James Goodwin

Obituary of James Wesley Goodwin

James Wesley “Wes” Goodwin left this world Saturday March 5, 2022, at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’ Alene, ID. He was born to James W. and Hazel (Danial) Goodwin on August 2, 1941. They owned a small farm just southwest of Heyburn State Park near Plummer, ID. Wes attended grade school in Plummer and later at Heyburn Elementary in St. Maries when the family purchased property in the Riverdale area. He attended St. Maries High School and graduated with the class of 1959. After graduation Wes took off on his own for Los Angeles to attend a technical school where he studied electrical engineering. Many of his high school friends were then working in Seattle and Wes joined them when he landed a job with Boeing Company, working on their U.S. Missile project. Together again, the group had a lively social life. When the missile project finished Wes was offered a job at a silo site in a remote part of North Dakota but chose instead to come back to St. Maries. From 1963 to 1965 he served in the U.S. Army with most of that time in Germany. He especially liked the Bavarian part of Germany. He still keeps in touch with one army buddy. A friendship of over 60 years. In 1967 We married Judy Kirkland. He worked for Emerald Creek Garnet Company and local lumber mills. The marriage ended after several years, but his affection for Judy’s young son never diminished during his lifetime. Wes never married again and took on the nomadic life of a long-haul truck driver. He said of trucking, “it is a total lifestyle, a way of life”. When he bought his first truck, he planned to drive for five years and then change jobs. He left trucking after twenty-five years when a 4-wheeler accident left him unable to continue. He had a remarkable ability to remember the names of every small town he went through and the highway number it was on. He navigated through the narrow streets of old cities like Boston, tarped up in 100-degree weather in the South and fought his way through -50-degree blizzards in Northern Canada. After he retired, driving was his hobby and he took at least one long trip a year. One started in St. Maries and ended at the end of the road in Alaska at the Arctic Ocean. Wes also loved to 4-wheel and would plan rides and organize his friends for a good day out. At 80 years old he still often rode 60 plus miles in a day. Wes was a good friend to all. Few who knew him hadn’t experienced his help at one time or another. He supported nearly every community project and fund raiser. He was especially proud of the Veterans Memorial and all those who made it possible. He was a lifetime member of Elks Lodge #1418 and a longtime member of the Marimn Health Center in Plummer. Wes is preceded in death by his parents and sister Zella Mae Goodwin. He is survived by several cousins, Debby Randall of Spokane, Charlie Sifert of Usk, WA, Bonita Daniel, and others. He is also survived by stepson Morgan McDowell of Seattle, and friend Margaret Bradbury. He leaves behind his extended family, friends who were truly like family to him, and many whom he has known his entire life. He will be missed. No service is scheduled at this time, but a gathering of friends and family will be planned later in the Summer. Hodge Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. His ashes will be placed at Woodlawn Cemetery in St. Maries.
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