a Nail Keg”, a collection of essays, including his wartime adventures as a combat soldier. A full page article that appeared in the Maine Sunday Telegram, was cited as Best Sports Feature of 1979 by the Maine Press Association. A survivor of the Great Depression, Dick was 10 when his parents lost their home in Bangor. Fortunate to be multi-talented, however, his father found work at the Maine Seaboard Paper Company on the Penobscot River in Bucksport. So his parents and siblings, two older sisters and three younger brothers, moved to Bucksport to start their life anew. His father planted large gardens and usually shot a deer in the fall, which added greatly to the family larder. Then too, Dick and his brothers caught white perch and pickerel from Silver Lake. So guided by parental wisdom and perseverance, the family got through the Great Depression without any remembered hardships. During World War II, Dick was drafted in the army in 1942. He left by train for Fort Devens, Mass., where draftees were fitted with uniforms. Eventually, he was stationed at Camp Davis, a wartime camp in North Carolina. A week after he was drafted, in a letter from his sister, she mentioned, “Our mother cried the rest of the day you left home.” As he wrote later in one of his books: “Wartime is often more difficult for parents than it is for those who serve; because parents have a propensity to believe the worst is always happening; so they study battle-maps pinned to their parlor walls, their hair turns gray and they worry.” Being familiar with hunting weapons at an early age, Dick became a squad leader at the age of 20. His equipment was an armor-plated half-track mounting twin .50 caliber machine guns, and a 37 mm automatic gun on a rotating turret. The half-track had great firepower and carried a crew of seven. In December 1943 his battalion crossed the Atlantic for Scotland on the Queen Mary for more training in England. Because of storms that churned up the English Channel, the division could not get onto Omaha Beach until June 23, 1944, soon after the 1st and the 29th Infantry Divisions went through the Draconian hell of D-Day. The 486th Battalion served with the Third Armored Spearhead Division, First Army, in the five campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), and Central Germany.As a spearhead Division, The Third Armored was awarded Belgium’s highest citation ? The Fourragere ? on two occasions: “Pushing through the center of Belgium to the German frontier” and later “for participating in the Ardennes Offensive” (The Battle of the Bulge.) He was honorably discharged December of 1945. After the conflict to stay in shape, he became interested in distance running. As a runner, promoter and race director, Dick is considered one of the pioneers of modern day road racing in Maine. He was inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame in 1993. While a student at Portland Junior College, he credits Professor John Jaques for sparking his interest in writing; he also graduated from the University of Denver in 1951. After graduating from college he worked four years for Douglas Aircraft as a production planner in the El Segundo, California facility. However, not adapting well to the smog and rush of big city living, he returned to Portland in 1954, and found work in the revenue office of the Maine Central Railroad where he retired in 1986. In October 1956 he married Emily Joyce Maxim. They have two daughters, Laurie, born 1959, and Elizabeth 1961. When they were of a young age, Dick introduced them to cross-country skiing and mountain climbing at Baxter State Park. As a freethinker, he was knowledgeable on baseball statistics, inventors, historic happenings, and those who excelled at their chosen trade ? suffice it to say from Italian Tenors to Civil War Generals. He wrote a moving tribute to Joe DiMaggio for the Portland Press Herald on the occasion of DiMaggio’s death. However, he holds little regard for Hollywood’s influential grip on our culture (especially the young), often saying, mostly in jest: “the quickest way to make a million dollars and retire to Tahiti, would be to manufacture Q-tips and swear the fluff comes from the navels of movie stars.” One of Dick’s greatest passions was mountain climbing. In the 1970s and ’80s he, along with his wife and two daughters, they climbed every mountain in New Hampshire’s Presidential Range, but found true love while backpacking in Baxter State Park ? as he later wrote in his essay published in the Maine Sunday Telegram commemorating the 50th anniversary of the park: “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die, so we backpack into Russell Pond instead.” Dick was very active with the 486th Battalion Reunions beginning in 1947, held semi-annually thereafter, seven times in the Portland area. To honor comrades who fell on European battlefields, he wrote “A Moment of Silence, Please”. He was called upon to read it during reunion invocations:We went east to war to the shores of France,With a rifle, a purpose, and a confident smileAnd felt the thunder of shot and shell ?The searing fires from an erupted hell.Some came back we’re here tonight,To toast a drink and discuss the fight;But for those who fell, shall we honor once more ??Their rifle . . . their purpose . . . their confident smile.Richard was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Mary Goodie; his sisters, Mary Kay Smith and Francis Galli, brothers, John Goodie, Thomas Goodie and brothers-in-law, Harry Smith and Arthur Galli.He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Emily Goodie; his daughters, Elizabeth Selwood and Laurie Goodie, his son-in-law, Glenn Selwood; several loving nieces and nephews; his brother, Frank Goodie and partner Eileen. Richard “Dick” Goodie will be laid to rest at the Maine Veterans’ Cemetery in Augusta with full military honors in late July of 2021. A celebration of life reception will follow at that time. Please visit http://www.jonesrichandbarnes.com to sign Richard’s online guestbook.

Richard “Dick” Goodie

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