Monday, March 27, 2017

Vinal Garfield Good (1906-2000)

From the March 6, 1961 Biddeford Saco Journal.

   A prominent name in Maine politics during the late 1950s and 60s, Vinal Garfield Good was for over forty years an insurance and real estate dealer in Sebago, and in 1958 was elected to the Maine legislature. Good would advance to the post of Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives (serving during the 1961-62 session) and later won election to the Maine Senate for one term. Born on January 6, 1906 in Houlton, Maine, Vinal G. Good was the son of Walter Tyler and Olive Boynton Good.
   A student in schools local to Houlton, Vinal Good was a standout athlete in his youth, being the quarterback of the high school football team and captain of the track team. He would go on to attend the Colby College (class of 1929) and following graduation took on a coaching-teaching career, being employed at high schools in Mexico, Maine, and Braintree, Massachusetts. In December 1929 he married to his first wife Adalyn Goodwin in Berwick, Maine and five years later began a stint as Director of Physical Activities at the Natick, Massachusetts High School.
   Good turned to the study of law in the mid-1930s, enrolling at the Northeastern Law School. Earning his law degree from that school in 1938, Good would establish a private practice and later put his profession on hold to serve with the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division during World War II. Stationed in Colorado, Good was later a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps at Fort George Meade in Maryland. During his Maryland residency Good met Dorathy Anderson (1911-2007), whom he would wed in 1946. The couple would later become parents to two children, James and Jeanette.
   In the late 1940s Good and his wife established the Sebago Agency, a real estate and insurance business they would continue to run for over four decades.  Good first entered politics in 1958 when he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives. Serving in the 1959-60 session, Good would win a second term in 1960 and launched a bid for House speaker, spending several weeks traversing the state meeting with fellow representatives and memorizing parliamentary procedure. In January 1961 Good's hard work paid off, as he was chosen speaker by his fellow legislators.
   Serving as speaker during the 1961-62 session, Good left the legislature in January 1963 and in November 1966 was elected to represent Sebago in the Maine Senate, serving in the session of 1967-69. Following his time in state government Good returned to his insurance and realty interests in Sebago, and for three decades held the post of town meeting moderator
   Vinal Good maintained an active schedule well into his ninth decade, and, as a jogging enthusiast, was a familiar sight to Sebago residents with his red hat and stopwatch. In the year prior to his death, Good was awarded the "Boston Post Cane" by the Sebago Historical Society, an honor bestowed upon Sebago's eldest citizen. Vinal G. Good died in Sebago on December 23, 2000, at age 94 and was survived by his wife Dorathy and his children. A burial location for both he and his wife remains unknown at this time but is presumed to be somewhere in the Sebago vicinity.

Vinal and Dorathy Good, portrait courtesy of the Sebago Historical Society.

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