Dr. Charles Godwin – former JACF trustee (1931-2016)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Charles Godwin, former JACF trustee (1984-2004), Cheley Camps staff member (1960s and 1970s).


Dr. Charles “Chuck” Marion Godwin, Professor “Emeritus” University of Nebraska (Lincoln), died on May 9, 2016 at Southlake Village Rehabilitation and Care Center of Lincoln, NE. He was born in Omaha, NE on September 29, 1931.

Charles is preceded in death by his parents, father Ralph Alonzo Godwin and mother Fern Elizabeth Godwin. Charles is survived by his long time caregiver and companion, Buddy Sizemore and his brother, Ralph R. Godwin of Omaha, NE.

Charles was a charter member of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church of Lincoln where he initially co-chaired the committee to build the church. Charles served in the U.S. Navy as “Personnelman 1st Class” aboard the U.S.S. Chemung from 1950-1954 during the Korean Conflict. Charles attended the Municipal University of Omaha (now known as UNO) where he received his B. S. in Social Sciences and M. S. in Education. He taught one year at Bancroft Jr. High school in Omaha. Charles moved to Lincoln in 1963 where he attended the University of Nebraska and he earned his Ed.D.

Charles served as an elementary school principal in Alcoy, Spain for one year then returned later to serve as an elementary school teacher a second year in Sevilla, Spain for the U.S. Air Force dependent schools. He also taught elementary school in Long Beach, CA for two years. After returning to Lincoln he taught at the UNL Teachers College for 30 years. While teaching at UNL he supervised student teachers in conjunction with Lincoln Public Schools and was an advisor in the UNL Dean’s office.

Charles community and professional involvements include being awarded with the honor of 32˚ Scottish Rite Mason and Honorable 33˚ Scottish Rite Mason. He also served as personal representative of the Lincoln Valley Orient of the Scottish Rite. He was a life member and “Past Master” of the East Lincoln Masonic Lodge 210. He served on the board of trustees for the Starcraft Chapter 307 Eastern Star, the board of trustees of The Nebraska Historical Society Foundation, was Past President and lifetime member of Phi Delta Kappa International. He was an honorary member of the UNL Chapter of The Acacia Society.

Charles was a long time member of the Sesostris Shrine where he served in the “Clown Unit” as ”Chuckles” the clown. He was member of the UNL Emeriti Association, a member of The Nebraska State Council for Social Studies, and a lifetime member of The Western History Association. Charles was a board member and life time member of ACEI (Association for Childhood Education International) where he served for over 50 years.

He was a board member of The John Austin Cheley Foundation. In recent years, Chuck served as Eastern States Coordinator for this foundation to facilitate applications to underprivileged children for camperships to attend Cheley Camps.

Chuck served 14 summers working as a Camp Director for Cheley Camps in Estes Park, CO. Chuck was a long time member and a past President of The Friendship Force of Lincoln where he also led many travel exchanges for the club. He also led travel exchanges for “People To People”.

Chuck traveled to and astonishing 43 countries in his lifetime. In 1976 while teaching as a professor at UNL he was awarded with the “Distinguished Teaching Award”. He also received the “Nebraska Teacher of the Year Award for Social Studies” in 1984.

In his retirement, Chuck enjoyed traveling with The Friendship Force of Lincoln and serving as a “Charter Member” of the usher staff for the Lied Center for Preforming Arts. He also served as a board member of The Lincoln Municipal Band as well as a board member of TADA. He was an “Honorary Member” of the Lincoln Boys Choir. Chuck was a generous supporter of The National Parks Conservation and Nebraska Historical Society.

Very special thanks to Pathways to Compassion Hospice and Southlake Village Rehabilitation and Care Center of Lincoln, NE. Monetary memorials in his name can be made to The Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church Foundation of Lincoln or to The John Austin Cheley Foundation. Condolences can be sent to www.aspenaftercare.com.


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