Mr. Goodwin died quietly at Hospice House on Wednesday, February 17, 2016, with his son, Charles, by his side. For a year prior, Allison lived at Rosewood Village (Greenbrier Drive) where he received kind and thoughtful care.
A longtime resident of Lexington, Massachusetts, Allison and his devoted wife, June Driver Goodwin, moved to Charlottesville a year ago to be closer to family.
Born in Lumberton, North Carolina, Allison was the third child of attorney Junius John Goodwin and his wife, “Allie” Hodges Pearsall. Named for his well-educated mother, Allison’s earliest years were filled with books, art, and his two bright older siblings (Junius Jr. and Sarah Hall).
In 1932 at age six, Allison’s father died in the middle of the Great Depression and for the next twelve years, aunts and cousins helped raise him and his siblings.
Too young to enlist when World War II first broke out, Allison spent time at Davidson College and then was deployed with the Army Air Corps to Occupied Germany. Thereafter, he went on to earn an architecture degree from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (1951), a Masters from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (1954), and an Appleton Travelling Fellowship to Denmark.
After working at the Harvard Planning Office, he joined Walter Gropius’ firm The Architects’ Collaborative (TAC) in Cambridge.
Later, while working for a firm in Southern Pines, North Carolina, his childhood best friend (J. Dickson McLean) introduced him to a lovely, smart, cheerful woman who became his wife.Married in 1962, Allison and June soon moved to Cambridge where Allison rejoined TAC while June began raising their two children.
A protégé of Josep Sert, Allison admired Bauhaus modernist design and this was reflected in many of the buildings he helped create over the years, especially in the Five Fields Community of Lexington. (Hideo Sasaki’s home was his favorite). The pedestal-shaped, hexagonal, 1977 Fiduciary Trust Building on Federal Street in Boston was another favorite, as was the University of Baghdad, Iraq.
A true introvert with a sharp wit, Allison loved news and political analysis and believed strongly that government should provide a social safety net as well as quality education. His passion for frugality was occasionally undone by his love of Oriental rugs, Danish furniture, handsome clothing, or jazz and classical music – especially if performed by The Boston Pops. Seeking a top-notch public education for their children, he and June moved to the “peace and quiet” of the woods on the edge of Lexington in 1973, across from Five Fields.
The “energy crisis” of the late 1970s/early 1980s then led to a lifelong hobby of splitting and stacking firewood, searching for kindling in the forest, tending the wood stove, and keeping the thermostat at 55. His beloved New England winters — full of snowstorms, shoveling, snow-blowing and tree management — kept him in good health.
Allison had an enormous soft spot for animals, doting on the family cats and dogs but also providing food for the woodland creatures he adored — song birds, squirrels, pheasants, chipmunks, raccoons.
Just as he and June became empty-nesters with grown children, Allison took an unexpected early retirement, doting on his wife as a “house husband” and chef while she continued working. The couple enjoyed refreshing visits to the Dunescape Villas of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina and to Philly and Charlottesville to see the grandchildren.
Allison is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, June; his son, Charles Pearsall Goodwin (Nicole Galli) of Philadelphia; a daughter, Rebecca Goodwin (Edward Feldmann) of Charlottesville; two grandchildren, Caroline Elizabeth Goodwin and Robert Pearsall Goodwin of Philadelphia; and three step grandchildren, Jonathan Edward Feldmann of Buckingham, Va., Johanna Brooke Feldmann and Whitney Pauline Feldmann, both of Fredericksburg, Va.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 12, 2016, at First Presbyterian Church, 500 Park Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Massachusetts SCPA, 350 South Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02130 or www.mspca.org are encouraged.Condolences may be sent to the family at www.hillandwood.com