Obituary Listings

James Wesley Goodwin

September 23, 1918 August 15, 2019
James Wesley Goodwin
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Obituary for James Wesley Goodwin

James Wesley Goodwin passed away on August 15,2019 at Hillside in McMinnville.
He was 100 years old. He was born on September 23, 1918 in his grandparents’ farmhouse in Brandon, CO, to parents George and Lottie Goodwin.
James attended six different elementary schools growing up in Colorado, two of which were one room schoolhouses and was one of seven seniors graduating from high school in 1935. He graduated from Colorado State College of Education in Greeley, CO with a BA and MA.
James met Ruth Irene Cornett while she was visiting a sister in Colorado. They were married January 26, 1942 and were married for 54 years before she succumbed to cancer in 1996.
James served a four-year enlistment in the infantry prior to WW II. He spent 2 years as a second cook, 1 year as a supply sergeant and 1 year as a platoon sergeant. After Pearl Harbor James went into the Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet training at Kelley Field, Garner Field, Waco Army Flying School and Blackland Army Flying School. A commission and multi-engine pilot rating were received at the latter school. James attended combat flight training at Barksdale Army Air Base in Louisiana then flew combat missions over three continents. James later returned to the States to retrain in another bomber in Georgia for service in the Pacific Theater for the invasion of Japan, however the two atomic bombs cancelled that trip. James joined the Air Force Reserve finally retiring in 1978 as an Air Force Combat Pilot with the rank of Lt. Colonel. He spent 40 years serving his country. James was a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Retried Officers Association and was one of the founding members of the American Air Museum in Britain located at Duxford Air Base near Cambridge, England.
James went on to teach eleven different business subjects at McMinnville High School over 35 years and was the department chairman for 32 years. He also taught Adult Ed. night classes for many years and two spring semesters at Linfield College.
After retiring James had several interests including traveling, reading and walking. James travel took up some time as he took several trips including trips to the British Isles, riding down the Mississippi River on a paddle wheel steamboat, cruising down the west coast of Mexico from San Diego, flights to annual reunions with fellow Air Force pilots as well as several trips to coin shows in Long Beach, CA, Santa Clara, CA, Reno, NV and Orlando, FL with a very dear friend Denny Magden.
James is survived by his son Lauren Goodwin and a grandson Paris Goodwin both of Las Vegas, NV. He was preceded in death by his wife Ruth.
A Graveside Service will be held at 12:30pm on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. To leave online condolences, please visit

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12:30 PM 8/27/2019 12:30:00 PM
Willamette National Cemetery

11800 SE Mt. Scott Blvd.
Portland, OR 97266

Willamette National Cemetery
11800 SE Mt. Scott Blvd. Portland 97266 OR
United States

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