February 23, 1920 ~ September 1, 2016
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.