Mary Helen Thomason Goddard, age 96, passed away on September 1, 2016 while vacationing in Guadalajara, Mexico. Helen was born in Stone Mountain, Georgia on February 23, 1920 and is preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herman A. Thomason; brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. James A. Thomason; and also her husband, Mr. Hugh A. Goddard. Mrs. Goddard is survived by her niece, Pamela Thomason Kaveney, and Mrs. Kaveney's only child, Millianne Thomason, of Stone Mountain. From her earliest memories, Mrs. Goddard recalled that she always wanted to be an educator and delighted in playing the role of teacher with her childhood friends. She went on to graduate from Stone Mountain High School in 1936 and then the University of Georgia in 1939 at the age of nineteen. Her first teaching position was in South Carolina until she came home to teach at Stone Mountain High School in 1941. There she taught English, Driver's Education and Social Studies until her retirement in 1986. Mrs. Goddard enjoyed her students' achievements in the classroom and in their individual athletic activities. She returned to teaching as a substitute until the age of seventy-nine when she was diagnosed with a heart condition after spending over a year in Dekalb Medical Center and Emory University Hospital. In spite of her limited mobility, Mrs. Goddard continued her love of learning and teaching for the remainder of her life. She began traveling abroad at the age of ninety-three and took great pleasure in meeting new people, embracing them as her family and their culture as her own. Throughout her lifetime, Mrs. Goddard devoted herself to her family and students. She passed on to her family her love of nature and her faith. At the age of sixteen, she joined the Stone Mountain United Methodist Church and was an active member for eighty years. Her students visited and corresponded with Mrs. Goddard long after their graduation. While in her eighties, the "Old Men of the Mountain" took her to lunch with them every month and she always shared these adventures with her family. For the past three years, she spent her time with new activities including whale watching, sunset celebrations, and visits to botanical gardens. Mrs. Goddard continued to teach her family and friends in her final years just as she had during her lifetime, with love, humor, kindness, patience and faith. Mrs. Goddard will lie in state at the Stone Mountain United Methodist Church on Thursday, September 15, 2016 with visitation from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. to be followed by the funeral service with Pastor Ellen Shepard officiating. Interment will take place at the Stone Mountain Cemetery. Wages and Sons is handling the funeral arrangements.

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  1. Ma Helen, you were the best teacher any student could ask for. You not only taught us but you were our friend. Thank you for 5 wonderful years at Stone Mountain High School. You will be greatly missed in this world. Love you. RIP

  2. Thank you so much for being my History teacher at Stone Mountain High In the 70’s. I remember her always doing something in her yard. I will never forget, one time in class she told me and my boyfriend Doyle Jr. ( if you are going to smoke in my class, then please sit by the window). I had the pleasure to visit her at Rosemont Nursing home in 2010, I have a video on my FB page of our visit and a few pictures, RIP and I will see you again.

  3. She was the best teacher I had when I was at Stone Mountain High School. I believe I had her for social studies and I know had her as my teacher for Driver’s Education. She was the one teacher that was always there for you and willing to help you when you didn’t understand. I remember I never met a student that didn’t live her and being around her. Haven’t seen much of her after I finished high school in 1967, but I kept up with how she was enjoying herself the past view years on Facebook. She will be missed by many of us and a bigger blessing to many if us. She is in a better place now and I pray fir her family during this time. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL ALWAYS.

  4. Mrs. Goddard was my first Stone Mountain friend–a very dear friend through 22 years of teaching together until her retirement and through her Rosemont years. I kept in touch by mail when she was at her brother’s house and sent cards even after she left because I did not know. I loved you when you were a little girl, Pam. I miss my friend.

  5. Ms. Goddard, “Ma”, spoken with such love by all her students and fellow teachers. A wonderful person with a memory I hope I can match at 96. Teaching in the classroom and driver’s ed, picking up those coke bottles for the deposit as they drove around Stone Mountain. I loved her being our Grand Marshal for the Homecoming Parade one year. She was truly loved by all. And let us not forget her skill of ticket seller and taker for many, many years!!! A true Pirate! Love to you Ma, Nita

  6. Ma Goddard was the first teacher I encountered as “the new kid” my junior year at SMHS. This was a woman who, when she said, “I love you!” you knew she meant it. She taught me social studies, although after 31 years I don’t remember the lessons. But I sure do remember the “I love you.” Thank you Ma, God rest your sweet soul.

  7. Ma Goddard was my homeroom teacher and also taught me Social Studies. She was such a wonderful teacher whom everyone adored. R.I.P. Ma. We all Love and Miss You

  8. Ma Goddard was not only my Teacher, my Fathers Teacher and I believe my Mothers Teacher, she was my Great Aunt and I love her wonderful smile and the kind and loving way that she interacted with all her students. Ma, you will be missed greatly. Much love to you.

  9. May you rest in peace Ma Goddard. Having had five children graduate from Stone Mountain we were well acquainted. I’d love to think I could still travel at 96. You were an amazing lady.

  10. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to all the family and friends during this difficult time. You will be greatly missed by all who knew you.

  11. Miss Goddard. From my heart to yours I will never ever forget you. You were the best teacher anyone could ever hope to have. Until we meet again. Good night and sweet dreams in heaven. Randall Brooks class of 75.

