Pastor Goodner was born Nov. 15, 1929 in Brooklyn, N.Y. He graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in 1948 and joined the U.S. Army in 1950.
Shortly after completing basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., he enrolled in photography classes at Monmouth. Photography proved to be a lifelong passion for Pastor Goodner.
In 1951, he was stationed at Arlington Hall in Arlington, Va. Since there was no chaplain or chapel on the base, James, who was a newly-baptized Christian, joined a small fellowship of believers at Arlington Baptist Church. It was there that he met JoAnne Swensen, Navy WAVE.
Their love for the Lord grew into a love for one another and on Dec. 18, 1955, James Hampton Jr. and JoAnne Adele Swensen were wed.
Following his graduation from Franklin College in Franklin, Ind, Jim Goodner followed God’s leading into the ministry, entering Presbyterian Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa in September 1958.
After graduating in 1962, James reenlisted in the U.S. Army as chaplain.
During the next eights years he served in Tully, Greenland; Wiesbaden, West Germany, where he earned his coveted Airborne Wings at the age of 35 — twice the age of the rest of his class; and Colorado Springs, Colo., advancing to the rank of major.
In May 1970, he accepted the call to full-time ministry at Trinity United Presbyterian Church of Metropolis and joined the 807th Army Reserve of Paducah, retiring “Full Bird” (colonel) in 1990.
During his 20 years in Metropolis, Pastor Goodner, in addition to his ministry to Trinity, was involved in Rotary, the Ministerial Alliance, Junior Civitans and Kiwanis.
It was also his great privilege to be on the founding board for Christian Outreach Project Emergency (COPE).
The years Jim Goodner and his family spent in Metropolis were among the happiest and most meaningful of his life. He remembered his time as pastor and friend to this community with great fondness over the years and, in spite of the Alzheimer’s which eventually robbed him of all thought; the people and events of Metropolis remained in his heart even when many other details had long since gone.
Waiting for Col. Goodner in heaven were his parents, James Hampton Goodner Sr. and Marion Schaeffer Goodner; and his first wife, JoAnne A. Swensen Goodner.
Pastor Goodner is survived by his children, Terrill Lee Walters and husband Allan of Paducah, Carol Ann Horman and husband Greg of Metropolis and Marc Hampton Goodner and wife Melody of Mt. Juliet, Tenn.; his grandchildren, Ben Horman and wife Leslie and Ian Walters, all of Paducah, Zach Horman of Metropolis, Forrest Walters of Lexington, Ky. and Landon and Emylia Goodner of Mt. Juliet; and two great-grandchildren, Eleanore and Emi Horman, twin daughters of Ben and Leslie Horman. He is also survived by his second wife, Jean Hotchkiss-Goodner.
The funeral celebration was held at Mandarin Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Fla. Officiating were Kevin Pound, senior pastor; Nels Falk, parish associate; and Pastor Les Warren, Jim’s nephew. Col. Goodner was then laid to rest with military honors at Mandarin Cemetery beside his beloved wife, JoAnne.
Memorial donations may be made to Trinity Presbyterian Church and/or COPE, both of Metropolis.