Helen “Barbara” Gunter Godley, 91, died peacefully in Lancaster, PA on January 18, 2021 of Alzheimer’s.
Daughter of the John Havelock and Lucille Pratt Gunter, she was raised in Philadelphia and Wynnewood, PA. Barbara graduated from Agnes Irwin High School in Bryn Mawr and the University of Pennsylvania. She was employed in the Philadelphia area by the Devereux School.
Barbara was married to Robert T. Godley who predeceased her in 1997. They lived in Wynnewood, PA, Mountain Lakes, NJ, and Boca Raton, FL. In the 60’s and 70’s Barbara volunteered extensively at the historic Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, Morris Plains, NJ. She also worked for a time as a tax preparer.
After moving to Florida, Barbara’s volunteer focus shifted to abused children as a Guardian ad Litem in Broward County from 1983 to 2011. As a result of her long tenure, she received special recognition for advocating for the best interest of Broward’s abused and neglected children for over 20 years.
She was a member of St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Boca Raton. Barbara was active in the Gardeners of St. Gregory’s, the Holy Redeemer Church Feeding Ministry, the Order of St. Luke Healing Ministry, the Women’s Bible Study, and other adult formation groups.
Barbara loved to travel and was fortunate to visit many countries with Bob, her daughters, and friends over the years. She enjoyed the fine arts, frequenting museums, operas, symphonies, and ballets. A constant reader and New York Times crossword puzzler, she was intelligent, witty, and strong willed in the most positive way.
Barbara moved to Lancaster in 2017 after a stroke accelerated Alzheimer’s symptoms. The Pennsylvania landscape and seasons were familiar and comforting. From Philadelphia out to Lancaster County she remembered towns, roads, and points of interest from her past. She enjoyed being out and about in Lancaster with favorite excursions to Long’s Park, art galleries, the movies, and many wonderful restaurants. For those that knew Barbara, you will appreciate that fine dining remained a top-of-the-list pleasure.
She is survived by her daughters, Karen P. Godley, Barcelona, Spain, Ceil G. Sheffy, Mount Joy, PA, Kristen S. Godley, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and grandchildren, Patricia, Fort Lauderdale, FL and Gillian, Chicago, IL.
Memorial service and interment at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church, 100 NE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton, FL Saturday, February 27 at 10 AM. Please contact St. Gregory’s for in-person reservation or the Zoom link for those who prefer to participate virtually.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Barbara’s memory to the Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation (Broward County), 155 NW 3rd St., 6th Floor, Miami, FL 33128 or Voices for Children of Broward County, 401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.
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