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Thomas Cyril Godwin

November 24, 2021 | 4 comments

Thomas Cyril Godwin, age 76, of Onalaska, WI passed away peacefully on November 20, 2021 at Mayo Hospital in La Crosse, WI.
He was born on January 5, 1945 to Cyril and Florence “Jean” Godwin. Tom fought Heart Disease for over 40 years, having his first triple bypass surgery at only 36 years old.
Tom is survived by his wife, Kathy. Two children: Jennifer (Bart) of Trempealeau, Tom (Jamie) of Okemos, MI and a bonus son James (Becky) of Knoxville, TN. Five grandchildren: Mandi (David) of Sparta, Amber (Isiah) of Trempealeau, Laura (Andrew) of Beaver Dam, Miranda of Sparta and Olivia of Okemos, MI. Great grandchildren: Noah of Sparta; Grace, Oliver and Samuel of Beaver Dam; and Cora of Trempealeau. His sister Cyrilla of Orlando, FL and brother Mark, (Juanell) of Port St Lucie, FL, his brother- in- law’s David (Debbie) of Onalaska, and Steve of DeSoto. And many other family and friends.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents Cyril and Florence “Jean” Godwin, his first wife of over 50 years Karen, brother Dennis, sister in law Carol and son in law Randy.
Tom was a career military man. He proudly served as a Master Sargent in the U.S. Air Force specializing in aircraft hydraulics. After retirement from the service he was an entrepreneur and jack of all trades. A few of his proudest accomplishments were becoming a movie star and a published author.
Tom had a great love affair with his first wife Karen for over 50 years. He was a larger than life figure in his children’s and grandchildrens’ lives. He surrounded them with love and tales of adventure. Always willing to jump in and play the action hero and save the day when needed. He would gracefully accept repayment of hugs and cookies.
Tom enjoyed watching when the Vikings beat the Packers while wearing his Viking horns. He had an avid love of traveling, cars, good music and movies, as well as talking with family and friends daily. He was fond of going out to eat and getting ice cream.
Tom had and eclectic sense of humor and always had a joke to share. His laugh was contagious and could warm a room. He will be missed as he loved, which was beyond measure.
The love of his family and friends was foremost in his heart. He loved to play the lottery often, hoping for the big win.
Kathy knew and loved him as family for over 50 years. When Karen passed away in 2019 they helped each other get through that great loss. When Covid came, they saw fewer people and they started having dinner and movies nights together. Kathy’s first husband, Gerry, was in a nursing home and she could only visit with him talking through the window from outside for over a year. When Gerry passed away in the spring, Tom and Kathy grew closer together in grief and love for each other.
With Tom’s health issues they decided to start their own adventure sooner rather than later and got married in July of this year. They felt blessed with everyday they had together making plans for travels and looking forward to spending time with family and friends. She will cherish the love he gave her during their short time together.

God hath not promised
Skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways
All our lives through;
Sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow
Peace without pain.
But God hath promised
Strength for the day
Rest for the labor,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love.

The family would like to thank Tom’s Mayo Clinic Rochester team for his most recent surgery that gave us more time with him. Dr. Dennis Ohlrogge his primary care doctor. His cardiologist, Dr. Charles Cagin (his plumber) and Dr. Freddie Del-Carpio Munoz (his electrician). They took excellent care of Tom and he called them friends.
Thank you to all the Mayo Clinic Health System staff, especially everyone at the Holmen Clinic where they knew him well and, believe us, we know he could be a handful.
Thank you also to the staff of the Coulee Region Cremation Group and Pastor Jeff Thomson for gathering us in and helping us through some of our hardest days.
Per Tom’s wishes the family will be having a private service and burial. Condolences can be sent to the home of Tom Godwin and Kathy Edwards, 616 8th Ave N Onalaska, WI 54650.

When you think of Tom, honor his memory with a random act of kindness and share a joke or two. This will keep his spirit alive in all of us.

What kind of shoes does a frog wear?
” Open toad”



  1. Mary Jones

    I don’t know your father at all but wish I did. I so enjoyed reading about his life. Your family is blessed to have his spirit alive through your precious memories of him. My condolences on your loss. .

  2. April Gill

    His obit sounds like he was a great guy to have as a friend. Sorry for the loss of him Tom and Jamie.
    April and Ron

  3. Don Jernigan (aka “Fuzzy”

    Tom & I spent 2 1/2 years as roommates at Lincoln AFB in Nebraska. We worked out of the hydraulic shop, tip a few when it was to nasty to go m/c riding or just because it was Saturday. He took me up to Rome, NY to visit his family at the AFB there and we scraped our Penny’s together and went to the Worlds Fair in 64 in NY.We lost contact with one another until sometime in 87 When I flew to Eu Clare where he and Karen lived and visited when I wasn’t on duty showing the big transport jet off. I never saw him again after that. We had good times and I’m sure he will be missed.

  4. Tom Lawson

    Dear Kathy, Jenny, Tom and families: I am very sorry for your loss. It is never easy to say goodby to our loved ones so full of life!
    Tom and I first met in 1972 at R.A.F. Upper Heyford, England, where we both were assigned to the Hydraulic Shop. We became very good friends, and that friendship has lasted nearly 50 years. We enjoyed many visits together, here in Sheridan, WY. and there in Holman, WI. I really enjoyed the phone calls, cards and letters, e-mails and TXTs. It was always great to have Tom on the phone for a visit! I will miss those visits!
    I last TXT I had from Tom was on the 18th of Nov., letting me know, with thanks, that he had received his Veteran’s Day card. Tom was a very special friend, and I will miss him greatly! May he rest in peace!


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