Lewis E. Goodall

GoodallEarly Life
1935     Born in Mercy hospital on 6 Oct in Los Angeles, CA of Lewis Eugene Goodall and Mary Helen Williams. Mother mistakenly put father’s name instead of baby’s name on birth papers, so I am not a Junior – was to be named Frederick Clarence after my two grandfathers. (Glad she made the mistake.)

1936     Parents separated – mother and I moved in with her parents, Clarence Edwin Williams and Edna Flossie Hines on Walnut Street in Akron OH. I was spoiled, but happily completed early childhood and went to Crosby Elementary school.

1940     Mother remarried to military man, Charles NMI Lasser and moved to Columbus OH, where sister, Edna Mae, was born.

1942     Joined mother for a series of military moves (WWII) Kalamazoo MI, Atlanta Ga, Jacksonville Al, Anniston Al, and Birmingham AL. Can remember many hours on buses and trains. Moved to Midfield, suburb of Birmingham and went to Jones Valley Junior High. Edna and I dealt with stern father and grew very close.

1946     Akron Oh after stepfather sent to Korea. Was sent to my real father/stepmother, Betty, and went to Spicer Junior High.

1947     Father, Betty and I. and Irish Setter dog,Terry, moved to Long Beach CA. Father opened fast food stand in “The Pike” amusement center. Sold hotdogs to John Wayne and Pat O’Brien during movie filming, “Wake of the Red Witch”.

1948     Betty left early that year and my dad, who had suffered as juvenile diabetic, died of kidney failure that summer. His parents sent me to my mother in Pittsburg, CA (Bay Area) where I attended both Junior and Senior High schools. In ‘51, I went to Mt Diablo High in Concord, CA, played football and honored as a diver – graduated in June of 1953.

Enlisted Life

1953     Joined Air Force – completed basic training in Texas, completed radio repairman course in Illinois, and was sent to remote site King Salmon, Alaska in 1954.

1955     Sent to Donaldson and Shaw AFBs in Greenville SC and Sumter SC. Had met Anna Lou Hutson while enroute from Alaska. Subsequently married her in Centralia IL while attending radio tech school at Scott AFB, IL. Had near-death experience from severe electrical accident during practical exam in school.

1958     Took discharge to California – made half-hearted attempt to find job, but re-enlisted and with pregnant wife headed for Keesler AFB.

1959     Athena Lynn was born at Keesler. Received orders for Dreux AB in France. At the end of three-year tour, I tested and was selected to attend Officer Candidate School in Texas. Had to lose over 40 lbs.

OCS Memories

I was fortunate to only hate my time as 2nd class in OCS, although I did have fun challenging 1st class by capturing their guidons (sleeping with them) and other sqdn stuff. They never beat me in a coke drinking contest. I remember my poor sqdn mates helping me carry my fat butt out to and around the bomb run – finally lost 40 lbs and could run over 4 miles before it was over – I remember there were only a few “buddy zappers” and how all of us could shave and shower (using only one shower stall) and still be on the walkway in just a few minutes. My greatest frustration was the dining hall – trying to get a little food to eat – I hated trying to ask a table commander for permission to sit at his table – ugh @#$#@%$#……I remember someone throwing their tray to the ceiling in frustration. Once, I got a “gig” for every man in the flight for not using the proper terminology in posting the road guards while marching (road guards, post front, rear, left and right and halt all traffic, post!). I’m sure tenacity was more important than intellect in making it through OCS. My struggles were helped greatly by Anna Lou’s support.

Life After OCS

1962     Now a shiny new 2dLt. Sent to Keesler AFB, Ms. for Communications Officer course. Upon completion, I remained there as instructor until 1968. Earned 1stLt, Captain, selected as Regular Officer and I completed Comm and Electronics Staff Officers course. However, marital problems were brewing.

1967     Went through divorce proceeding and gained custody of Micheal. Really a “Tough Time” having our family split apart. Many bad memories for all of us to overcome.

1968     Arranged assignment to Hamilton AFB, 18 miles north of San Francisco to be near parents, but prior to transfer, lost my stepdad, so left early with Micheal for funeral leaving him there with Mom and Edna, while I returned and finished up at Keesler.

1969     Met and married Wanda Eileen Davis. Met her in Officer’s club – she was doing reserve duty as a Flight Nurse. Shortly got orders to Tehran, Iran for 2-year tour.

1971     Matthew Gregory was born in Tehran, Iran with dual citizenship. Nicknamed Reza after the Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi – the middle east is a strange backward place.

1972     Next assignment was near Kansas City, MO. I completed BA in Business and Economics at Park College. Traveled extensively integrating Air Force radar systems with the Federal Aviation Administration, earning rank of Major.

1975     Assigned to Luke AFB Glendale Az. Bought our first home.

1976     Got orders for England, sold home and bought rental investment property in Glendale. Attended No. Arizona University for MA in Guidance and Counseling and completed several important military courses and assignments, earning a promotion to Lt Colonel.

1979     Assigned to RAF Croughton, near Oxford England as Chief of Maintenance and Deputy Commander Also worked as Wing Director Comm/Elec for Col McPeak, who subsequently became 4 star Chief of the Air Force. My best AF job.

1982     Returned to USA at Langley AFB near Norfolk VA. Bought present home. Did not enjoy Headquarters Chief of Communication Operations (too much talk and politics). Attended George Washington University for MBA/MIS.

1984     OCS’s 500lb Canary retired as Lt Col after completing 31+ years in Air Force – became Realtor. Military allowed me to see most of Europe, the middle east and Panama. When leaving Iran, we traveled to Bombay, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Hawaii. Drove across USA seven times and have been in 46 states. Travel and Wanda’s influence broadened my outlook and instilled spiritual strength.

1994     After experiencing diabetic and heart arrhythmia problems, returned to my most enjoyable work, electronic bench repair (this time for a local computer company).

1998     Worked at NASA Langley as an engineering technician, most interesting job of all.

1999     Throat cancer required radiation treatment and radical neck surgery – cancer gone, except treatment led to esophageal problems and loss of teeth. Grew mustache/goatee to cover my losses. Give thanks to my Guardian Angel and Wanda.

Life Today

2001     Fully retired with computers as my main hobby, along with knife collecting and coin collecting. Health problems are tiring, but manageable. Scott and his dog, Chewy, golden retriever/chow mix moved back in, making life more interesting.

2003     Goals: Remain cancer-free and maintain adequate health; be a great-grandpa; visit Australia; see all family members at least yearly; make a Caribbean cruise.


Lt Col, USAF (Ret), Lewis E. Goodall, 75, resident of Poquoson, Virginia since 1982, passed away June 12, 2011.

He served all over the world. His last duty assignment was Tac Com Commander at Langley AFB, in 1984. He was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, AF Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, AF Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters, AF Organizational Excellence Award, Good Conduct Medal (Army) with three devices, National Defense Service Medal with one device, AF Overseas (Long Tour) Service Ribbon, AF Longevity Service Ribbon with six oak leaf clusters, and a Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon. Mr. Goodall was a proud member of the NRA, USAA, The Air Force Association, and the Retired Officers Association.

Mr. Goodall is survived by his wife, Wanda E. Goodall; his children: Matthew, Scott, Michael, Richard, David, and Athena; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a sister, Edna McDonald.

Inurnment was held at Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors.