Dr. Goodwin P. ‘Goody’ Garfield

Goody Garfield’s Celebration of Life
April 18, 2:00pm (Central Time)

The Garfield Family invites you to participate in a virtual celebration of life for Goody Garfield, on Sunday, April 18, from 2:00pm – 3:15pm CT.

There will be music, photos, and eulogies, and if time permits, there may be an opportunity for additional remembrances. 

“Doors will open” at 1:50pm, at which time you can log into the event, and see a photo slideshow.  The program will start at 2:00.


Meeting ID: 292 405 4137
Passcode: 610492
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Meeting ID: 292 405 4137


Goodwin (Goody) Garfield

7/17/1925 – 3/11/2021

Lawrence, Kansas

Our joyous, curious, playful, eternally youthful husband, father, grandfather, uncle, son, and friend Goody Garfield died peacefully in his sleep, bathed in the love of family and his extended community, near and far. He was 95.

The youngest of Kalman and Anna Garfunkel’s five children, Goody was born at the family’s home in Toronto, Ontario, a hub of activity in the neighborhood for his relatives, family, friends, and other members of the immigrant Jewish community.

The family and community experience stayed with him throughout his life. He would describe himself above all as a “family man,” and his life revolved around his wife and kids, relatives, friends, and colleagues all over the world. He adored his beloved companion of 64 years, Shirley Garfield, as much in recent years as when they married. And he was equally devoted to his children, grandchild, nephews, nieces, and extended relations.

He dedicated his work life to helping others through the practice of social work, starting his long career in New York City’s settlement houses, the now century-old network of havens where residents of the city’s impoverished neighborhoods could seek assistance, education, or respite. He served as the executive director of the Bronx River Neighborhood Jewish Center, and later with the settlement houses’ umbrella organization for policy and social change, the United Neighborhood Houses.

He had a passion for teaching and mentoring young people, which led him to start an academic career in his mid-40s. From 1969 until his retirement in 2003, he taught in the Kansas University School of Social Welfare, and for 15 years served as the school’s Director of Field Practicum. He worked hard and was proud to earn his doctorate while working full time and raising a family, and later appreciated it when people would address him as “Professor” or “Doctor.” But far more than that, he loved teaching and helping guide the careers of young students. To the best of our knowledge, the love was mutual.

He didn’t think of himself as a very religious man, since he did not closely observe ritual, but Judaism was the most fundamental part of his identity. He celebrated the culture; he treated people with the utmost respect; he carried out acts of kindness to heal the world. He served as the faculty advisor to the KU campus Hillel chapter in the 1980s and 1990s; he was an active member of the Lawrence Jewish Community Center since the family’s arrival in the community, and he was the long-time “greeter” at the annual

LJCC Blintz Brunch. Few things gave him as much pleasure as presiding over Passover seders with family and friends, guiding us through his handcrafted services, filled with stories he’d discovered of justice struggles, progressive reinterpretations of old rituals, and “haikus for jews.”

Goody was a great fan of classical music and jazz of the 1930s and ‘40s, Broadway musicals of any era, and great performances of virtually anything. He didn’t need to know a song’s lyrics or melody to break out in verse because he’d just invent them himself. He loved the great comedians from the Borscht Belt to Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert. He’d re-tell their jokes, but his schtick was all his own. He was an avid reader, and delighted in conversation about politics, religion, literature, and popular culture. In retirement, he volunteered for Audio-Reader, an information service for the blind and visually impaired. He loved sports, playing hockey and baseball growing up in Toronto, and then later racquetball in Kansas, winning tournaments into his 60s against college students. He was a fixture at KU basketball games for decades, bringing his kids to Allen Fieldhouse throughout their childhood.

Goody lived with wonder for the world, with an insatiable curiosity, and with a nearly infinite supply of stories and jokes. He found nothing more fascinating than learning about other people’s lives; he’d constantly approach strangers and strike up conversations. His circle of friends reached far and wide, and was still expanding even in his final months. Good friends became part of his family, and while he was an elder of that extended family for decades, he forever played the part of “youngest child.” He made each and every person feel like they were the most important person in his life, and he simply loved making them laugh.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and by his four brothers and sisters — Lillian, Bertram, Ruth, and Howard. He is survived by his wife Shirley; his children David Garfield of Lawrence, KS; Deborah Garfield of Ashland, MA; Michael Garfield (Catherine Marquardt) and their son Noah of Ann Arbor, MI; his nephews, nieces, adopted children, and an extraordinary community of friends, former colleagues, and acquaintances from around the world.

