Wilfrid L. Godin., 80, of Glendale and formerly of Woonsocket passed away on May 18, 2018.
Wil is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Pauline J. (Vary) and their children Marc R.V. & Christine (Froment) Godin of Glendale, Michelle M. Godin of Glendale, Jerome P. & Nancy (Salley) Godin of Blackstone, MA, Dr. David & Denise A. (Godin) Paul of Pascoag, Celeste A. Godin of Cranston, Daniel P. Godin of Franklin, MA, Jules C. Godin of Glendale and Aimee L. Godin of Glendale. He leaves six grandchildren, Jordan, Kelsey, Sara, Sabrina, Serena and Garrick Godin, and many nieces and nephews as well as several grand fur babies, and many dear friends.
He was born in Woonsocket, RI and was the son of the late Wilfrid A. and Claire B. (St. Germain) Godin. He was brother to Jeannine N. Godin, Claudette & the late Rene Boiteau, and the late Lorraine (Godin) Beausoleil all of Woonsocket.
Wil graduated from Providence College in 1960 where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. He furthered his schooling with a Master of Education degree from Rhode Island College in 1968 and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1969.
Wil proudly served this country as a member of the RI Air National Guard 102nd AC&W Squadron from 1957 – 1978. He was a Senior Master Sergeant for Radar Control Operations and actively served during the Berlin Crisis in Celle, Germany.
Upon returning from Germany, he began a career as an educator for the Woonsocket School Department for 29 years. He began teaching at the Woonsocket Junior High in 1962. He transferred to Woonsocket High School where he taught Social Studies, Political Science and Psychology until his retirement in June 1990. Post retirement, he continued on as a substitute teacher and vice- principal. During his years at WHS, he helped coordinate and fundraise for Close-Up. This was an organized trip to Washington, DC for high school students to learn about their government and see it in action first hand.
Wil’s love for the State of Rhode Island and passion for politics led him to participate in two RI State Constitutional Conventions in 1973 and again in 1986. He was elected to the RI State Senate, representing District 32, for 2 terms from 1975 – 1979. After being elected to office, the Mayor of Woonsocket declared that the provisions of the Woonsocket Home Rule Charter prohibited city employees from holding elective office (conflict of interest). The case, Cummings v. Godin, was heard by the RI Supreme Court in August 1977 and it was ruled that the Home Rule Charter provisions were unconstitutional. This paved the way for future city employees to be able to hold elective office. In the Senate, Wilfrid introduced Sunshine Legislation which ultimately led to the RI Open Meetings Law. He worked tirelessly for his constituents.
Wil was one of the founders of the Greater Woonsocket Catholic Regional School Board, 1972. He was a former Eucharistic Minister, lecturer and communicant of Precious Blood Church. He served as a past - President of the Board of Directors for the Fr Marot CYO Center. He participated in weekly prayer meetings and served as advisor on many spiritual Search for Maturity weekends. He was named Director of Mater Spei Day Camp from 1982 – 1987. He served as a member of the NRI Council of the Arts.
Wil will be remembered for his love of animals and his sense of humor that put people at ease. He was loved by many and mentored countless students throughout his career.
A funeral mass is scheduled for Friday, May 25th, at 11:00 a.m. at Precious Blood Church. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Jean Baptiste Cemetery, Bellingham. All are welcome to attend to celebrate Wil’s life. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer a memorial donation made to the Providence College Angel Fund, Office of Institutional Advancement, 1 Cunningham Square, Providence, RI 02908.
Providence College Angel Fund Office of Institutional Advancement
1 Cunningham Square, Providence RI 02908