It’s rare to find a person who has touched so many people’s lives. But that is exactly what Tom Goodson did with so many people in Santa Clara.
Sadly, Tom Goodson passed away on Friday, Jan. 14. As word spread through social media, the comments were all heartfelt and many spoke of how they came to know Goodson or their memories of him.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Goodson was the face of Santa Clara and many people referred to him as “Mr. Santa Clara.” Even if you didn’t know him, chances are very good someone you know had met him or had happy memories of him. That’s a testament to his friendly and outgoing personality.
Asking people for their opinion of him, it was amazing to see how many people knew or had been influenced through something he had done for the community.
“He was the type of person every parent wanted their children to grow up to be like. He cared so much for the community and everyone he met,” explained Jolene. “He was my son’s coach and whenever I’d see him in town, he was always so nice and sweet.”
Goodson’s list of accomplishments and achievements is very long. He was an active volunteer in the City since 1964 and was an active volunteer at Pomeroy Elementary School starting in 1976. Goodson was the Grand Marshall in the Parade of Champions in 1964 and was inducted into the Santa Clara Unified School District’s Hall of Fame in 2011 for all his years of service as a Youth Coach and Community Volunteer.
The term “volunteer” is something that Goodson set a new bar for by being a volunteer for the district for nearly 50 years. The Santa Clara North Little League named a field in Montague Park after him – the “Goodson Field” – to commemorate the fact he coached local Little League teams to 10 Championships which helped him earn the title of Little League Volunteer of the Year for Northern California.
In 2013, Goodson was chosen to light the City’s holiday tree. In 2019, Tom was the honorary Parade Marshall in the return of the Parade of Champions.
Goodson was known for one very memorable quote – “It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice.”