Glenn Godfrey Sr.


Posted: Friday, August 16, 2002

Lifetime Alaska resident Glenn Godfrey Sr. died Saturday, Aug. 3, 2002, in his Eagle River residence. He was 53.

The funeral service is scheduled for 1 p.m. today at the Anchorage Baptist Temple in Anchorage. Following the service, a reception will be held at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. Burial will take place at a later date.

Mr. Godfrey was born Jan. 26, 1949, in Kodiak, where he spent his childhood. In 1967, he graduated from Kodiak High School. On Aug. 31, 1967, he married Patricia Lee Gugel at the Kodiak Baptist Mission.

Mr. Godfrey attended the Alaska State Trooper Public Safety Academy in Sitka in July 1970. He was initially stationed in Anchorage in the position of a patrol trooper before transferring to Juneau in 1972. He went to Northway in 1974, and transferred back to Juneau in 1976 at the rank of corporal. He was promoted to first sergeant in 1978 and moved to Bethel, where he was instrumental in starting the Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) Program, which flourishes today. In 1981 he was promoted to lieutenant and remained in Bethel as the detachment commander. In 1983 he moved to Anchorage, serving on the director's staff. In 1985, Mr. Godfrey became the VPSO coordinator for the state, a position he maintained after being promoted to captain in 1987. In 1991 he was promoted to major and served as deputy director of the Alaska State Troopers. Mr. Godfrey was promoted to colonel and appointed as director of Alaska State Troopers in January 1995, a position he held for more than five years. In August 2000, Gov. Tony Knowles selected Mr. Godfrey as the new commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. He served as commissioner until his retirement on June 30, 2002.

Following an extensive planned vacation, Mr. Godfrey was scheduled to become the senior executive officer of Koniag, Inc. He had been a member of the Koniag Board of Directors since 1989 and board chairman since 1996.

Mr. Godfrey attended Muldon Community Assembly of God Church in Anchorage. He was active in multiple Native Corporations through the years, and participated in community sports teams and benefit runs that raised funding for the Special Olympics.

His family described him as approachable, good natured, and big-hearted. He was quick to offer assistance to those in need, and would even make fun of himself to lift someone else's spirit. He made special efforts to spend time with each of his grandchildren individually, taking some of them on out-of-state trips with he and Patti.

He enjoyed his role as a grandfather. In recent years he coached his grandson's basketball and baseball teams. Yearly, he enjoyed trips to Kodiak Island to renew boyhood memories, visit lifetime friends, and "attempt" catching fish. Recently, he and Patti spent three weeks alone on Afognak Island hiking, fishing, berry picking and kayaking. They were scheduled to leave Aug. 6 for a 35th wedding anniversary and retirement celebration trip in Switzerland.

Mr. Godfrey was preceded in death by his parents, Harold Godfrey of Seattle, Wash., and Nyda Godfrey of Kodiak.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia Godfrey of Eagle River; sons, Glenn Godfrey Jr. and daughter-in-law Tracy of Eagle River, and Gerad Godfrey and daughter-in-law Deborah of Valdez; daughters, Valery Hanson and son-in-law David Hanson of Eagle River, and Jenna Weekley and son-in-law Brad Weekley of Anchorage; brother, Richard Godfrey of Anchorage; thirteen grandchildren and other relatives.

A memorial fund has been established at the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union in Glenn Godfrey's name. Donations can be made at any branch.

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