His memory will live on in the hearts and minds of all who knew him. Contributions in his name can be made to the Lawrence Jewish Community Center, to Audio-Reader, or to Van Go, an art-based social services agency that employs at-risk youth.

A celebration of life will be held on April 18 at 2:00pm Central Time; information about the event will be provided through the Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home site and the Lawrence Jewish Community Center.


Messages & Condolences

From Ed Canda...

I cherished Goody as my colleague for 14 years and continuing friend ever since his retirement. His office was across the hall from me for many years, so I was fortunate to enjoy often his good humor and uplifting spirit. Goody was always ready to reach out to me with encouragement and witty remarks and stories. His commitment to social work values and education was inspiring. It always felt good to be around him. Thank you, Goody, for being good not only in name but also in your way of being. To Shirley and family, Hwi-Ja and I send our heartfelt caring.

From Deborah Edelman-Dolan...

So sorry for your loss. May your memories be a blessing always. If there is anything I can do to support you, please let me know.

From Joachim Wieler...

Dr. Goodwin Garfield started at KU in 1969 as lecturer for social group work and I was enrolled as a German social worker and graduate student in the MSW-Program on the Hill from 1969-1971. I remember “Goody” as one of my most challenging and encouraging teachers in my process of learning about transatlantic and international social work. He challenged us with controversial
and confrontational group processes and decisions. I just – after 50 years! – reread one of my assignments in which I concluded: “… I’m still not certain whether this was an enlightening experience or a depressing one.” Goody’s response: “My hunch is it was much more ‘depressing’, but I’m delighted that you produced a fine and ‘enlightening’ paper under depressing circumstances.” That was one of the most memorable and lasting encouragements in my social work endeavors! – Thank you, dear friend and colleague

From Deb Adams...

Dear Shirley and Family, My thoughts are with you in your loss of Goody. He was a wonderful man and a great colleague. Goody’s love for family and for you, Shirley, was so clear each time we were together. The two of you helped me through more than one difficult time in my life. I have very fond memories of Goody.

From Preston R. Williams...

I served as a practicum supervisor for a number of KU social work students, at a earlier time in my professional life, and Goody was always someone that I could discuss or argue with, without becoming disagreeable. Goody enjoyed playing the devil’s advocate, just to see how prepared you were for alternative opinions. Much of Goody’s personality was derived from his natural curiosity about each person’s biological backgrounds, and how that information helped to mold and shape each person’s regards for life and living. Goody will be missed.

From Tony Reames...

So great to read about your father’s life Mike. Sounds like is was an amazing professor and even better man. May he Rest In Peace. Rock Chalk! Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

From David & Sharyn Katzman...

We share your loss. Goody had a tremendous impact on the Lawrence Jewish community and our family.
His role in mentoring directors–including our son-in-law–played a critical role in the development of KU Hillel and serving Jewish students at KU. Goody was also instrumental in organizing and maintaining the KU Jewish faculty group.
We always appreciated his wry wit and humor. He was supportive of David–whenever David’s name was in the news or gave a paper or published an article–Goody emailed appreciation or requested a copy of the paper or article. In a supportive, gentle way he expressed his appreciation and support but also made sure that David’s ego did not grow excessively large as Goody appropriately noted the limits of the work. He also taught us that a quiet voice could carry more power than shouting.
His teachings and mentorship are ever present.
May the Garfield family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

From Jill Jess...

Goody and my mother, Jan Jess, worked together for many years in the Office of Field Practicum at the School of Social Welfare. As Kris mentioned above, they were true friends and remained so after they both retired. On behalf of the Jess family, I send sincere condolences. Goody meant so much to our mother, who died in November 2019.

From Allan Press...

I had the good fortune of getting to know Goody, Shirley and their family when I joined the School of Social Welfare in 1964. Lacking social work experience. I still feel eternally grateful that Goody quickly helped me feel at home both professionally and personally. Our interactions were so “Goody”, developing into a friendship that has lasted for decades. Goody, you are a rare gem, a unique and joyous presence in the world. May you continue to bring good memories to all of us who know and cherish you.

