John Goddard (1924-2013) RIP

John Goddard:

1. Adventurer

2. Documentarian

3. Philanthropist

4. Mormon

I came to know Goddard in my high school years. Though Goddard died a Californian, he had ties to Utah. A former student at West High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, he returned there periodically with film of his latest adventure. (Goddard was a USC grad too.) I recall several of these episodes. They were fascinating and simultaneously frightening. Most of the girls in the assembly audiences were gaga. Let’s face it. At the time (and he was elderly by today’s standard), John was still stunningly handsome and debonair.

A type of Indiana Jones, he looked, and apparently acted, the part. Goddard served a mission (can’t recall where now) and remained affiliated with Mormonism through his tumultuous career. Did I say his filmed adventures were riveting? Yeah. They were. We always got first crack before he sold them on the lecture circuit or to National Geographic or something.

Goddard’s constant traveling probably contributed to his first and second marriages ending, though I’m not privy to any such information really, just rumors over the years. Oh, and did I say the guy looked like the classic movie star? Yeah.

Well, John, may eternity open new adventures, even a thrill or two. Godspeed brother, and thanks for the vicarious episodes of adrenaline rush.

John Goddard: gone on the last great adventure.

4 Responses to John Goddard (1924-2013) RIP

  1. Amy T says:

    Thanks for the note. I heard him speak back when I was a teenager and was so fascinated by his many experiences, and since then I’ve had a secret wish to kayak the Nile River. (Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, etc.) It looks like his Wikipedia article needs to be updated, but I don’t see an obituary yet. I’ll try and remember to check for one this week.

  2. WVS says:

    He was a larger than life persona, as I recall in the dim recesses of memory. Hearing about his death made me think of the dedication it took to go on those expeditions, time after time. Admiration, but not really envy for me at least.

  3. Mex says:

    He talked at my High School in Anchorage, Alaska about 1968 -1970 (can’t remember) and it was great. Got many of us to examine our lives and do some big planning. I remember him saying that he wasn’t going to get to the moon or climb Mt. Everest because of his age. He really was a great speaker and I forgot he was a Mormon. Not many like him anymore. I think some of our kids, now days, could use a guy like him. I got to get my bucket list back out and start living.

  4. Thelma Dare Ahner- ( nee: Thelma Marie Gurholt) says:

    I was a friend of his in LAHigh School. We went on several (safari) treks up to Griffith Park Observatory. We went to several dances and milked rattlesnakes together. He reminded me, in his young days, of John Wayne. I have a pic of him on one of our “safaris” – if the family would want it. He was a man of great character.

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