Remembering Catherine Goodwin

Catherine Goodwin. Photo by Marie Sweeney

Marie Sweeney was thinking about Catherine Goodwin today and shares the following . . .

This photo of Catherine Goodwin in St. Patrick’s Cemetery popped-up in my Facebook feed this morning. With all the Lowell Walks Tours starting and my Saturday morning visit to the Lowell Cemetery for the Art Show, Catherine has been on my mind. From our days together on the Lowell Historical Society Board of Directors and our work on the Lowell Museum and other projects, it should be no surprise that Catherine was more than a friend – she was a role model for me. Catherine – a fellow UML Alum (she from the Lowell State Teachers College day) – had varied interests in her life… from the Chelmsford Garden Club to preservation and social service pursuits – she served on the Board of Directors of the Lowell Mental Health Association, the Florence Crittenton League, and the International Institute. She was an active member and past president of the Whistler House Museum of Art, where her interest in folk art and Lowell artists led to valuable research. She and her husband – a Lowell Tech professor of textiles – were a team – their contributions in the area of local history was a hallmark of the Goodwin team. Both have served on the Lowell Historical Society’s Board of Directors where John had also been president. John was an early advocate of bringing the National Park Service to Lowell.

Catherine’s interest in cemeteries and cemetery art resulted in her writing and rewriting the popular Lowell Historical Society publication Mourning Glory, a history of the Lowell Cemetery. Her tours of this cemetery, where she was the first woman trustee, are legendary and are the basis of those very popular tours now led by Dick Howe. Catherine and John shared their knowledge of local history with many, including both professional and amateur historians. They presented programs on a variety of topics – from the Flood of 1936 to local artists. Back in 2007, the Goodwins were recognized by Community Teamwork (CTI) with the President’s/Local Heroes Award. John and Catherine Goodwin were local treasures and ever missed by family, friends and colleagues – but their legacy lives on. Catherine was recognized last fall in the 2016 Salute to Distinguished Women of the Greater Lowell Area.

One Response to Remembering Catherine Goodwin

  1. Fred Faust says:

    Marie, well said. As the CTI award confirmed, these were true local heroes on behalf of education, preservation, history. Classier and people with greater decency would be hard to find.

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