The Obit For Harry Goodchild

Harry W. "Rabbit" Goodchild

Published in Santa Maria Times from February 13 to February 14, 2013

Harry was born April 26, 1919 to Edward A. and Barbara Niverth Goodchild in the family home in Garey, Ca. He was a descendent of Santa Maria Valley pioneers Charles Bradley and Juan Pacifico Ontiveros. After his father's death, Harry was raised by his mother, Barbara and stepfather, Bill Sumner.

He was educated locally and graduated from Santa Maria High School in 1937. One of Harry's passions was playing baseball. He played for the Santa Maria Saints from 1933 to 1937, lettering in all four years of high school.

During this time he also played ball for the Western International League and Northern Canadian League, in Canada and Wenatchee, Washington where he earned the nickname "Rabbit".

After graduating high school, Harry pursued his baseball dreams. He played for the Lompoc Merchants and the Pismo Merchants, at the time these were top semi-pro teams in California. From 1940-1941, he played for Cocoa Cola in Bakersfield.

In 1941, Harry returned home to Garey and continued to play baseball for the original Santa Maria Indians. Harry was diagnosed with a rare medical condition that limited his ability to play baseball and later in 1953 caused him to give up baseball for good as a player. However, Harry was instrumental in bringing the first Little League team to Santa Maria.

Harry married his high school sweetheart, Alma Marie Knudsen on June 16, 1940. They were married for 64 years and were blessed with two daughters, Jeanette and Janice.
Harry owned and operated Goodchild Appliance and Toys and also worked throughout the years for Santa Barbara County Fair Grounds, Moran Seed Company, and Santa Maria Seed.

In life, Harry enjoyed his involvement in raising sheep for 4-H and FF A. He also enjoyed golf, playing cards, bowling, and was especially known for his love of gardening.

Harry served as president of the Blockman school board, and as an Elk he was honored as Elk of the Year in 1967. He was also active in Kiwanis.

Harry is preceded in death by his wife, Alma; his parents Edward Goodchild and Barbara Goodchild Sumner; stepfather, Bill Sumner; twin brother, Edward; step-brother, Sonny Sumner; son-in-law, James Pond; and grandson-in-law, Steve Clevenger.

Harry is survived by his daughters, Jeanette (Irwin) Branquinho and Janice Pond. He is also survived by granddaughters Carolyn (Tim) Kleinsmith, Connie (Steve Zaritsky) Branquinho, Annette McKeehan, Barbie Clevenger, and Susan Pond. Great-grandchildren: Ryan, Jaimey, Sarah, Jackie, and Andrew Kleinsmith; Chad Donohue, Barry and Brandon (Jaelyn) Claude; Michael and Stephanie McKeehan; Makenzie Pond and great-great grandson, Zachary Claude.

The family would like to thank Mary Castillo for her kind and compassionate care of our beloved father and grandfather. Mary cared for Harry since August 2012. The family is grateful for her assistance in fulfilling their wishes for Harry to live his remaining days in the comfort of his own beloved home.

Visitation will be held Friday, February 15,2013 at 10:00 am followed by a funeral service at 11:00 am at the Chapel of Dudley Hoffman Mortuary. Graveside services will follow at the Santa Maria Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in memory of Harry Goodchild can be made to the Santa Maria Little League, Pioneer Association, or UCSF Medical Center, Div. of Otology,

Neurotologyand Skull base Surgery, C/o Dr. Lawrence R. Lustig, Director, 400 Pamassus Ave., Suite A 730, San Francisco, CA 94143-0342.

Arrangements are under the direction of Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary, Crematory and Memorial Gardens.