Marilyn Louise Barnes Van Deventer Goodwin, July 31, 1939, to Oct. 23, 2021.
Marilyn Louise Barnes Van Deventer Goodwin passed away peacefully on Oct. 23, 2021, at Seaview Rehabilitation and Wellness Center at the age of 82. Known as Mary Lou to her friends, and Lou Lou to her grandchildren and employees at Eureka Florist, she lived her life in service to her community.
Mary Lou was born on July 31, 1939, and raised in Fortuna. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in physical education and a teaching credential at Humboldt State University and was the charter president of the Delta Zeta Sorority, president of the California Student Teachers, and HSU Outstanding Woman of the Year in 1959. She married Clayton Andrew Van Deventer (Zeke) in 1960 and had children Jon and Kris. Mary Lou and Zeke became co-owners of her parents’ business, Barnes Tractor & Equipment in Fernbridge for many years and enjoyed snow skiing with family and friends in Ashland and Bend, Oregon. While raising her children, she was very active in the 4-H Gardening Club, Methodist Youth Group and Sunday school. She was the first woman trustee on the Fortuna Elementary School Board and a member of the Humboldt County Grand Jury. After Zeke’s untimely death in 1990, she bought Eureka Florist and worked closely with her daughter and son-in-law for the next 30 years, actively supporting the Henderson Center Merchants Association.
She married Charles F. Goodwin Jr. in 1992 and they enjoyed being grandparents to Kyle, a civil engineer in Chico, and Kaitlyn, a senior epidemiologist at the Arizona State Public Health Department in Phoenix. She was a two-time president and 50-year member of Fortuna Garden Club and longtime member and past president of Eureka Sequoia Garden Club. She received certificates from the California Garden Clubs, Inc. (CGCI) Flower Show School and Landscape Design School. She was chairman of the Fortuna Daffodil Show and judged flower arranging and landscapes all over the state, including the State Fair in Sacramento. After serving on the CGCI Executive Committee for six years, she was elected as their 32nd President from 1991-1993. She was honored as the CGCI Woman of the Year for 2009 and in 2016 was presented the CGCI Lifetime Achievement Award.
Serving on the CGCI Landscape Design Council, she honored noteworthy gardens of California Wineries statewide and over 100 outstanding landscapes in Eureka. Her recent conservation project was at the Stagecoach Hill Azalea Reserve, north of Trinidad, where her garden club members took cuttings and seeds, which were propagated at the Redwood National and State Parks Nursery. She entered numerous flower arrangements in the Humboldt County Fair and later helped fill the Lath House with informational displays promoting the benefits of joining local garden clubs. Her Eureka Sequoia Garden Club members were instrumental in planting the beautiful hanging baskets that adorn Old Town Eureka, during the summer.
Mary Lou was a 50-year and third-generation member of Eastern Star serving as Worthy Matron in 1972 and 1976, with Zeke by her side, in Ferndale Chapter. Long is the tradition of her family’s service in the Masonic organizations: father and husband third degree Masons; grandmother and mother Eastern Star members; daughter and granddaughter Past Honored Queens of Job’s Daughters’ International; son a past DeMolay Master Counselor; and Chuck and grandson members of DeMolay International.
She was a charter member of Soroptimist International of Eel River Valley and encouraged her daughter to join the Eureka club, where she now serves as Governor of Founder Region. Mary Lou was dedicated to making the world a better and more beautiful place. She was a role model to many women and girls and touched the lives of so many in her community. She is survived by her loving husband of 29 years Chuck Goodwin; children Kris (Doug) Chorbi & Jon Van Deventer; grandchildren Kaitlyn (Connor) and Kyle Chorbi; sister Bette June (Steve) Gatewood; brother-in-law Alain Chaillet; nieces and nephews Garrett (Cheryll) Gatewood, Vanessa (Patrick) Riggs, Julien (Sandra) Chaillet, Annoushka Chaillet, and great-nieces and nephews Jacob, Owen, Emma, Caleb, Vincent, Claire & Sasha. She is preceded in death by her first husband Zeke Van Deventer; mother and father Grace and Neal Barnes; and sister, Neale Ann Chaillet.
There will be a Public Celebration of Life reception on Saturday, Nov. 27 from 2-4:00 p.m. at the Eureka Elks Lodge. Donations can be made to the Eureka Sequoia Garden Club in her memory to P.O. Box 479, Bayside, CA 95524-0479.