In Memoriam: Brother Dennis Goodman, FSC, Saint Mary's College Professor, Librarian, and Archivist
Brother Dennis Goodman, FSC, died at the De La Salle Christian Brothers' San Francisco District headquarters in Napa, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2003. He was 88 years old.
Brother Dennis, who was born in San Francisco in 1915, was a member of the Christian Brothers for 72 years. He attended Cathedral High School, in Los Angeles, and the Brothers' Juniorate in Martinez. In 1935 Brother Dennis graduated from Saint Mary's College. He taught at four high schools in the San Francisco District, and in 1954 he earned a master's degree in library science from Catholic University, in Washington, D.C. From 1953 until 1992, when he retired, he was a professor, librarian, and archivist for the College.
Brother Dennis was one of the founders of the Moraga Historical Society and was very active in the work of the society. In 1984 he was named Moraga Citizen of the Year, and in 1999 the Moraga History Center was dedicated in his name. Brother Dennis was also honored with the Award of Merit from the Conference of California Historical Societies in 1988. He was the author of "The De Anza Exploration of the East Bay."
Elsie Mastick, co-archivist of the Moraga Historical Society, frequently worked with Brother Dennis before he retired in 1992.
"If it weren't for him," said Mastick, "we wouldn't have a historical society in Moraga, because he started collecting information since the 1930s. He was a wonderful person, a wealth of information, and we all learned from him. We're going to miss him tremendously."
Brother John O'Neill, FSC, associate professor of education at Saint Mary's, remembers Brother Dennis as the librarian when he attended the College. Brother Dennis was a gentle, charming, and friendly person who had a "powerful influence" on the life of Moraga, said Brother John.
"In some ways, Dennis was more appreciated and maybe better known by the people of Moraga than by the Brothers' community, because he was always quiet and self-effacing," said Brother John.
Brother Dennis is survived by two brothers: Philip K. Goodman and Norbert J. Goodman; two sisters: Marjorie O'Leary and Rosemary Goodman; and several nephews and nieces. Funeral services will be at Mont La Salle, in Napa, on Aug. 6 at 10 a.m. in the Mont La Salle Chapel, with burial following in the Brothers cemetery (viewing will begin at 9 a.m.). In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Lasallian Education Fund, De La Salle Institute, 4401 Redwood Road, Napa, CA 94558.
-by Joseph Wakelee-Lynch