“I want you to learn something,” John B. Goddard would say. “Every person born, I don’t care if they are rich or poor, they can do something better than you. And you should respect them for that.”
Kelly Goddard recalled his father’s words, words of the man whose name is on Weber State University’s business school. John B. Goddard passed away on Jan. 8th, 2015 at age 94 and and was remembered this Jan. 14 during funeral services.
Jack, as his friends called him, didn’t mind letting others stand in the spotlight while he worked hard behind the scenes, Kelly Goddard said. His father didn’t discriminate against anybody and gave everyone a chance to rise to their own level, no matter who they were.
Jack was born to Francis Kelly and Isabelle B. Goddard in 1920. Jack’s father suffered from chronic asthma, which made it hard for him to work.
When Jack was 9, he got his first job selling newspapers on the corner to help support his family. He sold papers on one corner in the morning and on another corner in the evening, Kelly Goddard said.
In high school, Jack scooped ice cream at Farr’s, a local ice cream shop in Ogden.
In high school, at age 16, Jack met his future wife, Geraldine W. Goddard. He had fallen asleep during class and Geraldine–everyone called her Gerry–poked him in the back of head with her stylus. Jack let out a scream, and they were both kicked out of class.
They began dating and married in August 1943 in Little Rock, Ark. while Jack was attending Officer Candidate School. Gerry hopped on a train alone with nothing but her wedding dress in hand.
“The only photo of the two of them was a single snapshot taken of them coming out of the chapel,” Kelly Goddard said.
Jack and Gerry spent the remaining time together in Paris, Texas. Before being sent to serve in Italy, and later on France, Jack sent Gerry home on a Greyhound bus, unsure if they would see each other again.
Jack served in the 3rd Infantry Division. His dad didn’t speak a lot about the war until his later years, said Kelly Goddard, but he recalled one instance when his father told him, “I really did have a guardian angel watching me over there. It is amazing I am still alive.”
After returning from the war, Jack began building housing for soldiers returning from the war. He later founded Western Mortgage Loan Corporation, United Savings Bank and Western Real Estate and Development.
Since Jack was from Ogden and that is where his businesses were founded and grown, he wanted to give back to the Ogden community.
Jack always wanted to see Ogden thrive and knew that Weber State University was going to be a central part of making that happen. He invested in the university as a donor.
Jack and his wife Gerry gave a multimillion dollar donation to endow the Goddard School.
“Their generosity has allowed us to better support students and faculty,” said Jeff Steagall, dean of the John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics. Weber State renamed the building after Jack in 1997.
Goddard had the ability to make people feel good, Steagall said. “I always felt better after spending time with him.”
Kelly Goddard also spoke of his father’s last years. Kelly Goddard said the two enjoyed spending time together by playing golf. “It was great to watch my Dad enjoy his golden years.”