AUBURN — Gerald ‘Gerry’ Almon Goding, 63, of Auburn was called to heaven early in the morning on Saturday, Jan. 22 while asleep in his “Poppy chair.”

He was born June 22, 1947, in Lewiston to the late Omar A. Goding and Barbara Gesner Damon Goding. He was raised in Auburn with his half sister, Tena Damon. Educated in Auburn schools, he graduated from Edward Little in 1965. He was married to Ruth Major on July 13, 1968, and together they raised a wonderful son and daughter. They always had room for another person (or six) at the meal table or for a sleepover.

He began working at Morin Brick Company when it was managed by his father and also at his dad’s brick yard in Sidney. After high school, he worked at Smith Garage in Auburn for many years and completed his career as a mechanic in 2008 after working 35 years on the Country Kitchen/F.R. Lepage Bakery fleet of vehicles. He was a tremendous diagnostician and used his creativity fashioning parts to fit and work when the part he needed could not be bought.

He spent many hours teaching others how to repair their own vehicles, working on stock cars or at the races. He especially enjoyed spending time with his family and friends at the cottage on Mirror Pond in Oxford or in the yard at their home. He and Ruth traveled to many different states to be with family or friends for a visit or because someone needed them ‘to be there’ in a time of need or celebration. His favorite trips were to Israel in 1999 and the ‘grandsons week’ at Cooperstown, N.Y. in 2008. He was at Fenway Park for many memorable occasions — among them Yaz’ broken rib, 400th home run and retirement games, clinching the wild card in 2003, and both Ted Williams Day and Carlton Fisk Day, as well as many cherished games with family and friends.

He was an elder at East Auburn Baptist Church. He has touched many lives through his leadership and teaching Sunday school there and previously at both Marston’s Comer Baptist Church and South Auburn Baptist Church. We will not know how many people’s lives were changed by his strong character, stable and quiet demeanor until we see him again in heaven, as he was a prevalent presence everywhere he went. He always had time to listen to or help others.

He loved to attend any activity his beloved grandsons were involved in. He has sat silently watching water-pistol fights, villages being built in the yard at camp, and many of the basketball, football and baseball games played on teams and in the yard. His absence will be felt by many this summer both at camp and at Auburn Suburban fields.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years; his daughter, Carin Lenardis and husband, George; son, Matthew Omar and wife, Cheryl, all of Auburn. “Poppy” will be greatly missed by grandsons, Peter and Christopher Lenardis and Josiah Goding, whom he loved beyond words. He also leaves several cousins; a large extended major family and many ‘adopted’ children and grandchildren from his years of ministry.

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