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Posted on April 6, 2016 | 8:10 a.m.

Erline Dessie Goodell, 1939-2016

Source: Delene Goodell

Erline Dessie Goodell

Beautiful wife, mother and grandmother Erline Dessie Goodell left this world March 30, 2016, after a three-year journey through the complications of multiple strokes. Throughout these years her amazing husband, three children, son and daughter-in-law, and eight grandchildren were by her side holding her hand and keeping the faith that she would recover. 

Erline began her life in Portland, Ore., Oct. 10, 1939, the daughter of Ted and Elizabeth Elkin. Her family moved around quite a bit when she was a child, and her older sister, Joyce, and younger brother, Tom, were a wonderful comfort to her. 

She attended UC Santa Barbara, where she met and fell in love with Dexter Goodell, her beloved husband of 56 years.

She began her lifelong passion for learning with her teaching credential and a job as a third grade teacher. Throughout her life she touched so many lives through education.

She was the director of Head Start, a Sunday school teacher and hospice volunteer and a tutor. During these years she raised her three children: Wendy, Delene and Peter.

She was a constant in their lives, nurturing their childhoods with art, music, camp outs, backyard plays, summer days at the beach and love. 

When her children began to establish their own lives, Erline, the lifelong learner and creative thinker, went back to UCSB as a full time student in the Religious Studies Department, where she earned her second bachelor’s and her master’s.

Erline then kicked off a progressive career with classes on feminist theology, midlife crisis and menopause, discussion forums called Midlife Zest, comparative mysticisms and the Gospel of Judas, and she also led a Santa Barbara City College adult education class on The Da Vinci Code.

She then started writing poetry and published three collections and one book on her travels to mystical places in Europe.

Erline had so many gifts. She loved each of her family members without hesitation, judgment or question. She took the time to fully understand each of her grandchildren’s individuality. 

Dexter offered her a life of adventure and love. They traveled the world seeking out ancient and mystical sites, with Erline setting the course and Dexter navigating.

Erline’s memory lives on through her husband, Dexter; their children, Wendy (Bruce), Delene, and Peter (Laura); and her eight grandchildren, Tanner, Austin, Erin, Parker, Elise, Allison, Travis and Ames.

“I’ve had all a woman could dream for
Loyalty, love, abundance and more,
Dream of me if you wish, but grieve not
Celebrate me with a hug and a kiss” — EDG

Donations in Erline’s memory can be made to Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation or Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care’s Serenity House.

A celebration of Erline’s life will take place at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 2.


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