The Daily Star
---- — Gerald Goodspeed
COOPERSTOWN — Gerald “Boo-Boo” Goodspeed, a native of Cooperstown, died Sunday morning, May 4, 2014, at his home with the comfort of his loving family by his side following a nine year battle with melanoma. He was 72.
Born April 23, 1942, at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, Jerry was one of seven children of the late Edith Snyder and Cecil A. Goodspeed.
After his education in Cooperstown, he enlisted in the New York Army National Guard on Nov. 16, 1959, and served with Company C of the 108th Infantry. He received his honorable discharge on Nov. 15, 1962.
That same year, he married Georgia Flint in a ceremony held Oct. 6, in the Cooperstown Methodist Church.
Through the years, Boo-Boo was employed by many businesses in the Cooperstown area. Among them, Stan Wrench Excavating, Bob Mulligan Garbage Disposal and Excavation and the Village of Cooperstown. From 1970 to 1988, he was the superintendent for the town of Otsego landfill and later served as a truck driver for their highway department, retiring at 55 years of age in 1997. He also operated a bush hogging business which he started in 1995 using his beloved tractors and Ford trucks which were part of his “toy” collection.
Since 1992, Boo-Boo was a member of the Cooperstown Native Sons. He was also a Life Member of the Clark F. Simmons American Legion Post No. 579 in Cooperstown, often serving as part of its honor guard and was a former member of Mechanics Hook & Ladder Company No. 5 in Cooperstown.
In his leisure, Boo-Boo enjoyed having a good time with family and friends. He was involved with demolition derbies from 1972 to 1992, competing in seven county fairs each year, winning heat races, features, best-in-show and earning a place at the New York State Fair. He put on a great show for all of his fans. He enjoyed hunting, traveling with his wife, having their camper in tow, was an avid NASCAR fan, attending many museums and races rooting for Ford Teams and visiting Alaska. Labor Day gatherings at his Ponderosa, specializing in his famous popcorn and horseshoe tournaments will be fondly remembered by many, and he was even the DJ of “Boo-Boo’s No.1 Fun and Entertainment.”
He became passionately involved with Relay for Life, starting Boo-Boo’s Dream Team in 2006 as a proud survivor. In 2014, he was honored as a Relay for Life All-Star. He also volunteered at various community events including the Walk for Autism, Bark for Life and participated in local tractor shows. He was proud to honor veterans and remember 9/11 in local parades with his well-decorated Rhino.
He was happiest when surrounded by his family, especially his cherished grandchildren. He was a devoted husband, dad and “Pop.” He touched many lives and would never deny a friend in need. His smile lit up a room, his smirk demonstrated his sense of humor and his laughter was contagious. His kindness was evidence of his huge heart. As an angel in heaven, he is still watching over us. Whether you call him Boo-Boo or Jerry, his presence will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.
Boo-Boo is survived by his wife of 51½ years, the love of his life, Georgia, of Cooperstown; three daughters, Betty Steele and husband, Tom of Hartwick, Sue Gage and husband, Jerry of Edmeston and Sherri Goodspeed of Fly Creek; three grandchildren, James Goodspeed and girlfriend, Arielle Musgrave, Michael Gage and wife, Michele and Jessica Talbot and husband, Mikey; a great-granddaughter, Lily Luna Musgrave-Goodspeed; and great-grandchild, Talbot, due July 20, 2014, who he unfortunately missed meeting. He is further survived by two brothers, Cecil Goodspeed Jr. of Cedarville and Robert Goodspeed of Edmond, Okla.; four brothers-in-law, Frank Flint, Robert Grabowski, Roger Bell and Greg Rupert; and many special nieces, nephews and cousins.
Boo-Boo also leaves behind his sweet “granddaughter,” Hannah Audette, and his best friend, Jim Laden, who was like a brother.
A great animal lover, Boo-Boo is also survived by his precious baby girl, Cuddles, who he adopted from the Susquehanna SPCA and his great-grand pets Moto, Koko, Java, Willis, Bandit, Toby, Tiki, Josie, Jake, Calvin and Lily. He will be welcomed in heaven by many family pets, including his angel, Midnight and most recently his little princess, CaseyAnne and his buddy, Jake.
He was preceded in death by his parents; four sisters, Katherine Staffin, Marion Grabowski, Jean Bell and Cheryl Rupert; three sisters-in-law, Ann Goodspeed, Catherine Williams and Myrt Flint; and a brother-in-law, Walt Staffin.
Friends may call at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 8, when the family will be in attendance A Firefighter Memorial Service will be conducted at 5 p.m. by members of the Cooperstown Fire Department.
On Friday, May 9, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., Jerry’s casket will be placed in the Cooperstown Fire Department’s 1952 Mack Fire Truck, which will bear him through the village, followed by his family driving his beloved trucks. They will pause at the Cooperstown VFW/American Legion on Main Street and then proceed to the Fire Hall on Chestnut Street, where he will be accorded the Final Alarm. The procession will then pause at his Toddsville home and proceed to Hartwick for the funeral and burial.
The Funeral Service will be offered at 11 a.m. Friday, May 9, at the First Baptist Church of Hartwick, with Pastor Phillip Sell officiating. The vocal soloist will be great-nephew, Scot Raymond.
Burial will follow in Hartwick Cemetery, where Military Honors will be accorded by members of the Cooperstown VFW/American Legion and the New York State Military Forces Honor Guard.
A celebration of life will be held following the burial at the Cooperstown VFW/American Legion.
Instead of sending flowers, the Goodspeed family respectfully requests that memorial donations be directed to the Otsego County Relay for Life, c/o The American Cancer Society / Helen Gregory, 5 Oak Avenue, Sidney, NY 13838, Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820, or the Susquehanna SPCA, 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Jerry’s family thanks the members of the Cooperstown VFW, Cooperstown American Legion, Cooperstown Fire Department, and the Fly Creek Volunteer Fire Company for their incredible compassion and support throughout this difficult time.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
In Jerry’s final days, he found solace reciting with family and friends the prayer:
“Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I shall die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.