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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Lillian E. Goddard

Issue Date: December 9, 2021

Lillian Elaine Furbish (Judy, Gisenas) Goddard, a lifelong resident of Marinette County, recently achieved her final goals of turning 100 years old and "going up into the sky" to be with those who preceded her and whom she missed very much, on November 11 and November 24, respectively. The many, many 100th birthday cards and letters she received from family, friends, and former students meant a great deal to her.

Condensing into a few paragraphs the lifetime of someone that spanned a century ?? beginning as a child in a log cabin who fetched water from a well, read by kerosene lamp, rode to school by horse-drawn wagon, and listened to the whipper-wills in the outhouse,  and closing as a senior in her 90s who emailed, read by LED light, and travelled by airplane ?? is impossible.  Nor would citing the usual milestone dates convey what her life was like as a widowed mother, married mother, single mother, working mother, step-mother, and grandmother, as well as a daughter, sister, wife, aunt, teacher, and friend. She was a humble servant of God and longtime member of the Beaver American Lutheran Church and its women's and quilting groups.

Lillian was kind and patient.  She put others' needs ahead of her own, only spoke well of others, and led by quiet example.  She was a hard worker.  She lived sensibly and did everything in moderation, which she proudly attributed to being "Scotch."  She was always glad to see you.

Approaching the half-century mark, Lillian privately despaired that she had not made any difference in the world, and perhaps was not capable of making one.  That could not be further from the truth for her hundreds of students, dozens of descendants, and untold numbers of quilt recipients around the globe.  The impacts of her teaching and of her parenting and sewing were not apparent to her owing to time and also to her humility, that she was merely leading an unremarkable life when it was actually most especially remarkable.  She raised pet great horned owls, resisted societal norms for women of the time, supported the marginalized, embraced ever-changing times, and survived hardship with grace and can-do-it-ness. 

La, as called by immediate family, fondly reminisced about growing up on the farm on County Road X east of Middle Inlet with her parents, Clare Edmond Furbish and Glover Jessie (Thompson) Furbish, her older sister Elrina Grace, and her older brother William James, all of whom preceded her to Heaven.  She was less fond of having to start boarding away from home at age 8 for school, later working for her keep.  

At teacher's college in Marinette, Lillian became acquainted with her friend Julia's older brother, Clark Henry Judy, and they married at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1943.  When he was killed on Corregidor Island in the Philippines in 1945, she juggled a baby boy with teaching and returning to college.

After several years of teaching in one-room schoolhouses, Lillian met Alvin Leslie Gisenas while attending a regional Grange get-together with her folks. They married in Wausaukee in 1952, and soon had two little girls. After a few years at home she returned to teaching, eventually phasing out of one-room schoolhouses into the 4-classroom school in Beaver.  When Alvin passed away from cancer in 1963, Lillian moved the family into Pound, and then Coleman.

In 1966, Lillian married a local widower, Melvin Daniel Goddard. Their blended family eventually settled into a new home on highway 141 north of Beaver, and she retired from Coleman Elementary School in 1981.  After Melvin passed away in 2001 she moved into an apartment in Coleman, and then into an apartment in Weston in 2014.  After having a stroke that kept her from her multiple daily walks and her usual usefulness, productivity, and self-sufficiency, Lillian was ready to depart this world.  Thank you to everyone at Rennes Rehab and Assisted Living for taking special care of her.

To her relief, Lillian is survived by every single one of her descendants, plus the pending arrival of her first great-great grandchild. With her first husband Clark, Lillian leaves behind son Clark Henry Judy, Jr. (Karen), granddaughter Heather (Steven) Bennetts and their daughter Emma, and grandson Brad and his daughter Wren;  all of Colorado. 

With her second husband Alvin, Lillian leaves behind two children and their families:  daughter Karen Elaine Gissenaas, granddaughter Amanda (Adam) Kessler and their children Samantha, Alexander, Timothy, Natalie, and Amy, grandson Jonathan, and granddaughter Heidi (Mark) Raddatz and their children Abigail and Enoch;  and daughter Glover Augusta Gisenas (Edward) Gale, granddaughter Tia (Doug) Bauman and their sons Talan, Karl, and Logan, and grandson Jacob (Jody) and their daughters Alyssa and McKenna;  all of Wisconsin except the Kesslers in Missouri. 

With her third husband Melvin, Lillian leaves behind four stepchildren and their families:  son Daniel, granddaughter Kelly (Jeremy) Heidenreich and children Marcus, Sam, and Amelia, granddaughter Sierra, and grandsons Nathan and Hunter;  daughter Ellen (Rick) Cook, grandson Christopher (Karen) and children Caleb and Carlie, granddaughter Mackenzie (Jon) Schulz and children Cooper, Cullen, and Cameron;  son David (Sue), grandson David Jr (Becky) and children Kara, Sara, and David III, grandson Ryan (Kate) and children Whitney, Laurel, and Preston;  daughter Nina (Pat) McVeigh, granddaughter Erin (Michael) Baer and children Ellis, Bridger, and Kinley, grandson Matthew (Sarah) and children Evan and Anna, and grandsons Shannon and Keegan (Kelsey);  all of Wisconsin except Daniel in Kansas and the Baers in Montana.

Lillian wished to be cremated, and she will be interred at Glenwood Memorial Gardens in Marinette and at Riverside Cemetery in Peshtigo.  Information and photos are available at www.RhodesCharapata.com or by contacting Clark at CHJretired@gmail.com


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