BANGOR – J. Raymond “Ray” Goody, 77, husband of Anne E. (Gallagher) Goody, died Aug. 11, 2012, at a Bangor hospital after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born Feb. 4, 1935, in Brewer, son of Allie J. and Albertine M. (Breton) Goody.
A Brewer native, Ray graduated from John Bapst High School in 1952. After spending three years in Germany serving in the U.S. Army, Ray graduated from University of Maine at Orono in 1960, with a degree in forest engineering. Upon his graduation, Ray went to work for Great Northern Paper Co., where he worked in various capacities for 35 years in their woodland management department. Ray had a lifelong passion for forestry and trees. He began his career as a forester, planting trees and monitoring their growth, often spending days and weeks in the woods having been airlifted to remote places in the Maine and Canadian woods. Among his many accomplishments, Ray is known for his work as lead engineer for design and construction of the Golden Road. This project allowed for safer efficient transport of logs to GNP’s mills from the northern Maine and Canadian wood cutters when the river drives ended in the 1970s due to risk to the men driving the logs. It took nearly 1,000 workers almost five years to build the private, 96-mile, mostly unpaved road. Completed in 1975 and originally called the West Branch Haul Road, the Golden Road reputedly earned its current name due to being one of the forest products industries’ main arteries into North America’s largest contiguous forest. Ray led the team of engineers that surveyed the road from Millinocket to St. Zacharie, Quebec. He described the project to his children and grandchildren, as walking the 96 miles with a team of men, marking the way painting trees, using string on a stick to plot the course. Ray retired from GNP in 1995. He enjoyed 17 years of “retirement” although he continued to work until the day before his passing. He joked that he was now a “Kelly Girl” after his retirement from GNP as he worked through Kelly for GNP as a part-time contracted worker, primarily settling disputes and providing his expertise and historical knowledge of the company. From these experiences he began to accumulate a raft of stories that he lovingly narrated and shared with his family and friends. Passionate about the woods, once he retired, Ray bought a small woodlot where he spent part of almost every day making this piece of land his finest forestry project, and simultaneously became a member of Small Woodland Owners Association Of Maine. He loved fishing and hunting and had a small camp in the North woods that he ritually returned to every hunting season accompanied by his brothers; son, Joe; grandsons and nephews, often with other friends and family. His children, grandsons and granddaughter have many happy memories of time spent learning to fish and listening to his many colorful stories accumulated throughout a full and active lifetime. He always had a small, and occasionally a large garden where he grew a large variety of vegetables, raspberries, high bush blueberries, and of course room for his flowers. He would often gift these items to family and friends or use them to barter. A recent entry in his gardening journal states: “Sent a large pot of cucumbers to Hollis in exchange for a gross of cookies. Good trade.” He was gifted intellectually and developed multiple skills. If challenged or requested, he could make almost anything mostly with items at hand. Conservative by nature, Ray believed in repairing and restoring rather than discarding anything still useful. In 1966, Ray bought an old farm house with 14 acres of land for his children to have a safe place to play. He lovingly restored this house over a period of several years. His talents and projects included lifting and restoring garages and sheds, building and restoring greenhouses, and building, repairing, and refinishing furniture. Ray was a civic minded man. He was a member of Brewer Kiwanis. He served on Brewer City Council and was elected mayor of the city of Brewer in 1973. Ray was a lifelong Catholic and a fourth degree Knight in Knights of Columbus. Ray served for many years on St. Teresa’s Church Parish Council. He was a communicant of St. Paul the Apostle Parish at the time of his passing. Married to Anne for more than 50 years, he was a devoted husband and a loving father. Ray was generous with his wisdom, time and skills, always ready to help when he saw a need. He was especially attentive to his wife and children. Ray was a man true to his words, believing that actions spoke louder than words. That said, he was a gifted storyteller. If he thought you would listen, he would delight in sharing his life experiences and wisdom, hoping that these would both inspire and entertain.
In addition to Anne, his wife of 52 years, Ray is survived by his five children, Mary Goody and partner, Nan Boucher, of Hollis, Elizabeth “Betty” Goody and partner, Marc Guillow, of Millinocket; Carolyn “Cally” Goody/Lewin of South Paris, Joseph Goody and wife, Kristine, of Orange, Mass., and Linda Goody of Portland; seven grandchildren, Michael Lewin and wife, Amey, Daniel, Lianne and James Lewin, Timothy, Christopher and Benjamin Goody; nine great grandchildren, in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to his parents, Ray was predeceased by his grandson, Marc Goody, in 2002; sister, Rita Vifquain; and two brothers, Paul Goody and Gerald Goody. Raymond’s family gratefully thanks Father Apolinary Kavishe and the staff at Eastern Maine Medical Center emergency department, oncology unit and CancerCare of Maine for their excellent care.
Family and friends may visit 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Kiley & Foley Funeral Service, 69 State St., Brewer. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, South Main Street, Brewer, with a time of fellowship immediately afterward in the church center. Burial with military honors will be at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Bangor. Condolences to his family may be offered at www.kileyandfoley.com.