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
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,
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
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
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.