Community mourns groundbreaking leader

Community mourns groundbreaking leader

By Kathi Bliss

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

A lifelong legacy of service and support came to a close as the new year began, as former mayor Maxine Goodman slipped her Earthly bonds on Jan. 2, 2014.

Goodman, 91, was a fixture in Lockhart for more than five decades, adding her time and talents to dozens of civic and church organizations, with her service in the community reaching a public apex in 1983, when she was elected Lockhart’s first – and to date, only – female mayor.

“It seemed like the natural thing for her to run,” said Warren “Pat” Kirksey on Monday. “She had been involved in our push to move to the home-rule charter and council-city manager style of government, so when the time came, it just seemed like next logical step.”

Reports from 1983, however, suggest that she had initially filed to run in one of the four at-large council positions. However, upon the urging of “friends and family,” she said she decided to run against incumbent mayor W.E. Chesser, defeating him handily in the first municipal election the community had seen in more than five years.

After acquiring her historic seat, Goodman was loathe to give it up, eventually winning three terms and defeating a push for her recall in 1989, before retiring in 1990.

“During that time, she was instrumental in any number of urban renewal improvement grants, and helped to get HeadStart and Community Action here,” Kirksey said. “She worked really hard for the community.”

That hard work wasn’t limited to her political aspirations, however.

Born in Llano County, Goodman worked for several years as a civilian employee at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, where she eventually met her husband John Graydon “Grady” Goodman. The pair married in 1949, and eventually chose to move to Lockhart in 1954.

Almost immediately, the Goodmans adopted Lockhart as their hometown, becoming entrenched in the First United Methodist Church, the Lockhart Chamber of Commerce and the local business community, as they raised their family, which eventually grew to include three children, eight grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends.

“Everyone loved her,” Kirksey said. “And everyone respected her. She always had a smile, and a kind word for everyone, and she was involved in everything.”

After her retirement from politics, Goodman continued to be active in her church, in the First-Lockhart National Bank, and in dozens of other commissions and committees.

And she traveled.

Kirksey remembered a time when they traveled to Alaska together, during which Goodman, who was beginning to suffer some mobility issues, charmed everyone she met.

“Maxine was one of the kindest and most loving people I have ever known,” said Steve Bartlett, a former US Congressman and mayor of Dallas, Texas, who was raised in Lockhart. “She and her family were friends to my family when I was a child in Lockhart in the 1950′s and ’60′s. She inspired me then, and later when she served as Mayor. Maxine Goodman lived the life of a true ‘public servant.’ She inspired me.”

Not only an inspiration to Bartlett, Goodman was a surrogate mother and grandmother to generations of Lockhart’s youth.

“There was a time when I was in the hospital and Patsy was taking care of me, our friends throughout the community had to take care of our daughters,” Kirksey said. “[Our youngest daughter] always wanted to stay with Maxine. That was her favorite place to go.”

Similar messages crowded social media sites over the course of the last week, as the news of Goodman’s passing spread through her children and grandchildren. Dozens of friends and family members shared memories of Goodman’s kindness, inspiration and love for her church, her community and above all, her family.

She will be missed.

kathibliss@post-register.com

 

 

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