Michael "Mike" Goodwin, aged 78, passed away on September 1, 2023, in Anaheim, CA. Born on June 9, 1945, in Long Beach, CA to Walter Edmund Goodwin and Geraldine Marguerite Goodwin (Donegan), Mike was known for his strong work ethic, love for family, positive attitude, and wonderful sense of humor.
Mike was the oldest of four children and took his role as the oldest sibling to heart. He was a proud alumnus of St. Anthony’s Catholic High School and later attended Long Beach City College, where he studied electronics. His dedication to work began early, as he balanced part-time work with his studies from the age of 14. This hard work and dedication were hallmarks of Mike's character throughout his life, although he also loved to have fun and enjoy life.
Throughout Mike’s life he loved cars and motorcycles, particularly vintage cars, and could build a car engine from the ground up from an early age. He also loved spending time in Lake Havasu and enjoyed lots of vacation time boating on the lake, towing kids and grandkids on inner tubes behind the pontoon boat, cooking up his famous hot dog men on the grill, and feeding hungry birds by hand from the bow of the boat. He had a good singing voice and enjoyed participating in family karaoke nights. He was also a good dancer and revelled in making up silly songs and telling “dad” jokes.
In his early years, Mike served with distinction in the US Army and the Army National Guard. He was a brave soldier, serving in the Vietnam War with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade and later as a door gunner with the 120th Aviation Company. His courage and skill earned him the rank of Sergeant First Class, E7, and the prestigious Air Medal for conducting 25 combat missions in a helicopter.
After his military service, Mike transitioned into a successful career in facility maintenance. He worked as a maintenance lead at McClain Manufacturing and later in attraction maintenance at Disneyland for 21 years. His contributions to Disneyland included work on large-scale projects like the construction of Toon Town and the Fantasmic show. He was recognized several times for his innovative ideas to improve safety and efficiency. Mike’s career in maintenance continued at Knott's Berry Farm for seven years before his well-earned retirement.
Retirement for Mike meant more time for his passions. He enjoyed being a stay-at-home dad and was a master at home improvement. He was also an avid learner and spent many hours watching documentaries and history shows. Mike was a devoted Denver Broncos fan, and Sundays were always reserved for cheering them on. Mike was also a pet lover, especially dogs, who seemed to share a special bond with him.
However, above all, Mike cherished being a husband and a dad and he excelled at both. He leaves behind a loving family and is survived by his wife, Naomi, daughters Lorrie, Joanne (Gary), and Megan (Jonathan), son Ian (Alley), grandchildren Steven (Alyssa), Sara, Lily, Nick, Madelynn, Charlotte, James, and Myles, great-grandson Joseph, brother Don Goodwin (Susan), and sister Patricia Goodwin. He also leaves behind several nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews. Mike was preceded in death by his brother, Walter Jr., and his parents.
Mike's life was a testament to hard work, honor, and love for his family. He will be remembered for his dedication, his warm heart, and his easy laugh. His legacy will live on in the wonderful memories he created and in the family he loved so much.