By Donna Parker
When life threw Paul Goode, who received his bachelor’s degree in English from Trinity in 1977, a few lemons along the way, he knew just how to make the proverbial lemonade. In the span of a year, Paul was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and cancer and his wife died – enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel. Instead, Paul stood up to adversity, quit his job and decided to stay home with his two kids.
“It was absolutely the right thing to do. My late wife was a stay-at-home mom and even as teens, the kids wanted somebody home when they returned from school. It was enough of a shock to lose their mother and too much to come home to an empty house,” says this devoted dad.
His boys, 13 and 16 at the time, are now in college and doing very well. He, meanwhile, has remarried a poet. With her inspiration, Paul is now trying his hand at writing – his first article was just published.
After graduating from Trinity, Paul earned a master’s of library science from the University of Texas and then began his professional life as a tech writer at Datapoint in San Antonio. He joined Apple Computer in Cupertino, Calif., in 1987, wound up back in Austin the next year, and in 1990 went to work for Microsoft in Washington State as a publications manager overseeing “documentation for network users, system administrators, and software developers.”
“I left Microsoft in 1998 with the intent of taking a year off and shortly thereafter, the cancer diagnosis and my wife’s passing changed things a bit.”
Between single parenting two teenage boys, Paul set up a fund at Evergreen Healthcare in Kirkland, WA, which allowed uninsured and underinsured cancer patients to obtain new generation anti-nausea medication. He also served on the boards of several community organizations.
“At the time I set up the fund, the existing meds were largely ineffective and the new meds very expensive – $40 a pill. The fund was able to provide meds for 250 people, enabling them to do things as elemental as continue going to work. One oncologist told me that in his experience it was the best and most practical gift given to a hospital oncology program.”
Paul is currently healthy with both diseases in remission. He spends his spare time hiking, reading, attending live concerts and is a self-described “current events junkie,” but also loves looking back on his days at Trinity.
“Oh, I love Trinity! I made so many friends. I liked dorm life and had so many wonderful teachers. It was a great place to transition from the shelter of home to being on my own. Trinity taught me to think critically and professors such as Jess Carnes, department of history, and Coleen Grissom, department of English, as well as Richard Machalek, department of sociology and anthropology, were instrumental in teaching me how to write. Foremost, they were great in pulling all of the elements of an era together so that I would read novels in English with a sociological eye toward similar patterns used by other authors of that time period.”
“It was such a wonderful way to grow as a person. Now, I would tell kids that life is short and there are only so many things you can control – you just respond to the rest. How you respond to events in your life is a big measure of how happy you’re going to be.”
You may e-mail Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.