Henry H. “Hank” Godwin

Henry H. “Hank” Godwin

Henry H. “Hank” Godwin

Cedar Rapids

Henry H. “Hank” Godwin, 99, balloon and beach ball enthusiast, ascended to Heaven on Feb. 5, 2023, at Cottage Grove Place. A private visitation for family and relatives will be held Feb. 26, 2023, at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home. Visitation will take place at 11:30 a.m. and burial will follow at 12:30 p.m. with military honors. All are welcome for his Celebration of Life at the Flamingo, located at 1211 Ellis Blvd., from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023.

Hank was born Oct. 16, 1923, in Washington, Iowa, to Isabell and Harold Godwin. He graduated from Washington High School, Class of 1942. Being from the

Greatest Generation, he served in the Army Airforce during WWII. He attained the rank of Staff Sargent and

trained as a gunner/flight engineer in heavy bombers. He was proud to have been a chauffeur to the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands while he was in San Francisco for the formation

of the United Nations. He went on the Honor Flight in April 2019, being the sole soldier from WWII with his son, Marshall, a Vietnam Veteran.

Hank married Catherine Mottet in Washington, Iowa, on Oct. 13, 1945. They celebrated 64 years together before her passing in June of 2010. He went to work at Cargill in 1946 in Washington but took a transfer to Cedar Rapids in 1953 at the Westside Cargill bean plant. He worked there as a foreman until retiring in 1988.

After retirement, Hank began his stint with The Godwin Family Restaurants and became the “fixing everything boss.” He fulfilled his mastership of letting us know “how it’s done,” in 2020 as the pandemic struck and he was ordered to stay home and watch his game shows.

Hank was a prankster. If you went to Balloon Glow at Brucemore and saw beach balls sailing through the air, that was Hank’s doing. If you ever attended a Saturday C.R. Kernels game and saw balloons swatted through the air, it was Hank’s doing. He also liked to put one-dollar coin pieces into the balloons just to surprise the kids!

Dad was proud that he lived in the same house from 1953 until 2022 and continued to drive until moving to Cottage Grove Place in October 2022. Dad and Mom were parishioners of St. Matthew Catholic Church. Both were involved in bingo, after-Mass coffee and donuts, and donating to the playground equipment the kids still use today. Mom and Dad provided Thanksgiving dinner for the Mottet side of the family since 1953. We still do this for all our cousins’ families at the Flamingo with prizes and balloons. He was the last to go of the uncles and we have around 120 attend each year!

Survivors include his children whom he referred to as “models,” Ron 1946 model, Dennis (Rick) 1947, Marshall 1949, Deborah 1951, Laurie Erlacher 1952, Brian (Mary) 1957, Amy (Jeff Pick) 1959, and Mark 1953 model. There are also 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren left to cherish him. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Florence and Edith; daughter, Deborah; daughters-in-law, Mary Ann, Linda and Ida Barker; and son-in-law, John Erlacher.

We appreciate the staff at Cottage Grove Place while he was there.

Memorials may be directed to St. Matthew Capital Campaign, Brucemore, or the Honor Flight for vets. Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under Obituaries.

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