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AFS Review: In Memoriam

Joseph P. Goodwin (1952-2015)

Monday, November 16, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesse A. Fivecoate

By Jan Rosenberg (Heritage Education Resources, Inc.) — 

On Monday, November 16, 2015, without our permission, Joe Goodwin, co-founder of the AFS LGBTQA Section and one of the crucial people binding our Society together, died.

I am here to wrap him in a crazy-quilt of the loving words of his friends.

Joe was

  • a mensch
  • a fine folklorist
  • a true pioneer
  • an academic hero for many
  • an intense listener
  • a great, lucid and fair critic
  • a well-loved friend
  • a crank
  • and -- a champion hugger.

Joe was

  • a giant in the field of gay/lesbian/queer folklore studies
  • a career development professional
  • an absolutely infectious, contagious, outrageous laugher
  • a memorable Indiana grad student
  • a keeper of alumni connections
  • a staunch and committed feminist folklorist
  • More Man Than You’ll Ever Be
  • and -- he had the tightest hugs in the Society.

Joe was

  • a delighted member of the Women’s Section
  • especially proud of having been croned!
  • a partner in courage with Polly Stewart; they were
  • peanut butter and jelly
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop
  • a conduit for grace.
  • he laughed with his whole body
  • he had a sharp wit and a lack of pretense
  • and -- he ALWAYS had time for a hug.


I will close with Marilyn White’s favorite story: She and Joe were at the airport, leaving an AFS meeting, and since they were on different airlines going to different cities, Marilyn  knew that they'd have to part ways.  As she was about to turn left, she asked Joe, "Are you going straight?"  A pause; then, ever true to himself, he said, "No--I'm going forward!" 

May he go forward forever in our memories, in our hearts, in our hugs.


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