Richard (Dick) Duane Goddard, 89, passed away August 4th in a Florida hospital. He was born February 24, 1931, in Akron, Ohio, to Vachel and Doris Dickerhoof Goddard, who are deceased. His only living relative, Kimberly, (beloved daughter) cared for him upon his retirement in 2016 in her home in Florida.
After graduating from Green High School in 1949, he joined the Air Force. While serving, he went to meteorology school and was tapped to be a part of a task force in conjunction with the U.S. March 1954 H-bomb detonation at Enewetak atoll. Upon his discharge, he enrolled at KENT State and graduated with a Fine Arts degree while simultaneously working at the weather bureau in the Akron-Canton airport giving weather forecasts to local radio stations. His future plans were to be a cartoonist, and Walt Disney Studios, after seeing his work, suggested they meet and talk about a future.
At the same time, KYW-TV approached him with a contract for trying his hand at weather segments on the air. He took the TV opportunity and the rest is history. In 1963, while working at KYW, he flew into the eye of Hurricane Flora, among the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes in recorded history. Being a sports enthusiast, he was the football statistician for the Cleveland Browns radio broadcasts for 32 years. Dick became a renowned TV meteorologist for 50+ years for WJW, and upon stepping down at age 85, he set a Guinness World Record for having the longest career as a weather forecaster at 51 years and 6 days. He was named Ohio's Best Meteorologist in 2001 by Ohio Magazine as well as being inducted into the Cleveland Press Club Journalism Hall of Fame the same year. The Herb Altman Communications Research company twice rated him the most popular weather forecaster in America. He published many Weather Guides and almanacs using his artistic abilities to illustrate them and authored a memoir "Six Inches of Partly Cloudy."
In addition to his love of weather forecasting and sports, his passion for the protection of animals led him to create the largest one-day outdoor festival in Ohio, the Woollybear Festival, for over 47 years. After working tirelessly, House Bill 60, (Goddard's Law) was passed in 2016 - making it a fifth-degree felony to knowingly cause harm to a companion animal.
Dick will be sorely missed by Kim, all the animals he helped save, and his thousands of fans. At his request, there will be no memorial, and he asked to be cremated and his ashes spread under a tree. Donations in his memory can be made to your favorite local animal shelter, rescue or R.E.A.L. Rottweiler Rescue in Cleveland.