Louise Elizabeth Ryan Goodman, 91, completed her earthly journey May 24, 2003, and quietly went to be with the Lord after suffering a heart attack the previous evening. Her journey took her from a humble homestead near Springdale, Mont., to classroom teacher in several Montana communities and to the church parsonage as the wife of a minister.
Louise was born Nov. 11, 1911, in Bozeman to Robert A. and Elsie B. Ryan. She loved to write her birthdate, 11/11/11, and add that she was born at 11 a.m. Her family moved from the homestead to Big Timber where Louise completed her high school education. She enrolled in Montana Normal School, later to become Eastern Montana College, and was granted a lifetime teaching certificate after a two-year course of study. She taught in and around Big Timber for six years. Later, she would return to college and complete her bachelor's degree from Eastern in 1970.
In 1937, Louise married Earl W. Goodman, an aspiring preacher born in Kansas, and they moved to Los Angeles while her husband completed his ministerial studies. After graduation, their ministry took them to Minnesota and Kansas before returning to Montana, where they served congregations in Hardin, Bridger, Billings and Butte. Earl then became district superintendent for the Assemblies of God in Montana for 14 years, an office he held until his death in 1970. Louise was actively involved in ministry herself as a director of Women's Ministries in the state.
Louise and Earl raised three sons, Robert Earl, Columbia Falls, Paul D. and Earl W. Jr., both of Billings. The sons and their spouses contributed nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren to the family tree.
Upon the death of her husband, Louise went back to teaching school in Great Falls until her retirement in 1976. Thereafter, she moved to Helena for 13 years and in 1989, moved to Billings. She remained active in church work always willing to lend a hand making a quilt for a needy family, cooking and serving meals, and being a blessing to others. Her last move was to St. John's Lutheran Home where she found many friends and a great staff of caregivers.
Preceded in death by a brother, Ralph Ryan in 1976; and a sister, Viola Makay in 1996, Louis is survived by a sister, Bonnie Vork of Seattle; and a brother, Raymond Ryan of Big Sky.
Louise also is survived by her three sons and their spouses, Robert (Orlynda), of Columbia Falls, Paul (Floral) of Billings, and Earl (Linda) of Billings. Her nine grandchildren include Loralyn Goodman, Billings, Paul Jr. (Kimberly), Hungry Horse, Rob (Michele), Columbia Falls, Ron (Lisa), Circle, Amy, Brian and Christy Goodman, Seattle, Jonathan Anderson, Helena and Tammi Rowlan, Phoenix.
The life of Louise Goodman touched many people for good in her 91 years, and she will be remembered for her devotion to God and unselfish love of others. A memorial service will be conducted 2 p.m. Friday, May 30, at Parkhill Assembly of God, Billings, with Rev. Robert Fox officiating. Graveside services will precede the memorial service at 9:30 a.m. Friday, May 30 at the Big Timber Cemetery, with Rev. Don Baker officiating. Viewing will be at Smith's West Chapel from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Memorials will be given to Glacier Bible Camp and may be sent to 2147 Overland Ave., Billings, MT 59102.