A Life Remembered
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When you live with dignity no man will ever take it. An honorable man is fair even to his enemies. Courage is an act of grace when it is not required.
On Friday December 13, 2019 at 4:30 pm our beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, and mentor departed this life and was called home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his beloved wife Sarah Lee. Abraham was born July 4, 1932, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He was the first born of Harriett Goodman and William Johnson.
Abraham was educated in the Princess Ann County (now Virginia Beach) school system. He walked to school with his sister Cora and brother, the late Edward Goodman. Abraham and Sarah were childhood friends, and that friendship led to marriage on November 10, 1954. They would have six children, four girls and two boys.
The story is Abraham left high school in his senior year and joined the Merchant Seaman because his Aunt Hattie failed him in English. He joined the Army a few years later. Abraham was in the United States Army for 24 years. He served in two wars, Korea and Viet Nam and retired as a Master Sargent; he was one of the first men of color to reach this non-commission rank. Abraham served under one officer who became the Secretary of the Army. Abraham was tough, but fair, he always followed the rules and guidelines. He always told it like it was.
Abraham retired from the Army in 1974. He began working for Huntsman Chemicals in their warehouse, shortly after retiring. Abraham suffered a heart attack in the summer of 1976. Huntsman offered him the Administrative Officer position soon after. Abraham thrived in this position; he was running things. Those who knew our father knew he liked being in charge of everything and was right all the time. When Abraham retired from Huntsman Chemicals, he became the business owner of Goodman Lawn and Garden Services.
Abraham’s family was one of the founding members of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Virginia Beach, VA. He became a member as a child. When he retired from the Army, he brought his family to Ebenezer and all of his children became members. Abraham was a faithful member of Ebenezer Baptist church for many years. He served as an Usher, Deacon, and Trustee. Abraham became a Bible scholar; he knew the Bible inside and out. In February of 2003 his studies of the Word lead him to a new church, The Guiding Light Apostolic Church of Christ, Camden, NC. He was a faithful and active member of this church.
Abraham had many health challenges. He suffered his first heart attack in August, 1976. His heart actually stopped. The doctor refused to give up on him. He worked on our father for twenty minutes. God decided to let him come back, no brain damage or other signs of trauma. God still had work for him to do. Abraham would continue to be challenged with health issues. He would suffer a massive stroke during open heart surgery in the late 1990s and be in a coma for more than 30 days. His faith and his inner strength enabled him to learn how to walk, talk, eat, and live his life without the use of his left side, which was now paralyzed due another stroke he suffered during surgery. He was a walking miracle, an amazing man; his stubbornness was admired by both men and women alike. He loved God and God loved him. He inspired so many people.
Abraham’s health continued to decline after the death of his wife Sarah. He could no longer care for himself, unfortunately his children had to put him in assisted living. For the last year and a half Abraham’s care was under Limos Home Care. His caregiver Mel, affectionately called him Grandpa. She took such good care of our father. Mel, Grandpa’s children will be eternally grateful.
Abraham was an amazing family man; he loved his wife and children. He believed in the family. He provided for his wife and children, giving them the best of everything, they never knew lack for anything. Abraham loved his children; he kept a tight fist on them. He was strict, we were raised like we were in the military. Yes, we thought he was crazy, but we learned how to think, have a plan, how to organize, and the list goes on. Five of his children received college degrees, and his baby girl became a successful realtor, and four grandchildren graduated from college. We loved our father and will truly miss him.
He was preceded in death by his wife Sarah, mother Harriett, father William, and brother Edward. He leaves to cherish his memory two sons, Christopher Goodman (Violet) and David Goodman, four daughters Debra Goodman, Annette Goodman, Francine Goodman, and Michelle Mattison (Stan). Six grandchildren Christie Goodman, Erika Lee, Nicole Mattison, Christopher Goodman Jr., Danielle Mattison and Erik Goodman, six great-grandchildren, one sister, Cora Lee, one sister-in-law, Earmon Lee Goodman, one nephew and niece and a host of relatives and friends.