Paul Douglas Godfrey, 66, a lifelong Aberdeen resident, passed away Sunday, April 29, 2018 at his home in South Aberdeen after battling a long time illness.
Paul was born in Toledo, Oregon on August 15, 1951, to Scott Sr. and Dorothey Godfrey. The family then moved to South Aberdeen when he was a young child. Growing up on MacFarlane Street in “South Side”, in a neighborhood full of kids, Paul enjoyed playing baseball, football, riding bikes and getting into mischief with all of his brothers and the other ‘South Siders’. A lot of those same ‘kids’ remained close friends of Paul’s throughout his life. he often talked about growing up in South Side and how much fun it was. Paul played baseball his entire life and also wrestled for Aberdeen High School. Baseball was always Paul’s passion. Paul graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1970.
In the 7th grade, Paul attended a YMCA dance with friends and there he met a girl from Hoquiam wearing a green dress with flowers on it, and white flowers in her hair. He soon started dating Cari Jo Cyr. They dated off and on thru high school and were married on September 6th, 1975, in Hoquiam.
Paul played ‘slow pitch’ for many years for the “Silver Dollar Tavern”. Paul and Cari Jo loved traveling to slow pitch tournaments. He often said the best times of his life were those slow pitch tournaments. He always had a funny story about their times at the tournaments. Paul’s love for the sport of baseball led him to coach the sport for over 40 years. He coached all levels of baseball. He memorized the Little League rule book and if someone asked him about a rule, he could tell you word-for-word what that particular rule was, and also what page in the rule book it was on. Paul’s teams often took 1st place, and he was often the head coach for the All Star teams. He took many teams to state as well. Paul was a ‘different’ kind of baseball coach. He was a tough coach. Paul not only taught the game of baseball to many boys and girls throughout the years. But he also taught his players respect for the game as well as respect for their team mates and other coaches. He loved taking that ‘diamond in the rough’ kind of player and turning him or her into phenomenal player. Paul would even pick players up who didn’t have rides to and from games or practices. Paul treated his players as if they were his own kids. Paul often bought and paid for players whose families couldn’t afford gear or even to play. Paul made sure those kids had a chance. Many of his ‘old’ players still kept in contact with him.
Paul loved to hunt, fish, camp and just be in the outdoors in general. Paul, his brothers, their dad and close family friends would take an annual, traditional hunting trip up to Forks. He loved those times with his dad and his brothers. Paul often wished that those hunting trips to Forks were still going on, but after the death of his dad, they stopped. He talked about all the good times they had. He cherished those times. Paul was also an avid movie fan. Every Tuesday for the last 30 years, he would go to the local movie stores to buy movies. Still to this day, as hard as it was for him, he still went and bought all the new releases that were out that week. His collection of movies is definitely amazing and he took great pride in his collection. He loved watching movies with his grandkids, family and friends. He would also ‘narrate’ the movies, as his kids called it. Making sure everyone knew the plot of the movie and the backgrounds of each character. Watching movies with Paul was always a treat, you were lucky if you even got thru the entire movie with him.
Paul was always working to try and better his and his family’s life. Trying to make ends meet and make sure his kids and Cari Jo had the things they needed, times were very tough. Paul worked for the City of Aberdeen for the Parks and Rec Dept. for years when Paul and Cari Jo got married. He worked for numerous logging companies in town. But Paul’s passion was always the “family business”. Being a Longshoreman for the ILWU Local #24. Paul was a ‘casual’ for 32 years, before he was finally taken in their union, 10 years ago. He never gave up hope that someday he would be able to give his wife and family the life he had always dreamed of. Paul taught his kids to never take anything for granted. To always respect their elders, use their manners, to appreciate the things they had, even if it wasn’t much, to be thankful for anything anyone ever did for them and if you want something, you have to work as hard as you can for it. After being taken into the Union, Paul worked as hard as he possibly could. Paul wanted to make sure that his family was taken care of. That was all he cared about, was that his wife, kids and grandchildren were taken care of. Paul would have done anything for anyone. Paul was brutally honest, often a little too honest, but if you were someone that Paul loved and respected, he would do anything for you. Paul often played “2nd Dad” to a lot of his kids’ friends. He always thought of them as ‘his kids’. Paul had a quirky sense of humor, and always tried to make people laugh.
Paul was so many things there isn’t enough words to describe the kind of person he was. Paul will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him. When he got sick, he still went to work. As grueling of a job as he had, he still went to work. He was so proud to be a Longshoreman, something his dad and Grandpa did, that he wanted that same legacy for his kids and grandkids. As the years went on, Paul wasn’t able to do the things he loved to do. But he still tried. Paul had to retire from the ILWU in November because he struggled to make it thru the day. Paul’s best friends were his dogs “Bear” and “Cubby”. Christmas Eve 2016, he lost Bear, which devastated him. Christmas Eve 2017 he lost “Cubby”. We know he is with them now.
Paul is survived by his wife of 43 years Cari Jo Godfrey of the family home in South Aberdeen. A daughter, Sara (Patrick) Lock of Aberdeen; 3 sons: Paul “P.J.” Godfrey of Aberdeen, Leland (Kayla) Godfrey of Montesano and Kyle (Miriam) Godfrey of Aberdeen; 5 Grandchildren: Caleb Lock, Drew Lock, Alexis Godfrey, Jasmine Jo Lock and Mia Godfrey; His mother-in-law, Erma Gilbertson of Hoquiam; His mother, Dorothey Godfrey of Aberdeen; 5 brothers: Scott Godfrey Jr, Gordon Godfrey, David Godfrey, Larry Godfrey, and Chris Godfrey; Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Paul is preceded in death by his father Scott Godfrey Sr. and a brother, Pierce “Pete” Godfrey, and his father-in-law, Ralph “Spike” Gilbertson, as well as his beloved dogs Bear and Cubby.
The family is planning a Celebration of Life Potluck for Sunday, May 20th, 2018 from 1pm-4pm at the Aberdeen Elks, 1712 S. Boone St in Aberdeen.
A message of condolence or of a memory can be sent to the family at www.fernhillfuneral.com
Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Twibell’s Fern Hill Funeral Home in Aberdeen, WA.
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