Doctor Ervin L. Godfrey Obituary

Dr. E. L. Godfrey, Eminent Physician, Answers Final Call


From the Colon Express newspaper, December 19, 1935: “The death of Dr. E. L. Godfrey, one of colon’s most highly esteemed citizens and undoubtedly the oldest practicing physicians in this part of the state, brought a tinge of sadness to practically every home in the entire community. That greatness of a man’s heart and worthy deeds are never brought fully to light until his work is finished on this earth is very true, and applies well to the life of Dr. Godfrey, judging from the kindly words of commendation from practically every citizen one meets.

Conversing with the venerable physician only a few months ago, and touching on his being so active for a man of his years, Dr. Godfrey remarked that he would like to be on duty until the last moment of his life. That wish was granted. Saturday, December 14th, the day of his passing, he made the usual calls, taking care of office business and visited seve3ral stores as was his usual custom. Soon after the supper hour he complained of feeling ill. Mrs. Godfrey summoned his son, Dr. G. E. Godfrey, who, with Dr. F. L. Hartman, came immediately, came immediately, finding that he was beyond medical aid, death coming a few minutes after their arrival. About a week previous to his death, Dr. Godfrey suffered a slight heart reaction from which he quickly revived and continued to minister to others until the final hour came last Saturday evening.

Volumes might be written of the well-spent life, nearly sixty years of which were given to this community in the profession of physician and surgeon. It mattered not whether it was a call from a home in the best of circumstances or from one in deepest poverty, Dr. Godfrey was always ready and willing to aid. No matter what the time, day or night, or conditions of roads or weather, he would get to that home if it were possible.

How times have changed since Dr. Godfrey began practice in this community sixty years ago cannot truly realized by only a very few of the older citizens. As he once said: “It is a wonderful age in which to live.”

He was always abreast of the times, being one of the first to make use of the bicycle, and for years had a stable of good driving horses which were kept busy night and day speedily taking the Doctor on his rounds of many miles to visit patients. When road conditions were bad, before graveled roads were thought of, he made his rounds in a two-wheeled cart. He was one of the first to purchase an automobile in this community, which could not be used to advantage as there were only dirt roads for years after purchasing his first car.

While the profession was his main objective, and his entire time throughout his life was devoted to it, he was also deeply interested in the development and progress of the town and community and willing to aid in the promotion of worthy movements, finding time to keep well posted on the political situation and affairs of the world in general. Advanced years did not in the least retard his activities.

Dr. Godfrey is revered by a great number of young people who made their home there during their high school days. For years the Godfrey home has made it a practice to engage a boy or girl, and some of the time both, who wished to attend the local high school, and many of the were given further aid in going on to college or assisted in other lines of endeavor.

Erwin L. Godfrey was born at Attica, New York, September 28, 1852, and with his parents, Dr. and Mrs. L. M. Godfrey, came to Michigan in 1861. he attended the Colon public school and secured a business education from the Jackson Business College. In 1876 he graduated with high honors from the Hahnemann Medical School in Chicago. Dr. Godfrey succeeded his father in the medical profession, taking over his father’s business in Colon when he moved to Indiana.

Dr. Godfrey was married in September, 1873, to Miss Belle M. Grover, who departed this life on October 23, 1888, leaving her husband and five children, Clara E., Ina A., Jay L. Glenn E. and Eva E. His second marriage was with Miss Julia I. Patridge, Dec. 4, 1889, who was called to the great beyond Jan. 5, 1920. her death being mourned by the children whom she reared.

Dr. Godfrey was again married August 14, 1920, to Miss Mabel Lamb, who survives, together with five daughters, Mrs. Ina A. Morris of Chicago and Mrs. Eva Rex of Defiance, Ohio; three sons, Clare Godfrey of Morris, Ill., Dr. J. L. Godfrey of Buchanan, and Dr. G. E. Godfrey of Colon,, and twelve grandchildren.

The funeral service was held at the home in Colon Tuesday afternoon at two o’clock, Rev. Stanley Buck, pastor of the Methodist Church, officiating. The remains res in the family lot in Lakeside cemetery.”