Site Dedication - Obituary for Dr. Ronald Godby
Obituary for
Dr. Ronald Godby

Published: Sunday, May 25, 1997
Hampton (VA)
Daily Press

By MICHELLE E. VAUGHTER
Daily Press

RONALD GODBY, NN DENTIST, SUPPORTED OPERATION SMILE

Dr. Ronald E. Godby, a Newport News dentist who completed eight missions with Operation Smile, died Friday. He was 55.

Dr. Godby described a two-week trip to the Philippines to the Daily Press in 1988 and told of a boy whose face was grossly disfigured by a cleft palate and harelip.

"After we selected 160 children for the operation out of several thousand applicants, the boy still came each day to the hospital. We didn't know his name but we couldn't forget those eyes so filled with hope.

"On the last day, we saw him as we went into the hospital. Team members decided right then that we'd do everything possible to help the little fellow before we left," Dr. Godby said. The team provided treatment for the boy just hours before their stay in the Philippines was completed.

Dr. Godby found these missions rewarding. "We receive much more than we have given. The love is there," he said. "We're blessed with having talents we can share. I don't think there is a person in the world who wouldn't want to put a smile on the face of little children."

Dr. Godby was active in the Boy Scouts of America from the age of 8 until his death. He became an Eagle Scout as a youth and as an adult was president of the local Boy Scout Council.

Scouting honors included the Silver Beaver, the highest honor a Boy Scout council can bestow on a volunteer; the Silver Antelope; and the Distinguished Eagle, one of the highest in scouting. He was also a Vigil Honor member in the Order of the Arrow.

Richard Russell, his neighbor and close friend for 11 years, said Dr. Godby was devoted to his family and others. "Doing for others and loving his family was what he did. He was just a great friend and father. Not only will we miss him, but the community will miss him. I know his family will, and I will, too. It's just a great loss," said Russell.

Dr. Godby enjoyed such hobbies as woodworking, jewelry making, gunsmithing and photography. "He was very talented and was a tremendous photographer. He did things in his workshop and made beautiful cabinets," said Russell.

He was a member of the James River Photography Club, Photographic Society of America (PSA), receiving numerous awards from Harborfest Photoquest, Daily Press/Times Herald Shutterbug Sweepstakes, Kodak "KINSA" International Newspaper Snapshot, Mid-Atlantic Wildfowl Festival, and Hampton Wildlife Festival, to name a few.

Other awards range from the Hampton Roads Jaycees' Distinguished Service Award for contributions to the Boy Scouts, the Young Men's Christian Association, the Girl Scouts and the Kiwanis, including organizing the Circle K Club at Thomas Nelson Community College.

Judy Fish said her husband, Bill, was Godby's childhood friend in Troop No. 8 in Huntington, W.Va. They grew up together and remained friends all through the years, and he was like a brother to her husband.

"My children all call him Uncle Ron,'' Judy Fish said. ``He was the most wonderful person we've ever had the experience of knowing. Scouting was number two in this life behind his family. He was involved on a national and regional level. It really leaves a big hole in your heart. He was just that type of guy.''

Dr. Godby was named to a fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry and was a fellow of the American Dental Association.

He also belonged to the Academy of General Dentistry, the Pierre Fauchard Academy, the Virginia Dental Association, the International College of Dentists and the American College of Dentists.

He was past president of the Virginia Living Museum, the Peninsula Dental Society and the Mercury 64 Kiwanis Club.

The West Virginia native received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from West Virginia University, graduating cum laude from West Virginia School of Dentistry in 1968. A Peninsula resident since 1968, he owned and operated Dr. Godby and Associates.

Dr. Godby was a member and Elder of Yorkminster Presbyterian Church.

Survivors include his wife, Martha A. Godby; his daughter, Leslie G. Martell, and her husband, Gregory, of Mooresville, N.C.; his son, Jeffrey E. Godby, and his wife, Stacy, of Columbia, S.C.; his mother, Naomi M. Godby of Warrenton; his sister, Sue G. McKeague of Northern Virginia; and his brother, John M. Godby of Sterling.

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Yorkminster Presbyterian Church by Dr. John D. Sadler. Following the memorial service, the family will receive friends at the church until 8:30 p.m. At other times, the family will be at the residence.

Memorial donations may be made to the Colonial Council, Boy Scouts, 11725 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News 23601; or to Operation Smile, 52 Post Street, Newport News 23601.

Peninsula Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
This web site is dedicated to the memory of E. Bailey Tudder, longtime Kecoughtan Lodge Advisor, and Dr. Ron Godby, former 463 Arrowman and co-author of the most comprehensive reference on Lodge 463 emblem issues.

The Kecoughtan Lodge 463 Emblems web site was created by Glenn Chase on an Apple Macintosh with absolutely zero Microsoft products. All images presented are protected with a digital watermark, and are the exclusive property of Glenn Chase, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage of these images is allowed without prior consent. Please send corrections/additions/suggestions to .

This page was last updated on: Jul 30, 2009, 03:46 AM

The Scout Patch Collector's Base Camp

This web site is dedicated to the memory of E. Bailey Tudder, longtime Kecoughtan Lodge Advisor, and Dr. Ron Godby, former 463 Arrowman and co-author of the most comprehensive reference on Lodge 463 emblem issues.

The Kecoughtan Lodge 463 Emblems web site was created by Glenn Chase on an Apple Macintosh with absolutely zero Microsoft products. All images presented are protected with a digital watermark, and are the exclusive property of Glenn Chase, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage of these images is allowed without prior consent. Please send corrections/additions/suggestions to .

This page was last updated on: Jul 30, 2009, 03:46 AM

The Scout Patch Collector's Base Camp

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