The lights in St. Clairsville are a little dimmer without the brightness of John’s smile. The Upper Ohio Valley lost one of its best with the passing of John H. Goodman II on the evening of Saturday, January 22, 2022, after an unexpected short illness. During a family's grieving, a part of healing is sharing the good memories of that life.
John was truly a man larger than life and a friend to all. Decency, reliability, loyalty, humility, dignity, hospitality, trustworthiness: These are just some of the qualities that John not only held in high esteem but practiced every day during his time on this earth. He was not only a friend. He was also a fighter, a believer, a teacher, and a guide. He was a perfectionist, an umpire, a comforter, and a mentor. He touched so many lives due to his genuine and sincere interest in others. His dynamic personality and strong character continue to inspire us all. While encompassing all of these qualities he maintained a light-hearted and fun-loving approach to life. He certainly knew how to laugh and have a good time. Everyone has unforgettable memories of John entrenched deep in their hearts and minds which they will never forget.
John Goodman grew up in St. Clairsville, graduating from St Clairsville High School. John’s college years included attending Miami University and graduating from The College of Applied Science a division of the University of Cincinnati in 1966. After graduation, he returned to St Clairsville and joined his father, J. Harvey Goodman, in his business. John wisely led the company in building over 300 homes, apartments, offices, retail buildings, commercial developments, and residential subdivisions in St. Clairsville. Helping build the community was what he did for a living, but giving back and making the area a better place to live and work was who he was.
In as much as John was engrossed in the business world, he was also engrossed in community/civic involvement. His community meant the world to him and nothing gave him more joy than helping to improve its development. He generously gave of his time within the community. John served on various boards including that of the St. Clairsville School, Belmont National Bank Board of Directors, EORH/OVMC Hospital Board of Directors, Oglebay Institute Board of Directors, Board of the Belmont County CIC, multiple times President of Belmont county Board of Realtors and as well, various committees which aimed at improving real estate in the Ohio Valley. Throughout his years of service to the Rotary Club, he epitomized the club’s motto of “Service above Self”. He served as president of the St. Clairsville Rotary Club. For more than 40 years he engaged himself in numerous fundraising projects carried out by the club. John was also active in the Ohio Valley American Heart Association among other charities including the Stadium Project for Red Devil Stadium, Saint Clairsville Food Pantry, and Tri-County Women’s Help Center. John found it a joy to give of himself in whatever capacity he was able to.
The greatest gifts that he leaves behind are his wife of 44 years Marylou, his son Jay (wife Rachel), and daughters Tracy (husband Keith Miller) and Emily (husband JR Shortall). In his retirement, he took on his favorite job of being a “Papa” to Harvey, Maggie, Isabelle, Gus, and Lola Jaye. He also leaves behind many treasured friends and loyal employees who were like family to him and who will miss him dearly.
John had a profound effect on everyone he came in contact with both at the business and community levels. Like his father, J. Harvey Goodman, he leaves behind a never-ending legacy. Everyone has their own memories of John entrenched deep in their hearts and minds which they will never forget. His death was sudden, but his life was not faint. His memory will always be with us, and his legacy will continue through us all. We will miss him dearly, but we are so grateful for having known him and having shared so many memories with him. He brought immense joy and fulfillment to many, and his legacy will forever live on.
Comments from the community
Many people have shared their tender and heart-warming condolences with the family. Laney Ross shared "I have great admiration and respect for John. As far back as high school, I considered John as one of the best men I have ever known. John's dad Harvey was responsible for my buying my family's first home, which we are still in. I am thankful he welcomed me into the company." Karen Derosa shared the positive impact he had on her family and the opportunity he gave her when he hired her. "What I remember most was how even after he retired, he would stop to see you and was still interested in you and how your day was going. You just knew he cared and took the time to ask about your family." Kathy Osovich “John was rare, one of the great ones. He had credibility, respect, and admiration but above all, people loved the man. 77 years is not long enough for a man like him.” Scott Connors “Like everyone who has ever known him, I came to learn he was a man of great success and of great influence, but when you were with him, you only saw a man of humility, grace, and kindness. It is one of John's lasting legacies that the "Goodman Family" has grown far beyond those who share his name and now includes all of us. I pray that we do our work in a way that makes him proud.” And this from Becky McNeely “Bringing his character to the forefront, we all can strive to live and treat others as he did in honor of him.” And from Henry Voight “John and I spent several years working together in a business atmosphere and became friends. I am now at the edge of my 80th year and have yet to know anyone to meet or compare with John’s character, honesty, and friendly nature.” John Sambuco shared that he's been working in the Goodman family business for 25 years now, and enjoyed every minute spent with Mr. Goodman, discussing business, family and listening to the life experience and advice Mr. Goodman shared. "My favorite John Goodman memories, are conversations we had approximately 25 years apart. I remember asking John shortly after he brought me into his company, why he was doing something overly generous for me. John said: 'Because I want to do everything I can to make certain you are successful.' I had never had someone say that to me before. And a few weeks before he died, Mr. Goodman stopped by to get an update on how everything was going. One of the last things he asked me was 'Is there anything I can do to help you?' This was John Goodman. If you can think of a way to help someone, do it. If you can't think of a way to help someone, ask them how you can." And from his assistant of over 39 years Beth Francis shared “I have been blessed and honored to work for John since 1983. John was the kind of boss that greeted us when he came into the office and he was always interested in how we were and he was “present” in our conversations. He had an open-door policy and was always happy help in every situation. John truly believed in the good work of his company and those Realtors and staff that made up Harvey Goodman Realtor. The longevity of the company, even in tough times, speaks volumes of the leadership that Mr. Harvey and John Goodman displayed both in and outside the office. John touched so many lives and he will be greatly missed.” And from our company former sales manager Patricia Bruhn, “In all the 50+ years I worked with John, he was the most kind and considerate person I ever knew. John was always there for everyone. It was a distinct pleasure working with him. He was certainly the backbone of our office and also with the growth of the City of St. Clairsville. We had a wonderful relationship and we will miss him terribly.”
His death was sudden, but his life was not faint. His memory will always be with us, and his legacy will continue through us all. We will miss him dearly, but we are so grateful for having known him and having shared so many memories with him.
He brought immense joy and fulfillment to many, and his legacy will forever live on.