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Official Obituary of

Bobby Goodwin

March 13, 1951 ~ May 21, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old

Bobby Goodwin Obituary

Bobby Goodwin was born on March 13, 1951, to the late John English and Lillian Goodwin, of Columbia, SC.  He departed this earthly life on Sunday, May 21, 2023, peacefully at home.

LOVE for Education

Bobby attended the public schools of Richland School District One.  He played basketball for Columbia High, but his love and desire was to attend Booker T. Washington High School where he later transferred and graduated in 1970. He matriculated to North Carolina A&T University on a full basketball scholarship where he earned his B.S. in Recreation in 1974. 

LOVE for Work

After graduating from North Carolina, A&T University, he returned to his hometown. In 1977, Bobby was hired by the City of Columbia as the Director of Valley Park, now known as Martin Luther King Park at 2300 Greene Street. He was responsible for the development of athletic and educational programs for youth in and around the Valley Park community, and their after-school programs. His career reignited his passion and enthusiasm for sports. Under his tenure, there were a number of recreational leagues created. You could often find many talented young boys and girls playing on the courts who were later recruited by high school and college coaches. Bobby not only loved youth; he also had a love for seniors. He taught a seniors ceramic classes weekly and enjoyed being the bus driver for senior trips. One of the well-known activities developed at the Center during Bobby's leadership was what is now Columbia's national and world champion Double Dutch teams know today as the Double Dutch Forces, formed in 1985 and coached by the late Joy Holman. In their early years, there was never a time when the teams needed to be transported to competition that Bobby did not assist as a chaperone and driver. Bobby held many leadership roles with the City of Columbia, Parks and Recreations prior to his retirement in 2010. 

LOVE for Family

Bobby had a true love for family.  He was known as the coolest, smoothest, sharpest dressing “Uncle Bobby” or “Uncle Bob” to his many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. He loved to show off his grill master skills boasting about his ribs and chicken. Someone always wanted to know how he prepared them. Unfortunately, he never revealed the secret. Because of his love for family, he started a tradition of an annual New Years Day family event, where he hosted his siblings until their death, and then he continued it on with his nieces, nephews, cousins and other family and friends. However, Bobby’s greatest joy and love was the birth of his only child, Bobby Jarrod Goodwin in 1989. He was there for every milestone and moment in Jarrod’s life. In the early years, you would never see him without his dad – especially at the park. He also helped to raise a bonus son, Kasey Witherspoon, who he shared his basketball knowledge and love. He especially enjoyed being a “honorary Godfather” to the daughter he never had, Christa Carter Miller. Bobby was cared for by his dear forever friend, Jestine, and his children throughout his illness and through his last days. That love he showed for family was indeed returned, and he was reminded of it every day.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Thomas Goodwin, John Goodwin, Daniel Goodwin and Kent Goodwin; and sisters, Thomasina Woodard, and his twin, Betty Goodwin.

He leaves to cherish his memories, his beloved son, Bobby Jarrod (Zeakela) Goodwin; stepson, Kasey Witherspoon; and a host of other loving relatives and friends who adored and will miss him deeply.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bobby Goodwin, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program

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Public Viewing
May 26, 2023

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Bostick-Tompkins Funeral Home of Columbia
2930 Colonial Drive
Columbia, SC 29203

Funeral Service
May 27, 2023

12:00 PM
Bostick-Tompkins Funeral Home of Columbia
2930 Colonial Drive
Columbia, SC 29203

Video is available for this event


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