Michael Goodgame ’15

1 March 2014
Michael Goodgame ’15
Michael Goodgame ’15

The following obituary was provided by the family of Michael Goodgame.

A college student and athlete from Westport, Michael David Goodgame, died on Feb. 28 in an automobile accident just outside Northfield, Minn., where he was studying political science at Carleton College.

Michael, age 20, was a member of Carleton’s Ultimate Frisbee team which, despite the college’s small enrollment and remote location, placed third in the country last year. He and three teammates were en route to the Minneapolis airport on Friday afternoon, where they were to fly to a tournament in Palo Alto, Calif. Their SUV skidded on an icy road in snowy conditions, and slammed head-on into a large truck. Two of Michael’s teammates also died in the accident. A third teammate is hospitalized in stable conditions, as is the driver, who is also a Carleton student.

According to the state police, neither alcohol nor speeding played any role in the accident, and all five occupants of the car were wearing seat belts.

Born in Washington, D.C., Michael Goodgame moved to Westport with his family at age four. He attended public schools, where he was known as a diligent and curious student, an engaging writer, a respected leader, and an accomplished athlete. At Staples High School, he was elected president of the Student Assembly and co-captain of the men’s swimming and diving team. He also enjoyed competing on the Water Rats club swim team, and in the recreational basketball league.

In 2005, when Michael was 12, he helped his parents and brothers organize aid to Pascagoula and the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. The town of Westport adopted Pascagoula as a sister city and hundreds of donors sent truckloads of construction and cleaning supplies, schoolbooks, clothing and other items, along with volunteers from the fire and police departments.

During the summers, Michael loved working as a junior counselor at Cape Cod Sea Camps, where he had been a camper himself, and where he influenced hundreds of young lives for the better. He also treasured vacations with his parents and two older brothers, whether to ski in Vermont, fish the Upper Delaware River, visit relatives in Mississippi and Florida, or explore exotic locations such as Damascus and Jerusalem.

At Carleton, a highly ranked liberal arts college with just 2,055 students, Michael achieved high marks in classes that ranged from Arabic to statistical analysis and political philosophy. He swam on the varsity team as a freshman, but soon was attracted to the nationally renowned Carleton Ultimate Team, known as CUT. That team travels the country to compete against squads from Division I schools that are 20 and 30 times larger — and regularly beats them to win national titles. Both Carleton and CUT gave Michael the kind of environment where he thrived: amid a group of smart, fun-loving young people with a strong sense of shared purpose, who are unashamedly kind and supportive to one another.

Michael is survived by his parents, Marcia Logan and Dan Goodgame of Westport; his brothers Clayton, a graduate student in Middle East studies at Oxford University, and Sam, an Army Ranger lieutenant in the 101st Airborne Division; his grandmothers Ruth Logan of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Betty Goodgame of Pascagoula, Miss.; his aunts and uncles Shasta and Tom Brander of Mountain Brook, Ala., Shannon and Howard Nolan of Albany, N.Y., and Mary Logan of Ft. Lauderdale; his cousin Lauren Brander of New York City; and other loving relatives including Bob, Teenie, and Cheryl Goodgame of Vancleave, Miss.; Carla and Cleve Bond of Pascagoula; Nancy and Gene Jennings of Hueytown, Ala., and Julie and Darrell Loggains of Birmingham, Ala.

A memorial service for Michael will be held at on Thursday, March 6, at 4 p.m. at Christ & Holy Trinity Church, 75 Church Lane, in downtown Westport. A reception will follow in the church’s Branson Hall. Burial will take place on Friday, March 7, at 11 a.m. at the Cemetery of Christ & Holy Trinity Church, 80 Kings Highway North, in Westport.

For anyone who wishes to remember Michael in a tangible way, the family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be written to the “CHT Church, Michael Goodgame Memorial Fund,” Christ & Holy Trinity Church, 75 Church Lane, Westport, CT 06880. That fund will be used to enable underprivileged young people to participate in the sports that Michael loved.

Michael’s generous spirit will live on through this effort, and through the example and inspiration he provided to everyone fortunate enough to know him.

A memorial service for James Adams, Michael Goodgame, and Paxton Harvieux was held in Skinner Chapel at Carleton College on April 12, 2014.

Students who lost their lives while enrolled at Carleton are commemorated in the Carleton Student Memorial.

