On Sept. 17, Art Amundsen and his wife, Anne, hosted a 101st birthday party for Carlisle resident Esther Virginia Goodyear at his Edward Jones office in Carlisle.
Goodyear was born Sept. 17, 1918, during a time when the Spanish flu was ravaging the world and a trip to Harrisburg Hospital could’ve been a life threatening endeavor for her mother Lettie Woods and father G. Loy Woods.
Having survived that precarious birth, she joined her two sisters, Romaine Woods and Helen Woods, and two brothers, Norman Woods and Paul Woods, on a farm located on 328 W. Old York Road in South Middleton Township. She spent 21 years on that farm.
She graduated from Boiling Springs High School. Shortly thereafter she met the love of her life, Francis L. Goodyear, and they were married in October 1939 for exactly 73 years to the day of his death. During World War II she worked a job at Peizo Electric in Carlisle to support the war effort at home. For nine months in 1944, she lived in San Rafael, California, in order to be with Francis before he was discharged from the Army Air Force.
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Their return to Carlisle found them in an apartment on South Pitt Street and eventually a home on the Holly Pike where the Cracker Barrel restaurant now stands. While living at that address, their first son Richard was born in July 1947. One her most prominent memories of that home was during a severe thunderstorm when she witnessed a ball of lightning actually pass directly through the house.
With a desire to live in the Carlisle Area School District, the family of three moved to the 200 block of Conway Street where their second son, Donald, was born in November 1950. As the story goes, pregnant Esther walked with Francis one block to have Donald arrive at Carlisle Hospital then located on Wilson street, leaving Richard with a boarding Dickinson Law student Ralph Skowron whose cousin “Moose” played first base for the New York Yankees. In August 1963, the four of them packed up and moved to the first block of Hillside Drive in Carlisle where Esther still resides.
After the move, she resumed working at the Post Exchange located at Carlisle Barracks where she retired 20 some years later. Throughout her entire adult life, Esther has attended, supported and socialized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where she continues to play cards, quilts and helps with their peanut butter egg production, helping the St Paul’s charitable contributions.
In addition to her two sons, she has four grandchildren and five great grandchildren.