are here today to remember, celebrate and be thankful for the
life of Bill Goodall.
we reflect on how God uses people to bring his love into our
lives, we give thanks today for the many ways in which He used
Bill to greatly enrich the lives of others.
so today we remember Bill as he was in the fullness of life and
health, a true gentle man in both senses of the word, and a kind
and caring husband, father and great grandfather. He will be
recalled by many as a dignified, quiet, formal and even dapper
man - always impeccably dressed and well mannered. He was a good
person, well liked and well respected by all who knew him.
was born in Ilford, Essex in 1914. He was educated locally at
the County High School, and lived in Ilford for most of his early
the late 1920s Bill met Moira, his wife to be, while playing
tennis - a sport they both enjoyed. Their parents already knew
one another through involvement with the London Scottish Association
- so it seemed meant to be. They were married in April 1939,
and moved to Liverpool to where Bill was transferred by the Customs
& Excise to escape wartime London.
1941 Bill volunteered for the RAF and was sent to Canada and
the USA to train as a pilot. He failed his pilot training, but
became a navigator instead, and in June 1943 was posted to his
first Bomber Squadron near Bury St Edmunds.
July 26 1943 Bill's plane was shot down over Holland. His life
was saved by a parachute - and in recognition of that Bill was
to become a life member of the caterpillar club. He was taken
prisoner by the Germans and held at Stalag Luft 3 until the end
of the war. During his time in captivity Bill played another
of his favourite sports - cricket, with great success, for England
the end of the war Bill was returned home, and he and Moira bought
their first house in Galesway, Woodford. It was here that they
became a family, with the arrival first of Ian, and 2 years later
1953 Bill arranged for an Excise transfer to the island of Islay,
and the family returned to Scotland. In 1960 they moved back
to the mainland, and made their home in Fife, where Bill was
to remain for most of the rest of his life. His last home was
in Lower Largo of Robinson Crusoe fame.
Bill moved to Fife he became a member of the Lundin Links Golf
Club, where he would play three times a week until just 4 or
5 years ago. Golf was another sport that Bill really enjoyed.
Moira died in 1991, and Bill had to learn how to look after himself.
He did this with seeming ease, and managed to take care of himself
very well up until the last few years. Following Moira's death
Bill travelled a lot, visiting such places as Canada, America,
Australia and the West Country of England.
was one of Bill's life long interests. Others included a love
of railways - Bill was still making long train journeys up until
4 years ago. He also loved history, and embarked upon an Open
University History degree prior to retirement. Throughout his
life Bill was very keen on sport. I've mentioned his cricketing
success as a prisoner of war, but before that he was cricket
and football captain of his school's former pupils sides.
pleasures included a drop of Good Ale from which it is believed
the name Goodall is a derivation. He was a modest drinker, but
enjoyed a glass or two right up to the end.
moved into a residential home early in 1999, and came south to
Jubilee House in the December of the same year. The family wish
me to extend their thanks for, and tremendous appreciation of,
the care and attention Bill received from the staff at Jubilee
House - he couldn't have been in better hands at this difficult
stage of his life.
passed away very peacefully a week ago last Wednesday. In the
end he simply died of old age - a natural and fitting end to
a fulfilled and well lived life.
faith however believes that death is an end, but not the end,
not so much goodbye but au revoir, or 'until we meet again'.
Our hope and our confidence is that where love and fellowship
have existed in this life, so they continue to the next. This
belief is reflected in our reading, where Jesus comforts his
disciples by reminding them that he is merely going ahead of
them, to the Father's house, where there is room for us all.
Our faith looks not only to this life, but also to the life to
come, in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal
life, within the measureless love of God for all his children.