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Robert Roy Godwin

February 4, 1932 May 12, 2011
Robert Roy Godwin
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Obituary for Robert Roy Godwin

Robert Roy �Bob� Godwin, a resident of Milford for forty years, died at home on Thursday, May 12, 2011 in the care of his family of complications of pulmonary disease. He was 79 years old. Born on February 4, 1932 in Highland Park, he was the son of John and Neva (McLean) Godwin. He grew up in a nation going to war and in a city that was the �arsenal of democracy,� during World War II. Stories of the First Marine Division�s great battles at Guadalcanal, New Britain, Pelelieu and Okinawa led him to sign up for the Marine Corp Reserves when he graduated from high school in 1949 and soon thereafter he was assigned to the First Marines as the country returned to war in Korea in 1950. A machine gunner in a rifle company, he soon saw action as part of the U.N. forces in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in northeastern Korea, in November and December of 1950, where sixty thousand Chinese troops far outnumbered the �Chosin Few� who nonetheless were able to get free of the encircling Chinese through some of the most difficult combat and miserable winter conditions the Marines ever fought in. While not among the 4400 Marine combat casualties of that engagement, Bob was among more than 7300 of the �frozen Chosin� and spent three months in hospital recovering from frostbite related injuries. His division was awarded Presidential Citations for valor by the governments of the United States and South Korea. Later in his active duty, Corporal Godwin trained troops at Camp Lejeune, NC and in the Caribbean, returning home in 1953 with his honorable discharge. He took up his studies at Highland Park Community College where friends introduced him to Ann Hudson, the love of his life. They were married on May 14, 1954 and settled in northwest Detroit where Bob began his twenty-five years of service with the Detroit Police Department and Ann took care of their growing family. In 1971, they moved out to Milford, to the home on Union Street. Robert Godwin was a spit and polish Marine who lived by the Corps� motto, Semper Fi and his service extended through war time and difficult times in the City of Detroit and, after retirement, to his longtime involvement with Milford Post #216 of the American Legion where he was a faithful member of the Honor Squad providing final details for deceased veterans. Though �once a Marine, always a Marine,� and �tough through and through� as Marines always are, Bob Godwin was a loving husband and father with a deep sense of duty and service to others and an especially tender heart for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His pride in his family shone through when he hung a U.S. Army flag from his house to mark his grandson�s active service to his country. He enjoyed woodworking, building furniture and model airplanes. He was an avid collector of military paraphernalia and a self-taught historian of war and its impact on those who serve. A man of quiet and abiding faith, he was a longtime member of Milford United Methodist Church.
Preceded in death by his son, Randy and a brother, John, he is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Ann, and their children, Cheryl (Larry) Bond, Robert, Rick (Rachel), Lora (Bill) Holcomb, Pamela (Frank) Fisher; grandchildren, Wendy Wise (Gavan) Thomson, Phillip Wise, Rob (Cassie) Godwin, Veronica Godwin, Ryan, Alex and Jordan Kidd, Frank, Audrey and David Fisher; great grandchildren, Lachlan Thomson and Michaela Godwin. Also survived by his brother, Tom (Carolyn), many nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends and fellow veterans who join with his family in mourning the death of an honorable man and giving thanks to God for his life among them.

Funeral Service from Milford United Methodist Church, 1200 Atlantic St., Milford, Monday, May 16 at 11 AM with Rev. Gregg Mayberry officiating. Friends may visit at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 404 E. Liberty, Milford, Sunday 2-9PM. The American Legion will offer a service Sunday evening at 7 PM in honorable recognition of Bob's activity and service with Post 216. Following cremation, he will be laid to rest at Oak Grove Cemetery, Milford. Memorials encouraged to Milford United Methodist Church or American Legion Post 216, Milford. For further information please phone 248-684-6645.

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