Frank A. Goodfellow III, 80, formerly of Haddonfield, a longtime college professor in South Jersey, died Monday, May 28, of complications of Alzheimer’s disease at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington. He had gone to Vermont in 2011 to be with family.
Mr. Goodfellow was best known as a popular, engaged professor of education at Glassboro State College, later Rowan University, from 1965 until 2000, when he retired with the title of professor emeritus, his family said. The school is based in Glassboro, with a satellite campus in Camden. Mr. Goodfellow taught at both.
He helped build the core curriculum that most education majors take, and many of his students went on to become teachers at elementary and secondary schools.
Born in Hollidaysburg, Pa., Mr. Goodfellow moved with his family to Haddonfield and graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School in 1955. While there, he wrestled and ran track and cross-country.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1959 from the College of Wooster in Ohio and a master’s degree in library science from Drexel University in 1963. While completing his studies, he supported himself by driving a truck and working as a railroad brakeman, said his son, Pat.
During the 1950s, there was a shortage of principals at some South Jersey high schools. Though still in his 20s and inexperienced in the world of education, Mr. Goodfellow served as the principal of what is now Triton Regional High School in Runnemede. During that time, he decided to become a teacher.
When he first went to work at Glassboro State as a fledgling teacher in the mid-1960s, the school ran a campus program for high school and college students.
“It was a place where student teachers would come in and practice on real kids,” said his son. But funds for the program ran out, and after it ceased, Mr. Goodfellow joined the school’s education department.
He spent some time in the 1970s as department chairman. “One of the best things about it was the corner office with two windows,” his son said Mr. Goodfellow told him.
Mr. Goodfellow was active with the American Federation of Teachers in the 1970s as a local official.
He also took part in civil rights and anti-apartheid protests in Camden, Philadelphia, and Washington.
He joined the Society of Friends, and was active at various times in Quaker meetings in Haddonfield, Woodbury, Camden, and Philadelphia. He was a member of Newton Friends Meeting in Camden. “He tried to follow the tenets of modesty and pacifism,” his son said.
Mr. Goodfellow was married and divorced twice, but stayed on cordial terms with his former wives, Joan E. Tracy and Beth Mutch. He spent his last seven years in the Green Mountains with former wife Joan, enjoying home-cooked meals, his family said. Before moving to Vermont, he had spent a decade in Philadelphia. Earlier, while teaching, he lived in Haddonfield.
In retirement, he doted on his 12 grandchildren and enjoyed telling them stories about Welsh anthracite miners, and Scottish soldiers in World War II, the Civil War, and the War of 1812. Two of his ancestors had fought for the Union at Gettysburg.
Although he was given many awards while teaching, he never spoke of them. “My father was a modest and unpretentious man,” said his son. “He was a great storyteller, joker, and helper.”
In addition to his son, grandchildren and former wives, he is survived by sons David and Andrew, and daughters Bronwyn Lepore and Martha.
Plans for services were pending. Burial will be private.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association via https://www.alz.org/.