Harry R. Godfrey

Harry R. Godfrey, 82, Atlanta, Ga., formerly of Ashville, died Friday in Atlanta.

He was born in Ashville, son of the late Owen and Eulalia “Lale” (Conrad) Godfrey.

Surviving are three children: Scott (Tara) of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Anne Godfrey of Fort Worth, Texas, and Owen (Lori) of Merritt Island, Fla.; five grandchildren: Megan, Sean, Katy, Nikki and Skye; a sister, Ella Marie McCarty of Cresson; his loving friend, partner and companion, Annie Voigt; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his childhood sweetheart and wife, the former Maryann Vicars, whom he married on Dec. 28, 1955, in Ashville. She died May 15, 2001. He was also preceded in death by two sisters: Luella Ahles and Sally Miller.

Mr. Godfrey was a 1948 graduate of Cresson High School. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1951 until 1954, stationed in Germany. Harry specialized in the field of intelligence. Upon his return to the U.S., he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from St. Francis College, Loretto, in 1957 and spent a year in law school at Georgetown University in 1961. He began his career in public health in Baltimore in 1961. For the next 25 years, Harry worked for the Centers for Disease Control as an epidemiologist, combating a variety of infectious diseases in the U.S., Africa and Asia. During this time, he acted as operations officer and consultant in Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and India in direct support of the global eradication of smallpox. He was decorated by the Ivory Coast in 1972 for smallpox eradication, measles control and cholera intervention. After retiring from CDC in 1986, Harry worked as a primary health care consultant in numerous developing countries. He consulted for USAID, UNICEF, WHO, CDC, Tulane University, World Vision, World Relief, John Snow Institute, Care International and Plan International. As his final contribution to global health care, he worked with the Carter Presidential Foundation in support of the eradication of guinea worm.

Harry was a former member of St. Thomas Catholic Church, Ashville.

Friends will be received from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at Gibbons Funeral Home, Ashville, where a vigil service will be held Wednesday. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at St. Thomas Catholic Church, Ashville, with the Rev. Sean Code, celebrant.

Committal will be at St. Thomas Cemetery, Ashville. Military rites will be conducted by Ashville VFW and other local military organizations.

With much love, we bring back to Ashville your native son.

Harry R. Godfrey

Harry R. Godfrey, 82, Atlanta, Ga., formerly of Ashville, died Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, in Atlanta. Arrangements are by Gibbons Funeral Home, Ashville. A complete obituary will appear in the Mirror at a later date.