Like many in Wood County, we at the newspaper were deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of longtime Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Chief Danny Goodwin. Goodwin, 67, died in Cincinnati, where he had been visiting family and grandchildren over Christmas. During the visit, he was hospitalized for shortness of breath and was then diagnosed with a chronic lung disease.
It was only necessary to meet Danny Goodwin once to join that wide circle of people he called friends. However, it did not take long to realize that behind Danny Goodwin's jovial personality was a dedicated firefighter.
"He was a great mentor to other firefighters and well-respected around the state," Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp said. "An absolute professional."
Goodwin had been a member of Vienna's VFD since 1971 and had been chief for more than 20 years. He joined the department-founded by his father Wilbert-as a junior firefighter at the age of 15, and had served with his brother Larry since 1972. Goodwin's son Lee also is a current member of the department.
However well he was known in Vienna, he was just as well-known and respected by the firefighting community outside of the city. His sense of humor and pleasant disposition made him friends everywhere he went.
Deerwalk VFD Chief Kim Marshall said Goodwin was always willing to help any department. "There's only one way to put it," Marshall told the newspaper, "He was Danny Goodwin. Fun to be around, very dedicated. The city of Vienna and VFD has lost a huge servant."
That sentiment was echoed by everyone who commented for the story. "He was one of those guy that would give you the shirt right off his back if you needed it," Vienna City Councilman Steve Stephens said.
We extend our sympathies to the Goodwin family in their time of loss. We hope it brings them at least a small bit of comfort to know the mark he left on those who knew him and called him a friend.