Charles W. Goddard


Charles W. Goddard, age 85, of Hamilton, formerly of Manchester-by-the-Sea, died on May 11, surrounded by his family.  Born in Portland, ME in 1937 to Julia and Lawrence Goddard, Charlie graduated from Chevrus High School in 1956 and Boston College in 1960.  Following college, Charlie pursued his law degree at Boston University, and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar and the U.S. Federal District Court of Massachusetts in 1964.

Charlie’s passion for the law continued throughout his nearly 60-year career as a litigator in Boston and on the North Shore.  He was a founding partner in the firm Goddard, Scuteri & Delaney of Salem.  He was a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association Civil Litigation Section Council; Client Fund Board Academy of Trial Attorneys; Judicial Nominating Council and Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Nominations.  At the Essex County Bar Association (ECBA), Charlie was the former Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President, finally serving as President from 1990-1992.

One of Charlie’s proudest achievements was co-founding the Essex Superior Court Pro Bono Conciliation Program. The first conciliation program of its kind in Massachusetts (and only second in the country), the ECBA Probate and Family Court Conciliation Program revolutionized pro bono court-connected alternative dispute resolution.  Charlie was also a highly regarded mediator and arbitrator and his services continued to be sought until the very end of his career.

Outside of work, Charlie had many interests.  He was a voracious reader, history buff, and avid traveler. He loved nothing more than playing in the slightly notorious, weekly, smoke-filled poker games with his card-playing buddies.  He could entertain a crowd with his hilarious, oft repeated (and usually embellished) stories.  Charlie enjoyed playing tennis and paddle tennis, but his true passion was golf.  On any weekend you could find him on the course, with cigar and drink in one hand and golf club in the other.

Charlie was a devoted father to his three daughters: Meredith Stravato of Darien, CT; Kerri Kinch of Hamilton, MA; and Laura Weber of Stowe, VT.  He delighted in epic monopoly games, camping and skiing trips in Maine, and coaching his girls in softball.  He loved to celebrate milestone birthdays with his daughters and sons-in-law Richard Stravato, Chris Kinch and Chris Weber (affectionately known as the Goddard boys) whether playing golf in Ireland or attending the French Open in Paris.

Charlie was active in his community, serving as a Trustee of the Pingree School, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen; and Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Manchester.

He was predeceased by his brother, Richard “Sonny” Conley of Portland, ME.  He is survived by Sheila Goddard, mother of his children; his grandchildren: Alexandra, Abigail, and Henry Stravato; Elizabeth, Alex and Andrew Weber; and Charlie and Teddy Kinch: as well as his many nieces and nephews.  He also leaves behind his longtime companion, Susan Swatling.

Funeral services for Charles were private.  Charlie valiantly battled Parkinson’s Disease for several years. Contributions may be made in his memory to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, P.O. Box 5014 Hagerstown, MD 21741.

goddard, charles w. goddard charles w. goddard, maine, massachusetts, lawrence goddard, law degree, chris weber, hagerstown, abigail, vermont, massachusetts bar association civil litigation section council, laura weber, julia, client fund board academy of trial attorneys, michael j. fox foundation for parkinson