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Obituaries » Aylene Goddard

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October 9, 1917 - October 4, 2017

Cremation has taken place as Aylene requested, and a graveside memorial service will take place in Vermont.

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Aylene Davis Goddard of Kalamazoo, MI peacefully took her last flight on Wednesday, October 4, 2017. She was born in Stratford, Connecticut, October 9, 1917, to Jennie Harris Davis and Clarence Albert Davis. An older sister, Mabel Springer Davis, preceded her in death. This remarkable woman’s full life spanned a century. Aylene grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey, before radio, talking pictures or TV. While in high school across the Hudson River, she watched the construction of both the George Washington Bridge and the Empire State Building.

Aylene was a voracious reader and had a passion for owls. She knit intricate patterns, baked delicious bread, was an ace rifle marksman and sewed all her own clothes. In mid-life, she took up hang-gliding and became a lifelong member of the American Kiteflyers Association. She is a registered direct descendant of Patriots who fought in the American Revolution.

Her life was one of service, volunteering, helping others and pursuing thoroughly whatever her current interest was. She was keenly intelligent, curious, and always enjoyed a good laugh with friends and family. Aylene thrived on lively conversation, and busy as she was, she always got to bed early for a good night’s sleep.

Aylene attended Wellesley College and Douglas College for Women graduating with a B.S. in Zoology in 1938. On December 8, 1940 she married Glendon Boyce Goddard, M.D. in Englewood, NJ. Together they raised three children. Two daughters, Sally Goddard and Betty Holibaugh, survive. In addition, there are eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. While living in North Carolina in the 1980’s, Aylene and Glendon were founders of the Unitarian Church in Kitty Hawk. Dr. Goddard and son, Robert Glendon Goddard, preceded Aylene in death.

Aylene taught science in the Kalamazoo Public Schools and was an astute scholar of botany, Michigan history, and astronomy. She had a passion for learning and a lifelong love of all natural sciences and history. She earned two M.A. degrees, History and Library Science, at Western Michigan University. She was actively involved in numerous local organizations. Aylene served on the Kalamazoo County Historical Society Board of Directors for many years and had been re-elected to an honorary term on October 2.

A founding member and longtime volunteer of the Kalamazoo Nature Center, her family has purchased a hillside memorial bench to be placed along the Beech-Maple Trail overlooking the stream below.