Jim Goodrich, a good friend of mine died this morning. He died peacefully in a Albuquerque hospice around 1 a.m. His daughter Jill and her husband Kevin were at his bedside. He was 81 years old.


   Jim was an avid mystery reader and an equally avid movie buff, and he had been all his life. I’ve known him for something like 35 years, and while he never wrote any long articles or reviews for Mystery*File, he was always a strong supporter of my efforts from the first issue on. He invariably had something to say about the previous issue in the letter column of the next one.

   I met him in person the first time at the 1977 New York City Bouchercon, and we became even closer friends as time went on. We drove together to a PulpCon in Cherry Hill NJ in 1981 — he still lived in New Paltz NY at the time, where he was an academic librarian — and we attended several Friends of Old Time Radio conventions in Bridgeport CT and Newark NJ together, always having many many things to talk about and to catch up on. After he retired and moved to New Mexico, we only saw each other at PulpCons, either in Bowling Green or Dayton OH once a year, but we kept in constant touch, first by letters and postcards, then by email.

   Our interests overlapped in mystery fiction and pulp magazines, although his centered primarily on the hardboiled kind; old-time radio, movies, traditional jazz, religion, politics, and you name it, pop culture and nostalgia of every kind and variety.

   Jim had been undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments for the past several years, but he was a cheerful survivor. He was, in fact, planning to attend PulpCon again last year, but he was hospitalized the weekend before, a sore blow to him. He wouldn’t have missed it otherwise.

   He never went home again. He was transferred to a hospice within a week, but he rallied and was moved to a place where he could receive physical therapy, and he spent the last six months of 2008 there. From December on, his condition deteriorated again rapidly.

   Jim, I’ll miss you.


   From the online edition of the Albuquerque Journal:

GOODRICH — James R. “Jim” Goodrich, 81, of Albuquerque, died February 7, 2009 after a three-year battle with cancer. A retired librarian, Jim was an aficionado of Jazz, Cinema, Art, Pulp Fiction, Mysteries, and Comics; and an active supporter of numerous progressive causes and candidates. His intelligence, dry sense of humor, and patronage of numerous local restaurants, bookstores, and other establishments earned him many friends and admirers in the area. Jim was born in Toledo, Ohio, on September 12, 1927, the son of the late J.R. and Florence Goodrich. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo and a Master’s of Library Science from Rutgers University. In 1990 he retired after more than 20 years as a librarian at the State University of New York at New Paltz and moved to Albuquerque. Jim is survived by his daughter, Jill Goodrich, and her husband, Kevin O’Connell, of Silver Spring, Maryland; his son Victor Goodrich of Philadelphia; his sister and brother-in-law, Lois and Edward Betts, of Northridge, California; his nephews, Tom Betts and Terry Betts, of California; and his niece, Ellen Betts, of Arizona. He was predeceased by his son Scott in 1974. Burial will take place at a date to be determined in New Paltz, New York. Donations in Jim’s name may be made to Presbyterian Healthcare Services (Albuquerque) Hospice division, the American Cancer Society, Planned Parenthood, or any environmental or wildlife charity.

   Thanks to Terry Betts for allowing me the use of the photo above.