Allegan County News & Union Enterprise Obituaries

Obituary: Esther Mae Arndt Godfrey

Esther Mae Arndt Godfrey, 101 years old died peacefully on January 31st, 2024, at the Allegan Medical Care Community, Allegan Michigan
She was born to Jacob and Katie Goodman Arndt early on November 22nd, 1922 and was raised on a farm in Monterey Center, Michigan. Esther was baptized and confirmed at the Lutheran Church in Hopkins, Michigan. She attended Monterey one room school until she completed eighth grade. At age of fourteen she left home to work in Allegan as a nanny and housekeeper. After six months, she began work at Allegan’s Armintrout Grocery Store. Esther lived with the Armintrout family until she met the love of her life, Howard “Hod” Godfrey. She was married on March 16, 1940, at the Green Family farm in Monterey Township. Her husband had purchased a farm owned by his grandfather, William Godfrey, in 1939. They added two parcels to this farm to total 120 acres. They worked this farm together until the passing of Hod in 1983. They raised chickens, hogs, and milking cows. They raised three sons on this farm Terry, Tom, and Jack. They rented four nearby farms which totaled approximately four hundred acres. There were three Farmall tractors M, H, super C. The M for Hod, the H for Esther and the super C for the boys. Esther did custom baling with H Farmall. Hod did custom chopping and corn picking for a number of farms. They milked 19+ cows every day. Hod died February 13, 1983. Esther continued to milk cows until she retired at the age 60. We must remember Leon and Ida Maurer Godfrey who lived a mile away. They were instrumental in the lives of their son Howard, daughter-in-law Esther and the grandchildren they so loved.
The farm is now owned by Jack and Maureen Godfrey, her last living son.
Esther genuinely enjoyed her retirement years by traveling with Brenner Tours on many trips with her friends. She enjoyed the outdoors by mowing her lawn, planting flowers, and shoveling snow until she was 95 years old. The most important part of her life was her grandchildren. She loved to cook and bake for them for many years including their favorite potato salad, spaghetti, chocolate pie, cookies, and cake. She played games with them including tiles and rummy. She attended baptisms, confirmations, grade school, high school, and college graduations. Also, numerous sporting events were attended. She attended every one of her grandchildren’s weddings except one. During her retirement years she became closer to her mom and siblings. She hosted potlucks and games of cards and tiles.
We must remember her special friend Lorraine Steines. They were best friends for years. Also, we thank our lifelong neighbors who supported the Godfrey family for their entire lives. They are the Rutgers, Clawson, Maskey, Wilson, Shultz, Oetman, Mancuso, Brokus, Lickley, Tooker and Caldarona families.
Relatives that proceeded her in death were her great great grandparents, Friedrich Miller (1816-1890) and Elizabeth Schilsley (1814-1900); great grandparents, Jacob Fleser (1837-1915) & Christine Miller Fleser (1838-1924), Christian Arndt and Fredericka Brodestorf Arndt; grandparents, Joe Goodman (1866-1906) & Lucy Fleser Goodman (1873-1924), Charley Arndt (1860-1947) and Amanda Arndt (1866-1954); parents Jacob Arndt (1892-1973) and Katie Goodman Arndt (1898-1988); siblings and spouses, Elinor Arndt Keber and Otto Kerber, Lucille Arndt Ellinger and Paul Ellinger, Harvey Arndt, and Wanda Buck Arndt; her loving husband, Howard “Hod” Frederick Godfrey. (1917-1983); sons, Terry Leon Godfrey (1941-1973) and Tom Howard Godfrey (1943-1989).
She is leaving behind the following grandchildren, Tiffany Godfrey Paavola, Marc Godfrey, Monica Godfrey Lehrer, Jessica Godfrey Habicht, Benjamin Godfrey, Jared Godfrey, Emma Godfrey Kujacznski; great grandchildren, Alli Paavola, Dylan Paavola, Austin Habicht, Maddie Lehrer, Jackson Lehrer, Gavin Habicht, Jaren Habicht, Logan Godfrey, Karina Godfrey, Mae Godfrey, Rhett Godfrey, Ainsley Kujacznski, Lucas Kujacznski, and unborn Godfrey twins. Her son and his spouse, Jack & Maureen Godfrey, also survive her.
Esther will be missed on this earth by everyone who was in her life. We must find joy because she is in God’s hands and united again with husband, sons, parents, and siblings.
We must thank everyone who has taken care of Esther at the Allegan County Medical Center. They loved her every minute she was in their care.
The family will receive family and friends at the Silo Conference Center (Grill House) 1071 32nd street, Allegan, Michigan on Saturday February 10, 2024, from 10 am-11 am with a celebration of life service beginning at 11 am with Pastor James Goldschmeding officiating. A luncheon will be served after the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Esther’s memory to the Allegan County Medical Care Community, 3265 122nd Avenue, Allegan, MI 49010. In accordance with her wishes, cremation has taken place. Gorden Funeral Residence, Allegan Chapel, is assisting with arrangements.

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