What is an obituary, but a final resume? An abbreviation of life accomplishments and innate purpose? No matter how long or short the list, a person’s impact on hearts touched along their walk of life cannot be summed in a paragraph or two. But, all good things must come to an end...and an unknown beginning.
Dr. Goodman, Don, Dad...was a man of greatness. He transitioned on 2/18/2021 at age 83. Survived and graced by his lifelong mate and wife of 64 years, Adrienne Goodman. Close family members include his daughter, Julie Miller; son, Greg Goodman and his wife Valerie, his late daughter, Patti Jones; grandchildren Erin Miller and Rachel Goodman. Also survived by his sister, Linda Stolman and nieces, Erica and Whitney Stolman.
Don graduated from Vanderbilt University in two years and completed his D.D.S. degree at the University of Tennessee by age 23. His brilliant mind mastered the craft of dentistry so well, he created smiles of famous country singers and artists. He dared to do the undone of the times. He was the first dentist in Tennessee to offer Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas). The first to publicly advertise his business, the first to overcome the reprimands of his intuitive choices. What was new then is the norm now. Best of all, he made countless people smile and laugh. What a gift.
He was a connoisseur of bests. Food, travel, music, cigars, guns, sports. He taught his students in life well and his legacy is being carried forward.
In a moment of brief clarity defying his dementia and deafness, he said “may God bless you 100 times” to his wife, Adrienne, kissed her and said I love you. Tell Julie...and he blew a kiss. Tell Greg I love him. He’s my son.”
Only a bright spirit could defy compromised functions of physical to express love. Don did just that. He fought being average from his beginning to his end.
Just like Leonard Cohen sang, “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the Light gets in.”
The skies are now brighter by a good man.
The care of Mr. Goodman and his family has been entrusted to David C. Gross in St. Petersburg.