James K. Godburn

james godburn
James K. Godburn (born June 11, 1920) passed away on June 2, 2009 after a brief illness. He was a lifelong resident of Meriden, Connecticut and a graduate of the Meriden school system. He worked as a tool and die maker in the silver industry at Elmore Silver Company, Meriden Rolling Mill, International Silver Company and Boardman Silversmiths until he was nearly 73 years of age. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942 and was promoted to sergeant. He served as an aircraft engine mechanic and hangar chief for B24 and B29 bomber groups. He was honorably discharged in February 1945. Jim was involved in the Meriden Power Squadron for many years studying navigation and later teaching others. He was an active member and Past Master of Center Lodge #97 where he received the Grand Master's award for excellence. He was a member of the Sphinx Shrine Temple and the Antique Veteran's World Post #1. Jim was talented with his hands and had little idle time; there was always a project in the works. Jim crafted and flew model airplanes with his son. He could fix an antique grandfather's clock with wooden gears or design and create household items with true Yankee ingenuity. He built his first home on Pomeroy Avenue with Marcelle and added to it as the family grew larger. Jim cultivated nearly an acre of his land growing all the vegetables for the family and neighbors. This home hosted numerous holiday gatherings and neighborhood picnics in the early years. Jim later built a summer home in Oakfield, Maine with Gerry where they enjoyed visiting friends and relatives, fishing and boating, 4-wheeling and snowmobiling. In his later years, Jim enjoyed activities at the Meriden Senior Center including oil and acrylic painting and wood carving. Jim and Gerry took memorable bus trips and cruises and enjoyed spending time with family. In October of 1945, Jim married Marcelle Bertha Montagnon who predeceased him in 1969. Jim and Marcelle are fondly remembered by their son, Dennis Godburn and his wife, Moy Eng and their daughters, Amanda and Julia; their daughter, Denise Beal and her husband Michael Beal. Jim will be missed by his wife of 39 years, Geraldine Dobratz Godburn and four children from her first marriage, Donald and Sharon Dobratz, Darryl and Susan Dobratz, Cynthia and James Stewart and Peter Dobratz and the numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. Jim is also survived by his brother William Godburn and sister Lorraine Wyskiewicz and many nieces and nephews. The family wishes to express gratitude for the kindness of the staff at Mid-State Medical Center and especially the staff at the Village at Kensington Place. A graveside service with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2009 in Walnut Grove Cemetery, Meriden. The Rev. Jack Hoak of St. Rose of Lima Church will officiate. In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Meriden Fellowcraft Club, 112 East Main St., Meriden, CT 06450, Note: James K. Godburn Scholarship Fund. A reception will follow at the Village at Kensington Place at 511 Kensington Ave., Meriden. The Beecher & Bennett- Flatow Funeral Home, 48 Cook Ave., Meriden is in charge of the arrangements.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Denise,Dennis, and Aunt Gerry: Both Faye and I are deeply saddened at Uncle Jim’s passing. I hope all of you know how much we cared for Uncle Jim and Faye and I will kepp you in our prayers at this time of loss. Love Pete & Faye

  2. Dennis and Family; My condolences on the passing of your father. As the years pass by you will always have the memories.

  3. To the family of Jim Godburn, My Prayers are with all the family that loved Jim. I meet both Jim and Gerry when I worked at the bank downtown Meriden and they both had a special place in my heart as a lovely and friendly couple. I still have all the wooden gifts Jim made for me around the house and I will cherish them always. God Bless to all… Carolyn

  4. To Gerry and family, We’re very sad to learn of Jim’s passing. We will forever remember his sence of humor,picnics at the lake in Maine and walks by the pond at winding brook. The beautiful wooden rocking horse Jim made for our son will remain a cherished reminders of this special man. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. The Kolman family

  5. Gerry & extended family, I’m currently away, and just learned of the passing of Jim. He was always dedicated to the task before him, and will be fondly remembered as a true gentleman, a faithful Mason, and a staunch family man. With deepest sympathy,

  6. The world is a much better place for James k. Godburn, a life well-lived, a man honored by family and friends. His beautiful tribute reminds me of the Bible verse–whatsoever your hand finds to do, do with all your might. I discovered James K. Godburn searching for the maker of a beautiful antique silver bowl. Mr. Godburn’s life continues to give to others… even strangers far away. God Bless you all in these days of loss. May I add the words of Keats to the tributes here: A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its lovliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Accessibility Tools