1917 – 2015

NORWAY — Elinor Goodwin, 97, of Norway passed away Sunday, Nov. 8, at her residence.

Elinor was born Nov. 27, 1917, in Oxford, to Joseph Robinson and Elsie Watt Robinson. She grew up riding horses through Oxford’s hills, swimming in the waters of Lake Thompson and reading on the floor of Oxford’s library.

She attended Oxford schools, and later finished her secondary education at Abbott Academy in Andover, Mass.

Her early interest in books and reading inspired her to choose library sciences as her course of study at Simmons College in Boston, from which she graduated in 1940. She pursued a career as a librarian, finding employment at libraries in Lexington, Mass., and Amherst, Mass., but the beginning of America’s efforts in World War II caused her to seek a way to contribute more directly to that national effort. She decided to become a nurse.

In 1944, she entered the Columbia University Presbyterian Hospital nursing program in New York City. She quickly achieved registered nurse status, then rose to become head nurse on the war-depleted Ear, Nose and Throat ward of Columbia Presbyterian.


While there, her brother, John Robinson, brought a young Navy man from “back home” to call — Robert Goodwin of Norway. Before long, they were married and settled in Norway to begin over 50 years of married life, raising three children.

There she began a life of constant motion and dedication to service. She was leader for the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and also served as Girl Scout camp nurse.

She was a Head Start nurse, and volunteered at Stephens Memorial Hospital, acting as president of the Women’s Auxiliary. She was active in the local American Red Cross and spent countless hours during the Vietnam War making liaison efforts between families and service men.

She was a worthy matron of the Order of the Eastern Star, and worked as secretary of over 30 years. She was active in the Norway Universalist Church, and the Norway Country Club Ladies Association. She was a pretty good putter on the greens of the Norway golf course, too.

Her greatest devotion, though, was to the Stephens Memorial Hospital thrift shop, serving as CEO and chief sorter and folder. She gave countless hours and boundless energy to the thrift shop and valued the camaraderie of her co-workers there as highly as their successful charitable efforts.

She had an active “retirement,” closely following her Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics, enjoying lunches on the porch of the Norway Country Club, watching youth sports in which her great-grandchildren were involved, tooling around town in her PT Cruiser, and tending to her peonies. Most of all, she delighted in the company of her devoted caregiving friends.

Besides her husband, she is predeceased by her cherished brother, John Robinson of Oxford.

She is survived by her beloved sister, Christine Likins of Marblehead, Mass.; sister and brother-in-law, Janet and Win Carrick of Austin, Texas; son, Stuart Goodwin and his wife, Patricia Goodwin, of Norway; daughter, Alice Goodwin of Norway; and son, Philip Goodwin of New York, N.Y.

Condolences can be expressed to the family at www.oxfordhillsfuneralservices.com.

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