Helen Louise Nelson Goodman
Winston Salem – Mrs. Helen Louise Nelson Goodman, 90, passed away Thursday, February 16, 2023 at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center. Born April 5, 1932 in Allegan County, Michigan she was a daughter of the late Venzel Nelson and Lillie Doster Nelson.
A funeral service to celebrate the life of Helen will be 11 AM Friday, February 24, 2023 by the graveside of Olive Branch Baptist Church Cemetery, 8902 Hwy 218,Marshville, NC 28103. The family will receive friends following by the grave. If you would like to pay your respects, Mrs. Helen will be opening for viewing on Thursday between 12:30 – 3:30 at Morgan & Son Funeral Home. The family will not be present.
Helen Louise Nelson Goodman was born in Kalamazoo County, Michigan on April 5, 1932. She graduated in 1950 from Otsego High School as the salutatorian of her class. She then entered Sparrow Hospital School of Nursing in Lansing, Michigan. She graduated in 1953 and received her RN License; years later she attended UNC Charlotte and earned her BS degree.
Her love of travel led her to apply for a nursing position at Arabian American Oil Company in Saudi Arabia. There, Helen met her future husband, Earl Goodman, a North Carolina native. They were married on December 20, 1958 at her parents’ home in Otsego, MI. They lived and worked in several states for eight years before finally making their home with their children in the communities of Olive Branch and Polkton, NC. They had five children: Wanda, Ronnie, Donald, Emma, and Patricia. Helen, Earl, and the family were members of Olive Branch Baptist Church and later Polkton Baptist Church.
Helen worked as a nurse for over 40 years. Though working in many different positions as a nurse, the delivery room was her most treasured. Simultaneously throughout her nursing career, Helen was passionate about writing. She wrote poetry and short stories; however, upon her retirement, she started a second career officially as a writer and was involved with several writers’ clubs. She wrote one historical novel, Jess, set in 1800s Michigan. A signed copy of Jess is on permanent display at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing. She then turned to writing mystery books. Helen’s first mystery, Murder in Eden, was a finalist for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards. She went on to write and publish seven more mysteries. Helen was a founding member of the Anson County Writers’ Club and its president for some years. She and several club members collaborated on writing a script for “Sneedsborough, A Ripple in the River” an outdoor drama about the founding of Anson County. Knowing the state of North Carolina had funds available to promote cultural events in rural counties, Helen petitioned the state for money to build an outdoor amphitheater to perform the play. Members of the club voted to name it “The Helen Goodman Amphitheatre” on the campus of South Piedmont Community College (then called Anson Tech). After leaving Anson County in 1998, Helen moved to Winston-Salem, continuing her passion for writing.
During her lifetime she toured every state in the contiguous U.S. as well as parts of Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Middle East. Helen lived a life of service and volunteerism and regularly gave to charities dear to her heart. She was a voracious reader since a young child and had collected all, but one, of the books written by Agatha Christie - her favorite author.
She will be buried next to her husband, Earl, and their son, Ronnie, who preceded her in death.
Those left to cherish her memory include daughters, Wanda Griffin (Doug), Emma Goodman Cavanaugh (Steve) and Patty Goodman; son, Donald Goodman (Karen); grandchildren, Missy Griffin, Kristy Morency (Danny), Crystal Baker (Adam), Donna Jo Parker (Ryan), Tiffany Goodman, Sarah Taylor, Beth Taylor and Robert Taylor (Izzy); great grandchildren, Jonathan Witmore, Makayla Witmore, Heith Parker and Ava Parker, Tristan Goodman, Jack Roberts, Alexis Penegar and Ashley Penegar.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials made to Polkton Baptist Church, 305 Polk Street, Polkton, NC 28135, Olive Branch Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 8804 NC-218, Marshville, NC 28103 or Meals on Wheels of Senior Services, 2895 Shorefair Drive NW, Winston Salem, NC 27105.
Morgan & Son Funeral Home is serving the family of Mrs. Goodman.