Luke Goodwin, a recent Las Vegas resident, returned to his hometown of Morgantown a few weeks past. He passed away June 26, 2018, as the result of a long and lingering illness.
Luke was born in Morgantown in 1963. He attended local schools and completed his first years at Morgantown High School.
When part of his family moved to Las Vegas in 1979, he completed his high school credits at Clark County Community College, where he excelled on the mathematics college-level exam. He then attended UNLV, a university that was in its infancy at that time. It had about 6,000 students and 200 teachers many of whom were part time. The locals called the forming university, “Tumbleweed Tech.” With the Howard Hughes Engineering School, accredited colleges in law, dentistry and others and a national basketball championship, the school would go over 40,000 students.
Luke first worked in the developing RV Industry which would later be slowed down by the energy crisis. In his last years in Las Vegas, he was a legal assistant to a very busy trial lawyer. This attorney said that with each material case headed toward court, and in most case a jury, he would spend much time laying out the facts and circumstances of the case with Luke, and then use the results of these conferences in ways that would best benefit his clients.
As to hobbies, Luke loved using the AR-15 owned by his father. This is a major weapon for a young boy, but he mastered it under the supervision of his older brother and his father. In those early years, there were informal firing areas on all four of the major roads leading into the city. These were informally made by the town citizens and were in use all of the time. One driving into the city would see and hear gunfire constantly. This was stopped later as excellent gun ranges were constructed, and the informal gun ranges were closed and cleaned up.
As the city grew into the millions, from a former railway fueling station, those living on the streets of Las Vegas increased by the thousands. Luke always supported the latter in any way that he could. He genuinely grieved for them.
While his parents were traveling extensively throughout the United States, lower Canada and upper Mexico by auto, Luke was running his own personal day-travel trips. He kept this up for years and probably saw more of the 300 mile circle area around Las Vegas than his parents did. To the North was Death Valley with Scotty’s Castle and Twenty-Mule-Team-Borax-Road. To the West was the open desert leading into the Sierras of California. To the East was the very old Morman Temple in St. George, Utah, and several national parks in that state. Also, there was the North rim of the Grand Canyon, the Navajo Bridge and the giant Indian stone circles seen in Page, Ariz. To the South was Hoover Dam and all of its wonders, and the part of Route 66 that is original and runs through Kingman, Ariz. South of that is the original London Bridge, brought there and reassembled and in daily use now. At Las Vegas itself, was the building downtown where the U.S. Air Force was formed, and just up the way is Mount Charleston where one can ski and throw snowballs in June, drive less than 40 minutes and swim at the beach at Lake Mead in 110 degree temperature.
Luke enjoyed his life in Nevada and surroundings, and then had the opportunity to return to his place of birth. A few months after his return to Morgantown, he was heard to say “I like it here.” Yet, he was disturbed by the constant truck noise and vibrations on Walnut Street many hours of each day. He wondered why this was allowed to happen.
Luke is survived by his two parents, John R. Goodwin and Betty Lou Goodwin, of Morgantown; three siblings, John R. Goodwin Jr. and wife, Linda Wytko Goodwin, of Elkins, Elizabeth Ann Paugh and husband, Mike, of Morgantown, and Mark Edward Goodwin, of Morgantown; nephew, Shawn Paugh and wife, Nikki, of Morgantown; four nieces, Dr. Mel Goodwin, of Durham, N.C., Jessica Goodwin, of West Hollywood, Calif.; Heather Henline, of Claremont, N.H., and Angelea Goodwin, of Elkins; one aunt, Jackie Wilson; two uncles, Edward “Bud” Goodwin and Gary Loring, all of Morgantown; as well as many cousins and their spouses and families.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Matthew Emery Goodwin.
A service will be held for Luke at Hastings Funeral Home beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 14, with Pastor Nate Williamson officiating followed by passage to the East Oak Grove Cemetery for a short service and cremains interment.
Luke would like any donations to be to the benefit of the homeless of the City of Morgantown.