- NW Foundation
By Natalie Ehrhardt, Communications Specialist
Everyone in the John B. Goodwin family remembers their time at Northwest Mississippi Community College as “happy days.” For each, an educational pathway toward a successful career started at Northwest. To show their gratitude, the Goodwin Family Endowed Scholarship has been established by the family through the Northwest Foundation.
John B. Goodwin, Sr., a 1951 graduate of Northwest, passed away in 1991. He regarded his years as a student at the college as “happy days.” Considered a popular member of the student body, he earned accolades and was cheered on by fans as he led the Ranger football team to many victories as quarterback. He also enjoyed playing for the college’s baseball team.
He went on to enroll at the University of Mississippi before being drafted into the U.S. Army, where he was selected to be part of the first U.S. Army surface-to-air missile training unit, based in Detroit. After his discharge, Goodwin was employed in managerial positions at several corporations in Memphis and Oklahoma City. When the opportunity arose for him to become a partner in the family farming business, he enthusiastically jumped in.
The pinnacle of Goodwin’s career was his successful cattle farm in Como, where he improved the land and increased the value of his stock. In 1992, he was posthumously awarded the Cattle Producer of the Year Award by the Tate County Cattlemen’s Association. His loved ones remember him as a happy, always loving man who expressed gratitude for his blessings often and openly.
During the ‘70s, four members of the Goodwin family attended what was then Northwest Mississippi Junior College, including Marie Goodwin Coleman, Nancie Goodwin DeCourcy, Janet Goodwin Clark, and Johnny B. Goodwin, Jr.
Marie Goodwin Coleman, wife of John Goodwin, Sr., graduated from Sardis High School in 1953, and decided in favor of marrying her handsome beau rather than heading off to college with friends. However, 15 years later, she became a student along with being a wife and mother.
She felt at home in the classroom setting, and with an ambition to become a teacher, she took pleasure in making good grades. During her time at Northwest, she was inducted into the national Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges listing. She went on to graduate from Ole Miss, and later earned a master’s degree in English.
Coleman became an English teacher at Senatobia High School in 1970, and also served on the boards of Baddour Center and Sycamore Arts Council. After retirement, she remained a proud Senatobian, remarried to John R. Coleman and enjoyed an expanding family.
Nancie Goodwin DeCourcy held an interest in the medical field from an early age. Upon enrolling at Northwest, she took several science courses before settling on the goal of earning a degree in medical records administration. The degree she ultimately obtained through the University of Mississippi Medical Center has allowed DeCourcy to secure various managing, consulting and auditing positions within the field over the years. Now semi-retired, she works part-time for a Texas hospital system.
Reflecting on her Northwest days, DeCourcy recalls “happy days” as a member of the former performance group Dozen Plus Three and the Ranger cheerleading squad. Most of all, she treasures the friendships formed in Taylor Hall and Bobo Hall. She and husband George reside in Dallas, Texas, and enjoy spending time with their two adult children, Mark and Melissa, who live nearby.
Janet Goodwin Clark felt called to work in dentistry since she was a child, taking note of how friendly and happy the office staff at her dentist’s office seemed to be. The first step in her journey toward a career as a dental hygienist was attending Northwest to gain the necessary foundation for entrance into the University of Mississippi’s dental hygiene program in Jackson.
“Each of my instructors was encouraging and helped me to reach my goal of being accepted into the program,” Clark said.
At Northwest, she enjoyed performing with the Rangerettes and making lifelong friends. She recently retired after a successful 40-year career in dental hygiene in Senatobia. She and husband Johnny have two adult children, Julie and Dan.
Johnny B. Goodwin, Jr., like many young adults graduating from high school, considered his future, but had no definitive plans. Northwest presented an ideal choice for continuing his education with an academic scholarship available to him. During his time at Northwest, he enjoyed making new friends, attending sporting events and participating in the Engineering Club.
His initial plans were to become an architect, but later shifted to computer science after taking software programming classes at the college. He went on to attend Ole Miss, where he built on his education and class credits from Northwest to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science. His career in the technology field has included working for two tech startups, FileNet and Venetica. He currently works as a member of IBM’s Mergers and Acquisitions team.
Goodwin and his wife Ann reside in Charlotte, North Carolina, and have three adult children, Paige, Brad and AnnMarie.
The Goodwin family is passionate in expressing that Northwest has been good to them and good for their family, providing them with many “happy days” and memories.