Goddard, Stephen Bradley

Stephen Bradley Goddard died peacefully on November 4, 2019 in West Hartford, CT at the age of 77.
Stephen is survived by his wife of 54 years, Patricia Blaney Goddard; his children, Taegan Goddard, Bradley Goddard and Chelsey Goddard; his daughters-in-law, Sara Goddard and Mary Ellen Bucko, and his son-in-law, Patrick Proctor. He also leaves behind six grandchildren: Chase, Alex, Cameron, Johnny, Toby and Juniper.

Stephen was born on November 9, 1941 to Harvey Burton Goddard and Elizabeth O’Connor Goddard. He graduated from Bates College with a Bachelor’s Degree in economics in 1963 and from the University of Connecticut School of Law with a Juris Doctor in 1973. Stephen was elected as an editor of the Law Review while at UConn School of Law.

He married Patty, the love of his life, in 1965. They settled in Hartford, CT and had three children. Stephen began his career as a journalist for the Hartford Times where he wrote a column for young adult readers and ultimately served as an editor on the City Desk. He was the recipient of a Congressional Fellowship in 1967 and worked in both houses of the United States Congress. From 1963 through 1969, Stephen served in the Marine Corps Reserve and left his service as a sergeant. After graduating from law school, Stephen briefly worked for a law firm before realizing he preferred working for himself. He started his own general practice law firm which he ran for more than 40 years.

Stephen was an accomplished author and historian, having written three books in the field of transportation. He was also the author of numerous essays on history and public policy published in newspapers nationwide. He also taught several history courses at Trinity College and the University of Hartford, earning rave reviews on his lectures from students.
Of all his many civic pursuits, Stephen served most prominently as a board member of the Hartford Public Library for more than 30 years, most recently as Director Emeritus. He was passionate about Hartford and its history and was instrumental in founding the Hartford History Center at the library. He lived in the city most of his life and was involved in numerous neighborhood organizations including the Blue Hills Civic Association, the West End Civic Association and the Southside Institution Neighborhood Alliance. He served his church, Asylum Hill Congregational Church, in many ways, including as part of a search committee for a senior minister, and helping to compile its history.

Anyone who knew Stephen understood his genuine love for people. He was the ultimate extrovert, cherishing his conversations with everyone who crossed his path. His great joy was throwing a party and he loved a hosting a raucous bunch of folks at his home. He was also a strong believer in the responsibility of civic participation throughout his life, instilling this value in his children. If he could meld his love of people with civic engagement over a meal or walking with his friends, he was truly happy. Indeed, even during the past year as his cognitive abilities were compromised, he charmed his caregivers and his social self was remarkably intact until just recently.

Stephen was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and the Hartford Yard Goats, a love he shared enthusiastically with his children and grandchildren. He ran three marathons because he never thought he could be a successful athlete. Stephen loved to travel with Patty. In his later years, he and Patty spent much of their free time in Martha’s Vineyard, a deeply meaningful place for him.

A funeral is scheduled for Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 11 am at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, with a reception to follow at the church. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Stephen’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Hartford Public Library at 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103. Donations may also be made online at https://donorbox.org/annual-fund-18. Please specify that your donation is in memory of Stephen Goddard for the Hartford History Center.

Stephen’s family would like to thank the dedicated caregivers and staff at the Hebrew Center for their tireless efforts to make Stephen’s last days comfortable and filled with love.


Calling Hours

Funeral Service

Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 11:00am at Asylum Hill Congregational Church ~ Hartford


Memorial Contribution

Hartford Public Library at 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103. Donations may also be made online at https://donorbox.org/annual-fund-18

One Response to 'Goddard, Stephen Bradley'

  1. David H. and Natalie Shober Hosford, Bates '63 says:

    We send out heartfelt condolences to the Goddard family. Steve was not only an accomplished professional and an ardent civil servant for the city of Hartford, he was a dear friend and valued colleague of all members of the Bates College Class of 1963.

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