J. Atlee Goodwin, 91, passed away Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at Millinocket Regional Hospital, with his loving family by his side. He was born July 17, 1925, in Millinocket, the son of Fred Brescia and Rosetta Sears, with a given birth name of Atlee Valentino Brescia. As a child, Atlee lived in East Corinth and then moved to Millinocket where he lived with his uncle, John Sears, and his wife, until his mother remarried and he was adopted by her husband, Lloyd Goodwin. It was then his name was changed to James Atlee Goodwin.
Atlee attended Millinocket Schools, leaving in his senior year to join the US Navy in 1945. While attending Stearns High School, Atlee played football, and later on, in 1948, played semi-pro football for the Millinocket Mountaineers. In 2001, Atlee received his honorary high school diploma, graduating the same year as his granddaughter, Jennifer, an accomplishment he was very proud of.
In 1944, he married the love of his life, Shirley Boynton Goodwin, and had 62 years of marriage until her passing in 2006. Together they had five children, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. After returning home from the war, Atlee worked for Great Northern Paper Co., in the paper room, becoming a Tour Foreman on #1, 2 and 3 Specialty Paper Machines, before retiring in 1984.
Atlee was an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing, boating, snowmobiling, taking long rides on his motorcycle, and building his own camp, "Bali Hi," with his good friend, Charlie Noddin, on an island on Pemadumcook Lake. After his retirement, a second camp, "Breezy Point" was also enjoyed by family and friends. It was there he taught his grandchildren to fish, boat, snowmobile and enjoy the beauty of nature. He was never happier than when he and Shirley were there spending time with their loved ones. They also spent many winters traveling and enjoying good times with their friends in Flagler Beach, Florida. Atlee was an avid fan of New England Patriots football and the Duke University Men's basketball team. Atlee was a member of the Millinocket Baptist Church, a Past Commander of the VFW Post #4154 in Millinocket, a member of the Millinocket Masonic Lodge and one of the original founding members of the Northern Timber Cruisers Snowmobile Club. Atlee was able to live out his life in his own home because of the wonderful and loving care provided to him by his daughter, Judy.
He is survived by his children, Judy Archibald and her friend, Larry McAllister, of Millinocket, Linda and her husband, Dennis Gero, of Cummington, MA, his son, and best friend, James, Jr. (Jimmy) and his wife, Lenie, of Berlin, NH and Millinocket, Elizabeth and her husband, David Henderson, of Taylors, SC, and Natalie and her husband, John Raymond, of Millinocket; grandchildren, Darcy Emerson, Jamie Goodwin, Katie Grant, Jason and his wife, Jenn Raymond, Jennifer Raymond and Raymond and Rachael Henderson; great-grandchildren, Anthony and Emilee Emerson, Nicholas and Dayton Bell, Dominic Grant, Jenessa and Jaxson Foster and JJ Parker; five siblings: brothers, Richard and wife Betty Brescia, Basil Brescia, Stanley and his wife, Louise Brescia; sister, Louise and her husband, Ronnie Cyr; and sister-in-law, Polly Boynton. Atlee was predeceased by his parents; his wife, Shirley; a brother, Frank Brescia; and brothers-in-law, William Boynton and Roger Boynton. The family would like to thank the nursing staff and doctors at Millinocket Regional Hospital for the wonderful care given to Atlee during his brief stay; also Garrett Smith, PA, who made weekly visits to Atlee at his home; the home health nurses at CHCS; and his special caregivers, Nancy Duffy Theriault and Gary Santerre.
Friends are invited to visit with the family from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Monday, September 26, at the Millinocket Baptist Church, 297 Penobscot Ave., Millinocket, where a memorial service to celebrate Atlee's life will begin at 1 p.m., with the Rev Tim Bossie officiating. Gifts in Atlee's memory may be made to the Millinocket Baptist Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 898, Millinocket, ME 04462, The Katahdin Area Support Group, or the Northern Timber Cruisers Snowmobile Club in Millinocket. Online condolences may be expressed at www.clayfuneralhome.com.