Jennie “Jane” Clayton Goodman “Mamoo”, retired Summerville High School teacher, entered into eternal rest in the early morning hours of July 3, 2023, in her home. Our family’s matriarch went to her heavenly home and is now with her Heavenly Father, parents, siblings, and Jay, her beloved husband, free from the dreadful disease of Alzheimer. She has impacted so many lives in her 94 years on this earth. An inspiration to so many. She is the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman, a true servant, always giving of herself first.
Jennie was born in Ridgeville, South Carolina on March 29, 1929. She is the daughter of the late Middleton Samuel Clayton and Katherine Green Clayton. In 1945, she was a Valedictorian Graduate of Ridgeville High School and upon graduation worked for Southern Bell. Jennie was a 1968 Dean’s List and Magna Cum Laude Graduate from Baptist College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Mathematics. Later in 1972 she earned her Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Administration and Psychology from The Citadel.
Jennie taught two levels of Psychology and the Teacher Cadet Program at Summerville High School and after 23 years retired in 1991. She was named Dorchester County Educator of the year; as well as the Summerville High School Teacher of the Year, as chosen by the student body, three times. Jennie served her students as sponsor of the SAE Club for 14 years and co-sponsor of the INSIGHT Club for 8 years.
Jennie served on the state and national education level as a delegate to their national assemblies. She served in various leadership positions as a delegate to the South Carolina Education Association (SCEA) for 8 years and as a delegate to the National Education Association (NEA) for 2 years. Jennie served as chaplain, vice president, president, and district chair of the Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa (ADK) International Honorary Society for Women Educators.
Mom began her lifelong journey with the Holy Spirit on the first Sunday in December 1956 at 27 ½ years old. She asked God if He would push her to take the first step, she would do the rest and HE did indeed! She “stumbled to the altar and surrendered her heart to the Lord and received salvation. Since that day the Lord became more than her Savior – HE became the Lord of her life and she experienced the abundant life HE promised.”
Her journey took on many pathways where mom wore many hats. First as a wife to a Navy Seaman, her beloved Jay Goodman, who she married in 1947. As Jay was at sea serving his country, Jennie ran the household exhibiting an especially strong work ethic and independence. As a mother of four children, the family moved around where the Navy sent Jay and Jennie’s management skills flourished as dad sailed the seas. All while managing the duties of a mother and wife, she was able to maintain her successful career.
Along with her teaching profession, raising her four children and managing her home while Jay was at sea, Jennie also was a devoted Christian actively involved in church work. As her husband was nearing his retirement from Navy, the family moved back to Charleston, South Carolina where both Jennie and Jay became active members of St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Pierpont. She served as the church Lay Speaker, a choir member, bellringer, Sunday schoolteacher, a smiling Sunday morning greeter, and an active member of the United Methodist Women (UMW) serving as its local president, district officer and annual conference delegate where she wrote the district’s UMW theme song.
Knowing that the church needed to grow and to escape an aging building and congregation, Jennie presented a vision to build a new church. Through her faith and constant prayers for God’s will to be done, a seemingly impossible task, was finally a reality with the completion of a new church in 1992. Jennie’s vision extended to so many areas of the church’s life – from a tutoring program involving numerous church members to mentoring students at the local Springfield Elementary school. She was a Stephen leader who pioneered a program of skilled, trained, and caring Stephen ministers who were able to assist others in crisis and life’s struggles. Jennie always made room for children and especially for those children who were vulnerable in our society. Moving from the classroom to the courtrooms, she became a fierce advocate serving as guardian ad litem helping countless children.
Jennie’s work with children did not stop with volunteering as a tutor and mentor to elementary children and a legal advocate for children. Every Christmas season, she worked closely with Operation Christmas Child, an international ministry to children providing toys and treats to countless children around the globe. Jennie was involved locally in collecting and packing boxes destined to the regional collection center in Charlotte, North Carolina for worldwide distribution. She also found time to work with Angel Tree, which focused on children of imprisoned parents to restore and strengthen relationships.
A special program dear to her heart was the Walk to Emmaus which is a retreat to gain closeness to God. Dozens of church members have experienced the joy and blessing of going on the walk as Jennie paved the way as St. Andrews United Methodist Church’s first walker.
Aside from her career, church activities, and volunteer programs, Jennie was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
She is survived by her four children: two daughters, Sheryl G. Downs (Jim) of Chester, Virginia and Annette G. Spivey (Chris) of Charleston, South Carolina and two sons, Jay Wesley Goodman Jr. (Allison) of Cumming, Georgia and Clayton Elwood Goodman (Pamela) of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; 12 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren!
Jennie was preceded in death by her husband, Jay Wesley Goodman Sr; sisters: Margaret Lillienthal, Rebecca “Becky” Clayton, Katherine “Kitty” Smith, Mildred “Millie” Roush, and Wylma Covington; and two brothers: Samuel Clayton and James “Jimmy” Clayton.
We will love you forever and will let your legacy live on through your children, grands, and great-grands and the hundreds of lives you touched. And God said “well done thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thou ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Capital Campaign fund at St. Andrews Parish United Methodist Church 3225 Ashley River Road Charleston, South Carolina 29414.
Relatives and friends of Jennie Goodman are invited to attend the funeral services at St. Andrews Parish United Methodist Church on Saturday July 8, 2023, at 11:30 am. The service will continue with Interment in Live Oak Memorial Gardens. A visitation will be held at J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. West Ashley Chapel on Friday, July 7th from 6 pm to 8 pm.