In Loving Memory

William Atwood Goodson

William Atwood Goodson

November 3rd, 1923 - October 7th, 2019


Tuesday, October 15th, 2019   10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Charter Funerals,
5000 Blue Ridge Cutoff,
Kansas City Missouri 64133


Tuesday, October 15th, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Charter Funerals,
5000 Blue Ridge Cutoff,
Kansas City Missouri 64133


Tuesday, October 15th, 2019 at 1:15 PM

Floral Hills Memorial Gardens,
7000 Blue Ridge Boulevard,
Raytown MO 64133


William Atwood Goodson (Bill) was born on November 3, 1923 to Lewis and Ethel M. (Brown) Goodson on the family farm in Carroll County Missouri. He was named for the doctor who delivered him, Dr. William Goodson Atwood, of Carrollton, Missouri. The Goodson family had had a long history of service to the country dating back to the Revolutionary War.

The Goodson family gave a lot to the war effort during WWII, sending four of their boys to serve in the military. ( US Marine Corp, the US Navy and the US Army. )

Bill joined the Navy prior to World War II, at the age of 17. His first exposure to the war was escorting convoys across the north Atlantic, prior to the US officially entering the war. On October 31, 1941 Bill was in Iceland when the Reuben James (DD245), the first US Navy ship was sunk by hostile action. Bill’s ship, the Sterett (DD407) was dispatched to try to locate the enemy sub.

During one of the North Atlantic escort missions prior to the us entering the war, the Sterett was dispatched to Scapa flow, Scotland where a group of British officers came aboard and the Sterett was renamed HMS Belfast. Bill’s ship then escorted the USS Wasp (CV-7) aircraft carrier to Malta where it delivered its cargo of spitfire aircraft.

The Sterett was moved to the Pacific where it was involved in the battle of Guadalcanal. On the night of November 12-13, 1942, the Sterett along with a number of other US Navy ships engaged a far superior force of Japanese ships. The Sterett was the third ship in a line of US Navy ships that engaged the enemy. The first two ships were sunk. The Sterett managed to deliver devastating fire on a Japanese battle ship, aided in the sinking of an enemy cruiser and was credited with sinking an enemy destroyer before it could return fire. The morning after the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal Bill was reading a semaphore signal being sent by the Juneau (CL-52) to another ship when the Juneau was struck by an enemy torpedo and disappeared in a puff of smoke.

The Sterett was severely damaged in the battle and she lost a significant portion of her crew. For her action the ship and crew received the Presidential unit citation.

The events of November 12-13, 1942 had a marked impression on Bill. He felt the everyday after that was a blessing.

After the war, Bill married Alyce M. Lyons on January 4, 1946. They had one son, William D. Goodson. Bill re-enlisted in the Navy and made his career there for 22 years. From 1940 to 1954 much of Bills time was spent in sea duty. After 1954 Bill’s fortunes in the Navy changed and he received several shore duty assignments. His 22 years in the Navy took him to ports in cities around the globe, seeing first hand many things and places most people only know from books.

His best assignment was diplomatic service attached to the American Embassy in Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) from 1957 to 196, where the family made many unforgettable memories. Bill’s time in Sri Lanka was a second life altering experience.

Upon retirement from the Navy in 1962, Bill settled near his family in Independence, MO and had a second career with the KC Gas Service Company for another 20 years.

The Goodson Family has a long history in America. Early family members migrated from Kentucky to help settle Carroll county Missouri. At one point the Goodsons had a number of large family farms in the Carroll county area. The Goodson and the Trotter families soon became important to the Carroll county area development.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, and his four brothers, Kenneth Earl (1925), Jack Newten Goodson, (Marine-Killed in action 1944), Lewis Brown Goodson (1978), and Jesse Donald Goodson (1994), and his wife of 57 years, Alyce Marjorie Goodson.

He is survived by his son, William D. Goodson (wife Vici), three grandchildren, A. Scott Goodson (Wife Sasha), Jill M. Morris (Husband Darren), and Kent D. Goodson (Jacquie), and seven great-grandchildren.


  • Thu, Oct 24th, 2019 at 10:24 PM

    Sorry to hear of Bill's passing, he was so good to my mother Marge stockinger. We enjoyed playing hand and foot with him on Sundays after
    dinner. My God bless him and keep him in his care.

    Sue Krysa, Independence,M0

  • Tue, Oct 15th, 2019 at 2:32 PM

    Fair winds and following sea Shipmate, rest well we will now
    carry on the watch.

    Ronald E Burch, KS

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