Joseph Sterling Goddard Jr of Palos Heights passed away peacefully at home on Feb. 17 at age 85.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 30 years, Carol (nee Zetek); his two daughters Laura Goddard Amann (Rob) and Leslie Goddard Allardice (Bruce); as well as his four grandchildren, Lizzie, Caroline, Annie, and Robbie.
Joe worked for the Chicago Sun-Times for 44 years, 27 of them as a sportswriter covering both the Cubs and the White Sox, where he spent countless hours in the press box and on the road with the team, while also befriending fellow writers, along with many baseball players, managers, and owners. His prowess in reporting led him to be a two-time runner-up for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. After his retirement from beat reporting, he produced the newspaper’s Sunday column “What’s Up With’’ allowing him to continue doing what he did best, telling a great story.
Joe was also beloved for covering high school sports for The Doings newspapers in his popular “Time Out With Goddard” column. He wrote over 2,000 columns for more than 44 years, sharing stories of high school athletes sprinkled with his own anecdotes.
His career started when he was in high school and started a baseball league, the Inverness All Stars, at a small field in Inverness—in 2011 the field was named Joe Goddard Field. The naming of that field and his induction into the Hinsdale Central Hall of Fame were two of his proudest achievements.
Besides baseball, Joe also enjoyed studying the Civil War, listening to country music and opera, traveling to New York City, drinking a good Manhattan, watching Fred Astaire movies, and enjoying a bowl of chocolate ice cream with orange sherbet on the side. His skills extended only so far however, as he didn’t know that a car needs to have its oil changed, how to use a hammer, or that you need a passport to go from the U.S. to England (but they speak English!)
His friends ranged from childhood days in Riverside, Illinois, to his Delta Tau Delta fraternity brothers, to his large, extended family. A recent highlight of his was having Jerry Reinsdorf arrange a limo and a box seat for him to enjoy one last in-person White Sox game last summer.
A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, February 23, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Kerry Funeral Home & Cremation Care Center, 7020 W. 127th Street, Palos Heights, Illinois 60463. Private burial following at Bronswood Cemetery in Oak Brook. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.