A good cry in response to an accidental burn helped Mary Virginia Gray start breathing after a premature birth at home in Los Angeles July 28, 1922. In contrast, her death Jan. 5, 2013, at the age of 90 was pain-free and peaceful. Although her twin didn’t survive, she had an older brother, Robert, who remained close to her all his life.
Usually called Virginia or Ginny, she was the daughter of Archibald and Billie Gray. Her dad was a baker who had immigrated from Scotland after being turned down for a job on the Titanic. Her mother was a Louisiana native. Virginia graduated from Roosevelt High School and attended UCLA before marrying Wallace Thomas Goodhue at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, where they had met.
The couple moved around California as he continued training with the Army Air Corps, but Mrs. Goodhue returned to Los Angeles while her husband served overseas in World War II. After the war, they saved up to buy a home in Monterey Park, later moved to Garden Grove and retired to a home they designed and had built in Nevada City near Mrs. Goodhue’s brother. They later lived in Grass Valley.
Mrs. Goodhue held various jobs as a telephone operator, secret shopper, clothing saleswoman and medical assistant, and the Goodhues took on many volunteer responsibilities, participated in fellowship groups and served on boards and committees at the United Methodist churches they joined wherever they settled. They especially enjoyed the monthly pasty-making work parties at Grass Valley Methodist Church.
They had three children: Carol Goodhue Shull of San Diego, a journalist and teacher of English as a second language; Thomas Wallace Goodhue of Amityville, N.Y., a Methodist minister, author and executive director of the Long Island Council of Churches; and Laurel Louise Goodhue of Corona, a drama and English teacher who heads the performing arts department at Norco High School. Mrs. Goodhue enjoyed keeping in touch with and entertaining family and friends, reading, sewing and watching sports, especially those played by her grandchildren, Brooke Hobbie and James Michael Shull. After her husband died in 2009, she moved into assisted living at Huntington Manor in Poway.
In addition to her children and grandchildren, Mrs. Goodhue is survived by son-in-law Robert J. Shull; daughter-in-law Karen Pohlig; and her granddaughter’s husband, Richard Hobbie.
A memorial service is planned for Feb. 2 at 11 a.m. in the chapel at La Jolla United Methodist Church, 6063 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla, CA 92037.
The mortuary handling arrangements is California Funeral Alternatives in Poway.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk for superstorm Sandy recovery efforts: 643 Middle Country Road, Middle Island, N.Y. 11953.