Norman Goodwin, age 97 of Bayport, MN, entered the peace of Heaven on April 2, 2010 at the Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, MN.
Norman Jerome Goodwin was born on January 5, 1913 in Austin, MN to Nels and Nellie(Jerdet) Goodwin. He attended District #76 Country School, a one room school house in Lebar County. He graduated in 1931 from Austin High School, where he received the American Farmer Degree in FFA, the first year it was ever awarded, and was a Minnesota Champion FFA Dairy Judge. A year later Norman again received Champion Honors for his 4-H demonstaration at the MN State Fair. Norman attended college at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, where he worked in the Meat Lab and Animal Barns. He joined the Farm House Fraternity, serving as president. He was also president of the Freshman and Junior classes. During his college years Norman was on several Judging Teams for livestock, crops and meat. His first job after graduation was as Assistant County Agent in Wilkin Co near Breckenridge, MN. He married Marion Blomgren on June 20, 1936. Norman coached their 4-H teams to Champion wins at the State Fair that year. In 1937, the Goodwin's moved to Alexandria, MN when Norman was hired as the first Emergency County Agent for Douglas County. During this time, their first child, Nanette was born. For six years he worked with T.A. Erickson as a State 4-H Club Agent at the St. Paul campus. It was at this time that their second daughter, Julie was added to the family. When they moved to St. Peter, MN, Norman became the field man for Nicollet Hybrid Seed Corn and then as a manager for Cargill Hybrid Seed. While they were living in St. Peter, their son, David was born. For the next 25 years, Norman worked as the County Extension Director for Clinton County, DeWitt, Iowa. He became very active in several organizations during this time, including the NACAA (National Assoc. of County Agricultural Agents)serving as national president, the Iowa County Extension Directors, (serving as president) not to mention the Noon Lions Club, again serving as president. Another highlight for Norman during this time was the opportunity to travel with the People to People Tour throughout South America.
In 1978, Norman was elected to political office as an Iowa State Senator. He served in the State Senate until 1990. His wife, Marion passed away after 52 years of marriage. Norman was then married to Mina Johnson in Kensington, MN. Two years later they moved back to Douglas Co, MN onto Mina's family farm near Kensington, MN. With all of his many years in public service, it was no surprise that Norman was soon elected to the Solem Town Board, was made President of the AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) Branch #10197, belonged to the Kensington Lions Club and the First Lutheran Church, where he served on the Church Council. In addition, Norman served on the Advisory Committee for the REA (Rural Electrical Association) Board.
In 2007 at the age of 94, Norman made his last move when he and his wife Mina became residents of the Croixdale Assisted Living Apts. in Stillwater, MN.
In addition to his many civic accomplishments, Norman also received the Melvin Jensen award from the Lions Club, the Helen Keller Sight Award and the Star Gardener Award from the MN Horticultural Society. On April 26 of 2010, Norman was to receive recognition at the MN State FFA banquet with his name added to their Hall of Fame. He had previously been inducted into the Older American Hall of Fame and the Clinton County Fair Hall of Fame.
One of Norman's favorite past times was being outdoors gardening. He was a Master Gardener and enjoyed experimenting with various varieties of plants. He once grafted 10 varieties of apples to his crabapple tree and all bore fruit! He also liked to travel, and after his retirement he and Mina toured Europe and the Holy Land. He enjoyed being with people, whether leading a board meeting or just sitting with friends playing a game of cards. Norman's leadership skills and willingness to serve his country and community was a testament to his sterling character. He was a dedicated family man who loved his children and grandchildren. He will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife, Mina Goodwin of Bayport; children, Nanette (Howard) Duncan of Eldridge, IA, Julie (Larry) Hoffman of West LaFayette, IN, David (Carol) Goodwin of Burbonnais, IL; stepchildren, Jim (Kathy) Johnson of Alpena, MI, Jaclyn (Bruce) Halvorson of Kensington, MN, Patricia (Jim) Keller of Denmark Township, MN, Kay (Dale) Nibbe of Alexandria, MN and Ann Johnson of Lake St. Croix Beach; many grandchildren and great, grandchildren; a brother, Nathan Goodwin of Austin, MN and a sister, Ruth Carlson of Celebration, FL; several nieces and nephews.
Norman is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Marion and a granddaughter, Barbara Bulens and a grandson, Bradley Hoffman, a stepdaughter, Bonnie Isakson and a stepson, Theodore clifford Johnson.
Funeral services will be held for Norman on Saturday, April 10 at 2:00 pm at the First Lutheran Church in Kensington, MN with Rev. Carl Seamon officiating. A memorial service will also be held on May 8 at 2:30 pm at the DeWitt United Methodist Church in DeWitt, IA.
Memorials in Norman's honor can be made to the Norman J. Goodwin FFA Scholarship, in care of Norman Goodwin Memorial, MN FFA Foundation, P O Box 118, Rosemount, MN 55068.A MN and Iowa FFA student will be awarded this scholarship.
Arrangements were made by the Roy-Hetland Funeral Home in Osakis, MN.