William Eugene Goodall, 69, SSA teacher, program analyst

August 16, 2002|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

William Eugene Goodall, a retired Social Security Administration official who was active for half a century in Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, died of pulmonary arrest Saturday at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center & Hospital. He was 69.

Mr. Goodall, known as "Goody" among his friends, was born and raised in Washington, where he graduated from Phelps Vocational High School in 1951.

He attended Delaware State University on an athletic scholarship, playing football, basketball and baseball while earning his bachelor's degree in music education.

He also became a member there of Kappa Alpha Psi, a historically African-American fraternity founded in 1911. It was to play a formative part in shaping his identity and friendships throughout his life. Just three months ago, he was honored in Baltimore for 50 years of service to the fraternity.

State Sen. Nathaniel McFadden, who became a Kappa Alpha Psi member while attending Morgan State College, said he and Mr. Goodall became friends later in life through the bond of the fraternity. "These black colleges were close, Morgan, DSU, Howard University - that's how you got to know folks," he said.

Mr. Goodall also earned a master's degree in business administration from Coppin State College, and served in the Navy.

He worked for three decades at Social Security's Woodlawn headquarters, first as a claims authorizer and later as an instructor in its Office of Training and a program analyst. He retired in 1986.

For a number of years, Mr. Goodall commuted from Washington. After he met and married Marcella Jane Minor, a fellow federal employee, the couple moved to the Ashburton neighborhood, where they lived for 34 years. A previous marriage had ended in divorce.

Mr. Goodall was active in fraternity, neighborhood and church activities. He enjoyed mentoring and befriending younger people, and after retiring he served in Baltimore's school system as a teacher for homebound children.

"He loved that, dealing with children who were ill and unable to attend school," Mrs. Goodall said.

In connection with the fraternity's national network, Mr. Goodall traveled often to attend conventions, friends said.

One of his proudest moments was being inducted into the Delaware State University Football Hall of Fame in 1986 for his record as a running back.

Maxine N. Dubinsky, a neighbor in Owings Mills, where the Goodalls moved a few years ago, described him as "a tall, kind gentleman who always greeted everybody. It was very obvious from the moment I met him that he was special."

A daughter, Sherri Eugenia Goodall of Silver Spring, said she and her father shared an avid interest in sports. "We would watch the Final Four by the phone and say, `Did you see that shot?'" she said, adding, "He loved to dance. He taught me to dance. He even won a dance contest a few years ago."

A funeral Mass was offered yesterday at New All Saints Roman Catholic Church on Liberty Heights Avenue, where Mr. Goodall was a longtime member.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Goodall is survived by three other daughters, Leona Jean Goodall of Washington, Renee Eugenia Goodall of Atlanta and Rhonda Elaine Goodall of Las Vegas; and five grandchildren.

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