February 26, 1944 - April 19, 2019
James Clifford Goodwin finished his final round of golf on Good Friday. He’s joining his father, Jimmy, mother, Dorothy, brother Teddy and many more friends and family at the 19th hole beyond the sunset. The rest of us have many more rounds still to play. Cliff’s wife Pat, children Tom (Jennifer), Charlie (Cindy), and Sally (Dave), siblings Barry (Dolores), Dodie (Bud), and Teddy’s wife Linda, grandchildren MacKenzie, Emma Jane, Calder, Olivia, Quinn, Sammy, and Percy, and sisters-in-law Joan and Betty, brother-in-law Randy (Judy), along with friends and extended family will be sticking to their next tee-off time celebrating life with the love, values, and principles that Cliff shared with them.
Cliff was born on February 26, 1944, in Lachine, Quebec. While growing up on the west side of Montreal, Cliff took to any sport available to him including paddling, football, hockey, and golf. Early on, accolades started to accumulate from his athletic endeavours like becoming the Eastern Canadian Paddling Champion in juvenile singles and fours.
He met his wife, Pat Fisher, at the Old Lachine High School in grade eight. In grade eleven they started going steady at a dance when Cliff had to leave for a hockey team picture and left his signet ring with Pat, asking her to hold on to it. They were together ever since.
Cliff and Pat went to McGill University’s MacDonald College where Cliff got a teaching certificate after two years, and Pat continued on for two more years to get her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics. While at MacDonald, Cliff played for the varsity football and hockey teams. He was captain of the hockey team. A team that included future NHLers Bryan Murray and Doug Carpenter. He also played with the Lachine Old Timers (the first Old Timers hockey team). After MacDonald College, he taught at Meadowbrook Elementary School for three years, collecting a close group of friends from the teaching staff who would later all buy land around Lake Francis in the Laurentians and build family cottages to spend their summer months.
In 1966, Cliff and Pat got married and moved to Lennoxville, Quebec in the Eastern Townships where Pat taught, and Cliff finished a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics at Bishop’s University. While at BU, Cliff played for the varsity golf and hockey teams. He was an alternate captain for the hockey team and was chosen as a QUAA all-star. Upon graduation, the couple celebrated with the purchase of a brand-new Plymouth Barracuda.
After graduating, Cliff taught for a year at North Hatley High School and soon after was recruited to teach at Bishop’s College School. There, Cliff and Pat started their family and raised three wonderful children, Tom, Charlie, and Sally. Cliff soon became the Athletic Director at the school. He coached the varsity football, hockey, and golf teams. He also took on more responsibilities by co-founding the Eastern Townships Interscholastic Athletic Conference, on which he served as President four times. He chaired the Quebec Association of School Administrators for four years. He was a Director at the Quebec Golf Association for seven years. He also coached the Champlain College varsity hockey team along with a one-year stint as an assistant coach with the Bishop’s University football team. Cliff passionately continued his pursuit of golf, as well. He won numerous tournaments, including the Sherbrooke open, and the Milby and Old Lennoxville club championships. He made the Willingdon Cup trials on four occasions for the Quebec team. This led to many appearances at the Canadian Amateur and a 3rd place finish at the Quebec Amateur. One of Cliff’s fondest victories was winning the Quebec Mother and Son golf championship with his mother, Dorothy in 1980.
Over the summers through the late 1970s, he studied at the University of Vermont to finally earn his Master of Education in Athletics Administration by 1982. Meanwhile in 1979, after having built a cottage from scratch in the Laurentians and spending over a decade of summers there, Pat and Cliff bought a farmhouse in Hamilton, Prince Edward Island, and sold their cottage in Quebec. They were now closer to Pat’s parents in the summer and had plumbing and electricity, luxuries they did not have in the Laurentians.
In PEI, they renovated the farmhouse preparing it as their retirement home. Cliff quickly got involved with the golf community on the Island. He helped out the Junior program at Summerside Golf Club and started racking up tournament victories at his new summer home.
In 1998, Cliff and Pat retired to Prince Edward Island and another new adventure started for them. Upon his arrival, Cliff was quickly recruited to be the Secretary Manager of the Maritimes Senior Golf Association. Cliff’s enthusiasm and energy for golf and organizing continued from there. He soon after founded the King of Clubs Senior Golf Tour. He played on the PEI Senior Golf Team for five years. He was awarded the 2008 Toby MacMillan Award in recognition of outstanding individual contribution to Golf on PEI and he served as President of the PEIGA for two years.
This list of accomplishments is just the beginning when it comes to describing Cliff Goodwin. Cliff was a man of integrity, he was a quiet mentor to those who worked with him, and he was a passionate teacher to his students, his players, and his children. Cliff did not push people to be the best, but rather to be their best, and the only way to achieve this was to have the right attitude, the desire to work hard, and of course, to have fun while doing it. Cliff lived by example, each day following these rules himself.
We loved Cliff and we are reassured to know that he will always be with us.
Anyone who wishes to make a donation in Cliff’s memory can do so to the PEI Golf Association Junior Golf Development Fund or to the charity of their choice.