James Hopkins Goodwin, a retired city schools principal and industrial arts teacher, died of Parkinson's disease Aug. 5 at Hammonds Lane Nursing Center in Brooklyn Park. He was 84.
Mr. Goodwin enjoyed building wooden objects and toys in his home workshop, and he was an expert car mechanic.
He was born in Columbia, S.C., and moved in 1924 with his family to a home on Woodbrook Avenue near Druid Hill Park.
In 1939, Mr. Goodwin graduated from Frederick Douglass High School and began studies at what was then Morgan State College. He left to serve as an Army supply clerk in Texas during World War II and returned to Morgan after being discharged in 1944.
At Morgan, Mr. Goodwin earned a bachelor's degree in 1945 in business and economics. Because Morgan did not have a graduate school and blacks were barred from the University of Maryland, Mr. Goodwin went to New York University, where he earned a master's degree in education and supervision in 1952.
He began teaching industrial arts in Baltimore public schools in the late 1940s and was later promoted to principal of the old Carrollton Vocational School on Lafayette Square in West Baltimore.
In 1967, he was named Maryland Industrial Arts Teacher of the Year and is credited with returning the Soap Box Derby competition to Baltimore in the 1970s. Students designed and built cars, and the winner competed in the national finals in Akron, Ohio.
He spent the last 15 years of his career, until retiring in 1978, as coordinator of industrial arts at the old Board of Education headquarters on 25th Street.
A longtime Glen Burnie resident, Mr. Goodwin built a home, swimming pool and a workshop, where he repaired electrical appliances and constructed solar-operated toys for children. He also was a builder of tall-case clocks, which he sold to clients, and he taught himself leather tooling.
"He was an ace auto mechanic and had honed his skills in the several garages that his father owned," said his wife of 61 years, the former Enolia Davage, former head of the English department at Forest Park High School.
Known as "Bubbles" by his friends and called "Buster" by his family, Mr. Goodwin enjoyed listening to big-band, Dixieland, and rhythm-and-blues recordings. He also was a coin collector.
Personable and outgoing, Mr. Goodwin was known as a collector of jokes, and friends who were giving talks or speeches often turned to him for a few samples from his vast repertoire.
He was a member of the American Clock Builders Association and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and was a charter member of the Templars Inc., a social club. He enjoyed traveling, especially on cruise ships.
He was a member of Harundale Presbyterian Church, 1020 Eastway in Glen Burnie, where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Goodwin is survived by a daughter, Julie D. Goodwin of Brooklyn Park; four sisters, Edith G. Gibson of Mount Washington, Danese G. Moore of Columbia and Reva G. Lewie and Norvice G. Penny, both of Baltimore; a granddaughter; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.