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  • 2014-03-01 21:14:36

    Michael, I remember you wrote columns quite often for the Carletonian. One of my favorite columns was where you talked about how religion was not useless and how if we don't necessarily worship religion, we do worship other things: money, fame, pleasure, etc. I feel that you worshipped the right things: curiosity, sincerity, and open-mindedness, really embodying what a true Carleton education is. I wish I could pick up another copy of the Carletonian in the future with one of your humble and thought-provoking columns. I know if you had lived on, you would have accomplished so much more on top of the many of things you have already achieved. You will always be remembered.

  • 2014-03-03 21:53:20

    One of the small joys of this term was how our paths crossed every Monday and Wednesday before class. I didn't realize how important your casual "hello" and smile were until today when you were not there. You were someone who I always secretly looked up to and had so much respect for. I will forever regret not putting in the effort to get to know you better, because I know you would have been an amazing friend. I think about you every time I walk to class and will remember you for the rest of my life.

  • 2014-03-04 12:17:37

    Peace to all of Michael's loved ones... may his legacy live on.

  • 2014-03-04 18:07:11
    Wendy Stahl

    As a Carleton alum living in Michael's hometown of Westport CT I send deepest condolences to Michael's loved ones. He will be a deeply missed member of our extended families...

  • 2014-03-06 09:50:49
    Al Montero, POSC

    I wish to send my heartfelt condolences to the family of Michael Goodgame. His aspirations and dreams will never be forgotten. Indeed, we will work hard to make those same dreams come true for others who will follow him at Carleton. His legacy will live on in some form, doing a portion of the good in the world that he would have done in his life.

  • 2014-03-06 10:08:08

    I will never forget getting a random text from you saying, "Hi, this is Michael Goodgame. Let's become best friends." Although your teammate was behind that text, I will cherish it forever. Your personality was such that whenever we saw each other after that and I addressed you as my best friend, you smiled and played along. Thank you. Rest easy, Michael. You are and will continue to be missed greatly.

  • 2014-03-06 10:30:41
    Mihaela Czobor-Lupp, POSC

    My most sincere condolences go to the family of Michael Goodgame. He will be a deeply missed student, an intelligent, concise, and sensitive thinker, writer, and discussion partner. However, his presence will never leave the web of thoughts and interactions that we have created in our class meetings, but it will guide our attempt to help the coming generations of students to find themselves and to make a difference in the world.

  • 2014-03-06 13:31:04
    Barbara Allen

    I extend my condolences to Michael's family. Michael showed us how to live a sincere, honest, ethical life. In the Carletonian he wrote about his observations, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings in a manner that sparked conversations--and deep introspection. I saw his smile and sense of "steady, steady" help a classmate calm the spirit and feel the reality of what truly mattered. That is an image and a feeling that I will carry forward. Thank you for your grace, Michael. I cherish what you taught.

  • 2014-03-06 13:39:05

    I first met you fall term, when I was a sophomore and you were a freshmen and we both wanted to be Carletonian columnists. (You asked if I was a freshmen and I assumed you were a senior.) Soon after weekly columns were churned out, I ran into you at Sayles. You broke the ice and asked me about one of my columns and our conversation turned into an extensive debate on just about everything. I left that conversation thinking, 'now there's a thinker.' I came to really value your ideas. Your passion to do good in the world, to stir debate and provoke thought will forever inspire me. I will never forget you.

  • 2014-03-09 15:28:46
    Cliff Clark, History

    As Michael’s freshman and sophomore faculty adviser, I want to add my voice to the chorus of teachers and admirers who thought so highly of your son and who are ourselves grieving. Michael had those wonderful qualities of thoughtfulness, hard work, and concern for others that every parent wishes for their child. He put energy and enthusiasm into all his classes as well as into his opinion pieces in the Carletonian. He had a certain intellectual ambitiousness that was refreshing and a willingness to explore new ideas that was so positive. At his young age, he had a sense of purpose and direction. You must be so proud of him. We’ll miss him .

  • 2014-03-13 19:11:08

    I had the fortune to witness Michael's intellectual curiosity as both a prefect and a reader of the Carletonian. I also respected Michael's interest in political psychology and wish I had taken the opportunity to discuss it with him. He will be missed and always remembered.