Jerry Caris Godard, of Fairview, NC, passed away at age 82 on May 29, 2018 from Alzheimer’s Disease. He was born in Durham, NC on May 13, 1936, the only son of Aura and James Godard. He received his bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and a PhD from Columbia University. Jerry comes from a long line of civil rights activists, and in 1965 joined the courageous march across the Edmond Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. Throughout his life he remained a leader and guide for others by standing up for those who lacked power.
Jerry's longest professional positions were as Executive Dean, then as chaired Professor of Psychology and Literature at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. His career in higher education began as Dean of Men and Professor of Psychology at Earlham College, followed by 2 years as Academic Dean at Warren Wilson College. Jerry’s students loved and admired him, and the passion for learning, academically and personally, which he instilled in them.
Jerry had many talents: author, paramedic, athlete, human relations. He loved playing the guitar, country music and blues in particular, and often delighted friends and family with his musical talents. Jerry remained a man of the wilderness, a trail blazer, and took long hikes daily on the trails he had built. After his retirement he created powerful sculptural installations of found natural objects that have been revered by many.
He is survived by his wife and love of 43 years, Jane Godard Caris. In 2004 Jane and Jerry retired to their hand-crafted cabin in the woods of Fairview which they had built in 1978. Jerry is also survived by his three daughters: Ginger Godard of Greensboro, NC; Renee Godard of Eagle Rock, VA; Michelle Terrell of Mill Valley, CA. He is also survived by his sister, Betsy Bunn; his brother-in-law, H Franklin Bunn; sister-in-law Ann Dunlap; and was predeceased by his older sister, Meg Anderson. He had seven grandchildren: Caleb Amstutz, Paden McNiff, Jeremiah Godard, Sophie Terrell, Aura Terrell, Marshall Terrell, Emma Terrell, and his sons-in-law, Richard Amstutz and Rob Terrell. Also surviving is his ex-wife Gloria Godard.
A memorial service will be held this fall at Jubilee Community Church, Asheville, NC. There will also be a memorial service in Greensboro in the fall.
Donations in Jerry’s memory can be sent to: Memory Care, 100 Far Horizon’s Lane, Asheville NC 28803.