Colon L. Godwin Sr.
Colon Leo Godwin Sr., of Newport, N.C., died Friday, April 16, 2010, in his home, following complications from heart disease and cancer.
Colon was born in 1927, in Dunn, N. C., to Leo and Delitha Godwin. Around the age of two, the family moved to Durham, where Colon grew up but the family returned to the family farm in Plain View, Sampson County, in 1943. Colon graduated from Plain View High School in 1945.
Colon met Carolyn Smith, of Jackson Springs, in 1945, while they were attending Campbell College. They were married in 1947. Colon was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps when they married. Following his service to the Marine Corps, Colon attended and graduated from N.C. State University in 1951 with a degree in agronomy. Later, he attained a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Seminary, Wake Forest.
Colon served as the pastor of Spout Spring and Gladstone Baptist churches in Virginia. Following a calling to the mission field, Colon, Carolyn and their three children became missionaries to Ghana, West Africa, in 1958. Colon served as the science teacher and interim head master of Kumasi Secondary boarding high school. The family returned to the United States in 1961, where Colon became the Baptist chaplain at Western Carolina University. He led the construction of a new Baptist Student Union center during his time in that position.
In 1967, he joined the Agency for International Development and went to Vietnam for three years as an agricultural advisor to the Vietnamese farmers. With the Tet offensive and the subsequent removal of AID advisors from Vietnam, Colon and his family, who were living in Taiwan, returned to the United States. After his return, Colon worked in Jones County as the agricultural extension agent and county manager. He implemented a number of innovative programs, some of which were later adopted by other counties.
In 1980, Colon and Carolyn moved to the family farm in Plain View, N.C., where he worked with and traveled extensively in the expansion of Dragon Services, a federal government contracting firm. In 2001, they retired and moved to Newport, N.C., where they joined and became members of Parkview Baptist Church.
Colon was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Delitha Godwin; and two of his brothers, Norwood Godwin, of Plain View, N.C., and Stanley Godwin, of Cockeysville, Md.
Colon is survived by his wife of 62 years, Carolyn; two daughters, Lark Fiore, of Newport, N.C., and Robin Herron, of Tryon, N.C.; and a son, Colon Leo Godwin Jr., of Wilmington. He has two grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren; a brother, Grant Godwin, of Raleigh; and four nieces.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to The Colon Leo and Carolyn Smith Godwin Sr. Divinity School Endowed Scholarship Fund, Campbell University, P.O. Box 116, Buies Creek, N.C. 27506.
Family visitation will be held at Parkview Baptist Church, 4738 Arendell St., Morehead City, 5 to 7 p.m., Sunday, April 18. A service in celebration of Colon’s life will be held at Parkview, 2 p.m., Monday, April 19.