Youthful memories of my best friend’s dad, Millard Godfrey

By Lynn R. Mitchell

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. Godfrey, the father of Karen Godfrey (now Monger) — my best friend from 5th grade into high school.

My family moved to Bon Air when I was eleven, a stranger in a new area of Chesterfield County. Even though we had only moved from one area of the county about 20 miles to Bon Air, we may as well have moved 500 miles away because I couldn’t see my old friends anymore. As the horribly shy introvert that I was, it was very difficult to walk into a classroom at Bon Air Elementary School filled with new faces staring at me, the new girl, moving mid-year to the Richmond suburb of Bon Air.

Karen took me in, became my friend, and included me with her friends and her family. We lived about a mile apart — Bon Air Baptist Church, where we both were active, was halfway between our houses — and so we would often meet on the playground, two teens on the seesaw talking about life. She helped fill a void for a lonely girl. Other times we would be at her house or mine. We took guitar lessons together at the Bon Air Community Center, then sat on the back porch at her house playing and singing songs from church and songs popular at the time.

I spent many days and nights at the Godfreys’ house. I can still see Mr. Millard, as we affectionately called him, sitting on the sofa in the den at their house, patiently dealing with two teenage girls who were playing music too loudly or dancing in the hallway or being rambunctious or teasing Karen’s younger sister Judy. I’m sure I helped put some of those gray hairs on his head.

Most of the time he was in his garage working on clocks … a quiet, thoughtful man outnumbered, much like my dad, by the women in his house. Ah, memories. And so another of the greatest generation passes. Thinking of you, Karen Monger.

Obituary for Millard Henry Godfrey
GODFREY, Millard Henry, of Bon Air, passed away September 22, 2014, at age 89. He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Kitty; his parents, Ralph and Page Godfrey; and a brother, Ralph L. Godfrey. He is survived by his daughters, Karen Godfrey Monger (Jerry) and Judy Godfrey Cahoon.

He was the adored PaPa of grandchildren, Eric Keith Monger, Laura Page Cahoon and Cody James Cahoon. His surviving siblings include, Phyllis G. Wright, Donald W. Godfrey and Edna St. John.

He served in the U.S. Army in World War II and has been a Mason since 1946, currently with the Black Heath Lodge #1982. He was a charter member of Bon Air Baptist Church.

He touched many lives through his kind and generous acts. He fixed many watches and clocks for others, and enjoyed hundreds of yard sales annually.

The family will receive friends 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday with a Masonic service at 7 p.m. at Bliley’s-Chippenham, 6900 Hull Street Rd., where a funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Friday. Interment Dale Memorial Park, with a reception to follow at Bon Air Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Masonic Home of Virginia, P.O. Box 7866, Henrico, Va. 23231 or Breath Matters Support Group, 11520 Edenberry Dr., Richmond, Va. 23236.

His girls wish to thank his numerous nieces, nephews, “adopted daughters,” many nurses and friends for their kindness and love throughout this journey.

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