Kenneth R. Goodwin, 94, of North Berwick passed away peacefully at his home on September 26, 2020.
Kenneth R. Goodwin was born in South Berwick Maine on August 31, 1926. He attended Berwick Academy in South Berwick before joining the US Army. He served as a rifleman in the 40th Infantry in the WWII in the Pacific and in the Korean War. He was on Panay Island at the time of Japanese surrender during WWII and he often speaks of the weeks that followed the surrender and his experience with the wounded Japanese soldiers. His compassion shone through when he offered a drink of water to a wounded Japanese soldier who gifted him a Japanese flag as a token of appreciation for the act of kindness. He was honored to serve his country and during his time in service he received the Maine WW II victory medal, Japanese Victory medal, Cold War Conduct medal, Army commendation medal and the Philippine liberation ribbon. After completing his time in the military, he returned home to work at the South Berwick Shoe Factory where he reconnected with Marion Hilton and they were married June 24, 1949. After his time at the shoe factory he was a long-time employee at the Hussey Seating Company in North Berwick, Maine.
Ken and Marion bought a farm on “Cabbage Hill” in North Berwick in 1954 which they named Deb-Tone Farm in honor of their two children. Ken was an avid leader in the York County 4-H Organization for both his children and his grandchildren. During his many years as a farmer he raised many types of animals, but his true joy was in the cattle that he and his family raised including dual breed Shorthorns and Herefords. Their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren continued the tradition of showing cattle through the 4-H programs throughout the state of Maine and at the Big E in Massachusetts. Ken’s love for the farm and preserving that way of life was evident as he and Marion worked with the support of the community to enter the farm into the Maine Farm Trust which will ensure that the land is forever a farm. Ken also served as a superintendent of the Acton Fair for many years. The fair allowed Ken time to catch up with his many friends in the farming community.
Ken’s time with the Army had a lasting impact on his life and he continued to serve as a 64 year member of South Berwick VFW Post 5744. Through the VFW Ken became a Pease Greeter and he enjoyed his role in welcoming home the troops passing through Portsmouth International Airport. You could find him there at any time day or night that a flight was coming in talking with the troops, sharing his stories and learning about them. He would share the stories that he heard from the returning soldiers with his friends and family. Ken also spent many days at schools and colleges talking about his time in Army. For many years he spoke at Marshwood Middle School at the World War II Day and in 2011 he donated his World War II Victory Medal, his sergeant stripes and a book on the history of the "185th Infantry Regiment, the 40th Infantry Division in Korea” that he wrote to Marshwood Middle School’s World War II museum.
Ken has truly touched many lives across the globe by lending an ear or sharing a story. He was proud of his service to his country, his farm, his 4-H kids, his community and his family. After a conversation with Ken you would know all about his beloved New England sports teams, his engagement with past and present soldiers and his love for his wife, his kids, grandkids and great grandkids. His storytelling was legendary and will be missed by all.
Ken is predeceased by 4 brothers, Ralph, Everett, Franklin and Richard Goodwin; 2 sisters, Gladys Collier and Marion Boston. He will be sorely missed by his wife of 76 years, Marion (Hilton) Goodwin of North Berwick; Daughter Deborah Stillberger and husband Tom of North Berwick; son Anthony Goodwin and his wife Susan of Rochester, NH; 4 grandchildren, Michael Stillberger, Melissa Stillberger Gibbons and husband David, Wanda Kimball Ballentine and husband Ben, Anthony Goodwin, Jr. and wife Angela; 6 great grandchildren, Claire Gibbons, Tobias Gibbons, Owen Stillberger, Tyler Cheever, Emily Stillberger and Maxwell Stillberger.
One hour of visitation will be held beginning at 11AM on Thursday October 1, 2020 directly followed by a funeral service with military honors in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Agamenticus Road, South Berwick, ME. All services will be outside but masks are requested. Arrangements are entrusted to the Johnson Funeral Home, 26 Market Street, North Berwick, ME where condolences may be expressed at www.JohnsonFuneralHomeME.com
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to one the causes close to Ken’s heart:
Pease Greeters, PO Box 22311, Portsmouth, NH 03802-2311 https://peasegreeters.org
Maine 4H Foundation, York Complex #1, Orono, Maine 04469 https://extension.umaine.edu/4hfoundation/donate/
South Berwick Memorial VFW Post 5744, PO Box 58, North Berwick, ME 03906
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