From Lorie Williams...

What an amazing life your father lived, David. I will treasure the times I saw your mom and dad at events around town . He dedicated his life to helping others – a noble cause, indeed. I wish you and your family peace and strength at this difficult time. His spirit will always live within you.

From Deb Stavin...

To know him was to love him. Instantly. Goody was the dearest person on the planet. Every year I got a big hug from him at the entrance to the Blintz Brunch, and it kept me warm all year. I send my deepest condolences to Shirley and the entire family.

From Rosalee Neibarger...

Goody and Shirley are two of the most lovely people I know. I worked in the School of Social Welfare while Goody was on faculty. After his retirement whenever he would be at an event or in the grocery store where we would greet each other, he was always smiling and upbeat. Shirley, it was lovely to see how much you and Goody meant to each other. My condolence to you and your family.

From Bob Forer...

Goody was the proverbial mensch. I fondly recall the comfort and assistance Goody and Shirley provided my father and family during dad’s final months. What a beautiful tribute to a thoroughly good and decent man.

From Suzanne Sherr...

What a beautiful tribute you have written in describing Goody’s life and times in the obituary. Your family has been a part of our family of friends at the LJCC for so many years, part of what has made life so good here in Lawrence, Ks.

From Mary Ann Marquardt...

We first met Goody before our daughter and Mike were married. He was friendly and outgoing and quickly engaged us in a conversation. Goody and Shirley came to join the yearly celebration of Noah’s birthday starting when Noah was very young. As Noah grew older and played baseball, Goody hopped off the plane and joined us at the game. He quickly got to know the other parents and also people in his row when we went to see the Tigers play in Detroit. Goody had a great memory for books he had read and could make us laugh in an instant. We will miss the warmth of his presence and I know Noah will miss his originality in thinking of clever ways to celebrate the number of years on his birthday. We also thank Goody and Shirley for giving us the best son-in law to our family.

From Judy Roitman and Stan Lombardo...

We are so lucky to have known Goody and to know Shirley, two people who together and separately radiate such goodness and love and sheer pleasure at the world even in the roughest times. Goody, you are deeply missed. Shirley our hearts are with you.

From Mary Ann Marquardt...

We first met Goody before our daughter and Mike were married. He was friendly and outgoing and quickly engaged us in a conversation. Goody and Shirley came to join the yearly celebration of Noah’s starting when Noah was very young. As Noah grew older and played baseball, Goody hopped a plane and joined us,at the game. He quickly got to know the other parents and also people in his row when we went to see the Tigers. Goody had a great memory for books he had read and could make us laugh in an instant. We will miss the warmth of his presence and I know will miss his originality in thinking of clever ways to celebrate Noah’s number of years on his birthday. We also thank Goody and Shirley for giving the best son-in law to our family.

From Jerry Yochim...

There are very few among us who can be described as the gentle, compassionate soul with the unique wit and wisdom that was Goody Garfield. I am grateful for his friendship. My deepest condolences to you, Shirley, and to your family.

From Ed Scanlon...

Dear Garfield Family, I knew Goody as an MSW student in the 80’s and then again when I joined the KU faculty in 2001, Goody was a joy–loving, funny, smart, interesting–he had ideas about how classes should be taught, but he was never combative or a know it all, despite knowing an awful lot. I always loved seeing him and Shirley at school events–they were always kind and comical and so supportive. Goody and Shirley loved Princess Gardens, a Chinese restaurant in my neighborhood in Kansas City, a place they discovered after they arrived in Lawrence and needed a spot to eat Chinese food on Christmas. I will never forget Goody–he was truly a mensch, and I am lucky to have met him.

From Debbie & Michael Kovsky...

Debbie Kovsky
We remember Goody telling me that he knew our sons would be life long friends, He was kind, loving, and always there for his children (David in particular) and his loving wife Shirley. May he Rest In Peace. He always knew Greg and his David would become lifelong friends.

From jane frydman...

My family and I have known Goody and his family since we all came to live in Lawrence in 1969, We all send our heartfelt condolences to Shirley and the mishpoche.

