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The Dash Between: Paul Goode was more than just a father

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Paul Goode started taking his kids fishing at a young age, helped them earn scouting badges and coached their baseball and softball teams.

As his sons got older, he became their hunting buddy and confidant.

“He was always more than my dad,” his son Gordon said. “He was like my best friend. We hunted, we fished, we camped. He treated us like equals sometimes. He always viewed us as his friends and not (as) his kids.”

The North Ridgeville auto mechanic, who died of complications from cancer May 11, 2011, at age 58, also looked out for his kids’ friends and teammates.

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“He was our softball coach for many years and base coach or the head coach of the T-ball team,” his daughter Sarah said. “He made sure that everybody got to play. If you were an outfielder, he would bring you into the infield so you got to play there. He was definitely a team player when it came to sports.”

Paul also acted as an umpire, helped at the concession stand and served as president of the North Ridgeville City Baseball League. In 1995, he received the “Mr. Baseball” award for his service to the league.

The Dash Between: About this feature

The dates of birth and death that appear like bookends on a tombstone do not matter as much as the dash between those dates.

Award-winning writer Alana Baranick has made her living writing about the dash between. She’s focusing on Lorain and Medina counties and those who have made our area the unique and interesting place it is. Look for her stories on alternating Sundays and visit www.chroniclet.com to find additional photographs.

The Dash Between is scheduled to appear twice a month in The Chronicle-Telegram. To suggest a story or make a comment, contact Baranick at abaranick@chroniclet.com or (440) 731-8340.

Today, Alana Baranick examines the Dash Between October 23, 1952, when Paul Eugene Goode was born in Berea, and May 11, 2011, when the North Ridgeville mechanic and father of four died at age 58.

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Paul Eugene Goode was born October 23, 1952, in Berea to Paul Edward and Greta Goode. Paul’s father, who called his son “Eugene,” worked for a meat-packer Cleveland while his four children – Paul, Danny, George and Bonnie Frisch - were growing up.

The family lived in North Ridgeville since Paul was 5 years old.

“I met Paul on my first day of school at Wilcox Elementary,” his friend Charlie Gatian said. “I believe his parents decided to hold him back a year, so I never really got to synch up with him again until we were in (the North Ridgeville High School marching) band together.

“We had such great times, since we both played trumpet. I always teased him that he had the only trumpet with a fuzz pedal, since his tone wasn’t quite as crisp as many would want.”

Paul ended up marrying another bandmate, Diana Baker, eight years after he graduated in 1972.

Diana, who graduated in 1973, said, ““I went away to college. He was dating a friend of mine at the time.”

When Diana returned to home from college, Paul, who by then was working as a mechanic, saw her going into a convenience store and asked her out. She declined to date him at first, but eventually agreed to go out with him as friends. They learned they had common interests and liked doing the same things.

“One of our first dates was to go fishing,” she said. “We would go to Sandusky Bay at 10 o’clock at night and take one of my sisters with us, fishing ’til morning. We got to be good friends.”

They became husband and wife on Nov. 1, 1980, and went on to raise four children: Megan, Sarah, Gordon and Tim. Paul took the family on annual fishing vacations to the Thousand Islands area of Canada for several years.

“We always had a blast,” his son Gordon said.

When his kids were young, Paul participated as an adult volunteer with their many activities, including sports and 4-H.

When my daughter got involved with 4-H, he got involved with 4-H,” his wife said. “We used to go out to the Lorain County Fair and camp. We always took our vacation that week.”

Paul also volunteered with Cub Scout Troop #153 and Boy Scout Troop #140.

“As luck would have it, our paths crossed again when our sons were in Boy Scouts together,” Gatian said. “You know, that’s one great thing about living in the town you grew up in.”

Paul volunteered to serve as scoutmaster. Gatian assisted.

“He made such a great leader for the boys, because he had such a wealth of knowledge about animals and the great outdoors,” Gatian said. “I always felt that Paul missed his calling in life. He should have become a park ranger, so he could have educated even more people and share his love for the outdoors.”

Gatian recalled Paul’s amazing comfort level during winter campout for scouts.

“I arrived in full winter garb, and Paul was there walking around in a flannel shirt,” Gatian said. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. He wasn’t cold at all, and it had to be 20 degrees outside.”

Paul once took his scouts to his favorite fishing spot in Canada, just to get their fishing badges. He taught them how to clean fish, cook fish and tie knots, and he emphasized, “Always make it cleaner than you found it.”

“We picked up trash on the way back to the truck after we were done fishing,” his son said. “I would have quit scouts, if it weren’t for him. He made everything fun.”

The same held true for hunting – especially hunting waterfowl.

“We used to go fishing quite a bit together,” his father said. “Then he got hold of hunting from his buddies. When his sons got old enough, they jumped into it. The three of them were forever going out, looking for that elusive duck.”

Paul taught his sons, “Never give up on anything. Remember that life’s too short to worry about the little things.”

Contact Alana Baranick at (440) 731-8340 or abaranick@chroniclet.com.

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