INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. — John “Jack” Woodruff Goodrich, 94, of Inver Grove Heights died Sept. 22, 2018, at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, surrounded by family.
Jack was born June 2, 1924, in Pepin, Wis. He graduated from Menomonie High School in 1942 and enrolled at Ripon College, but enlisted in the Army Dec. 7, 1942. Jack served in the Army Air Corps as a B-17 co-pilot, stationed in England, near the end of World War II. He remained in the Air Force Reserve until 1962.
Jack Goodrich and Mary Ellen Chinnock were married June 7, 1947, in Menomonie. Jack worked in the family business (Goodrich Furniture and Funeral Service) and graduated from Stout State University (UW-Stout) in 1948. In 1954, he moved to Wausau, Wis., to work for Employers Insurance of Wausau. He spent 32 years with that company, with moves to Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Kansas City, before retiring.
Jack was a skilled do-it-yourself-er and a classic Mr. Fix-it. He lived an active life, taking the family camping every summer. He loved hiking, canoeing and fly-fishing. When young, he skied and was a memorably graceful ice-skater. In later life, he played tennis and swam regularly. He was sociable and well-liked.
Jack and Mary retired in 1986, to Lander, Wyo., where they lived in a log house on an acreage that was a grandchild’s paradise. They enjoyed hiking and fishing in the Wind River Mountains, as well as backpacking, llama packing and cross-country skiing in winter. They later moved to Fort Collins, Colo. Jack and Mary traveled extensively, from Cuba to Norway, from China to Egypt. They enjoyed canal boat trips in England, when daughter, Jill and family lived there. To be close to family, Jack and Mary recently moved to Inver Grove Heights, where he liked watching vintage World War II aircraft taking off from nearby Fleming Field.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Marion; and his brother, Don. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Mary; sons, Steve (Roxanne), John (Anna) and Pete (Liz); and daughters, Jill (Terry) and Lesley; 10 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and his sister, Pat Christensen of Wenatchee, Wash.
Jack will be greatly missed by all who knew him. At his request no services were held. Family will gather at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of donor’s choice.