From Jamie Lata...

Your father made the world a happier, more joyous place to be because of who he was! My heartfelt condolences to you and your family!

From Victor and Linda Frost...

So sorry for the loss of this kind man from our community. We have only happy memories of him. May his memory be for blessing.

From Rosemary Chapin...

Goody Garfield radiated warmth and good humor. He was incredibly kind to me when I was struggling after my mother died~so very gracious and giving. Always ready to enjoy himself, one of my favorite memories of Goody is in a faux top hat with Shirley joining the dancers at our 50th wedding anniversar
in 2018. Dr. Garfield, you will be missed.

From Vicki Lysen...

I am so very privileged – and so very blessed – to have had the great, good fortune to have known Goody for over twenty years. He brought so much fun and shenanigans into his Senior Strength Training classes! Goody’s joie de vivre was like no other I have known. His huge, kind and giving spirit was immediately and often evident. I was the fortunate recipient of that kindness many a time over the years. Goody and I shared some deep and serious conversations as well. What a purely lovely man.
My heart goes out to Shirley and all of the Garfield family. My love and prayers to you all. I am deeply sorry for your loss. May you find peace in all of your wonderful and loving memories .

From Uta Walter...

Goody – always a twinkle in his eyes, a smile at the ready, a book nearby, a newspaper unfolded, and one more curious question on his lips… You were a Mensch. Thank you for sharing yourself with the world and making it a better place.

From Gus McClelland...

An honor to have known such an outgoing professor for so many years! I started KU SSW in 1968, when Goodie and others from New York started teaching there. I took one of the first classes he taught. Later I looked forward to field instruction meetings run by him and Jan Jess for years as Director and Asst Director of field. He was SO ebullient and outgoing!

From Barbara and ray dennis...

Our hearts weep at the loss of such a gentle soul. Few, in life, have I encountered affect your spirit with the desire to be friend and to live in joy as this beautiful man did. Our prayers are directed this day toward his beautiful soulmate, Shirley, and family. We have met them and k ow they carry with them their fathers legacy of “love your neighbor as yourself”. We miss you.

From Mary Whitaker Davidson...

Goody was my neighbor for years. He was always interesting to talk with while in our backyards. He had great wit, great humor, and told wonderful stories. My prayers are with his family. Shirley, I am so sorry for your loss. I know you had a strong deep love and will miss him. Take care

From Rosemary Morris...

Goody was such a delight to be around in the years of attending Senior Strength Training classes at Holcolm Park. Such a joyful soul.

From Kris Matthews...

A little over a year ago Goody and I went to visit our mutual good friend Jan Jess at Presbyterian Manor. I’ll never forget the way Jan’s face absolutely lit up when she saw his face. We sat in the dining room and talked and joked and held hands. They were like a couple of kids, making me laugh. The head nurse even came by to “check on them” bc of Goody’s antics. I let the nurse know I would supervise to make sure they didn’t cause trouble. As we were walking out, he was telling me about his upcoming “hip hop” replacement. He was perplexed that the doctors were worried about doing the procedure at his age and exclaimed, “I’m only 94!!?” Before that I remember running into him at Target and we so naturally fell into chatting…one of Goody’s tales…that it took me a minute to realize he had casually taken over pushing my shopping cart as we strolled. I’ll never forget his smile, warmth, and sense of humor. The social work field and the world were enormously better places because he was in it. 💗🙏

From Gregory Kovsky...

I had the honor of meeting Mr. Garfield in the 1980’s when my parents for a short time lived in Lawrence, Kansas. His son, David, became a lifetime friend based on the introduction made by our parents when I was home visiting them from the University of Texas. Mr. Garfield had a warm smile and a sincere interest in other people. I fondly remember our conversations and guidance at a time when I was still finding out who I was in the world.

From Mark Cederburg...

I met Goody back in the early 80’s when he was my professor for “Group Treatment” class. I was so inspired, this became my favorite modality in working with clients. I met his wife, Shirley, during my clinical practicum at Jewish Family and Children’s Services. When I had the pleasure of seeing them both together, they were always warm and affirming. Over the decades, I’ve continued to be inspired by Goody’s leadership in Social Work education. RIP my mentor. You were a real bright light in my career.

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