  12. My dad, James Greer, really like Ma and since we lived close he loved to tease her. She was such a wonderful human, always kind. You will be missed.

  13. Ma made being at school a wonderful time. Teaching my driving class and letting us drive anywhere in Dekalb County as long as we were back at the school within a certain time. Thank you for being yourself

  14. I had classes with Ma Helen from 1958 to 1961 and my daughter Melissa Robertson and her husband Gerry Hansen had her at the new high school in the mid 1980’s. She was a popular teacher and everyone liked her. Tina Flynn Gunter Class of 1962

  15. Ma Goddard, you will be greatly missed. You were a great teacher and I will always remember you butchering my last name and just calling me “O”. I don’t think you ever learned to pronounce it. R.I.P beautiful lady you are in Gods arms now.

  16. Ma Goddard,
    You were such a treasure. Always kind. I always remember your sack lunch. You taught many us Ashe’s over several decades. Every life you touched was richer. R.I.P
    Genia Ashe -Smith “82

  17. “Ma” Goddard was a great teacher. She taught me social studies in 1978. I have now been a social studies teacher for 22 years. Rest in peace Ma. You will always be remembered with love.

  18. Ma Goddard was subbing in one of my classes in 8th grade and a couple of classes in high school. I really enjoyed her teaching our class even if it was just for one day or two. She was just so inspirational and very special person who will be missed. R.I.P. Ma Goddard. You will be missed.

  19. “Ma”. Is there any better term of endearment? Ms. Goddard was a treasure to so many generations of students and families in Stone Mountain. Few people have made such a positive impact on so many. God bless and rest in peace, Ma.

  20. So glad Ms Goodard had such a long and interesting life. Sounds like she lived life to the fullest. RIP Ms GOodard.
    Mary Dudley (Cannon) Staab

  21. Ms. Goddard touched every person she came in contact with. Ms. Goddard found her calling as a teacher and what a calling it was. Not just her students, but EVERYONE loved her. Of all the angels in heaven God added another angel, Ms. Goddard. She will be missed by so many and she lived quite a long and fulfilling life.

  22. Ms. Goddard made each student she taught in the classroom and also during Driver’s Education feel special. She was a legend in Stone Mountain and will be remembered fondly by all…Rest in Peace.

  23. I have many fond memories of Helen. I taught at smhs 35 years, and she was a dear friend. I’m traveling out of town on a family reunion, so I can’t come to the service, but I will be thinking of her today.

  24. Ms Goddard taught my mother and I in HS. She is an Angel that was sent from heaven and now has returned home. I Love you and will forever miss you.

  25. Class of 75.
    Ms. Goddard you were a hoot!
    My fondest memory of you are the times we had driving around town in Drivers Ed. Rest in Peace Dear Lady.

  26. What a well-loved, kind woman. I feel honored to have been one of her students, and send well wishes to Ms. Goddard’s family.

  27. A wonderful woman/teacher. You inspired many to be their best person. Always kind to me and I knew you us ALL to achieve. You were proud of your students and it was clear that you were sent to make a difference. RIP. THANK YOU

  28. Ma Goddard was one of the best teachers a student could ask for. I never heard one person speak ill of her the whole 5 years I went to SMHS. Heaven has truly gained a special angel. You will be missed. R.I.P.

  29. One of the best teachers, always with good spirits and kind words and a big push to suceed. Rest in peace Ms Goddard.

  30. (Ma) Helen Goddard was what I call a classic, one of a kind. She possessed the ability to win the favor and respect of students as well as staff. She was a teacher at Stone Mtn. High when I came there to teach in 1958.and was there when I left as Principal in 1979. We maintained our friendship and had the opportunity to visit up until she left Rosemont. She was a great lady with a winning smile and one that I never saw angry during all those years. A super person is at rest and loved by many.

  31. Ms Goddard was the best teacher and funny. I always enjoyed her class. She always had something to munch on in class.? She cared about everyone. Ma Goddard will surely be missed by all.
    RIP Ms Goddard

  32. Ma Helen Goddard left all of her students with great memories..She will be missed, but she is in a wonderful place now.. No more pain..
    She taught all of the Beam children, all 8 of us.

    Rest In Peace…..

  33. What an amazing woman who touched the lives of so many of us! She shared so much of her life to educating with love and patience. Thank you and God bless!

  34. Ma Goddard, your smile will stay with us forever. You taught us about life. God now has a new Angel. Some people enter your life and never leave. That’s you. Your spirit will always be around Stone Mountain

  35. She was always thought highly of by our 4 children at Stone Mountain High School. Very respected like we need many more of today.

  36. I remember her for her kind and gentle spirit. She always had a smile on her face that came from her heart. She will be missed.

  37. I can remember Ms.Goddard being one of substitute teachers back in the early 90’s late 80’s. I’m just glad to see you lived a long life and I appreciate everything you did for us. Peace and blessings

  38. I was going through my SMHS yearbook and thought about Ma Goddard, my social studies teacher 1981-82. I remember her saying how she didn’t care to travel too far from Stone Mountain so to read that she started traveling at age 93 blew me away. So inspiring – a reminder that we can keep learning and growing no matter our age. May her memory be for a blessing

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