This is my Daddy: Part Two

This is Daddy in 1951, the year I was born.

I had the honor of writing Daddy’s obituary in the newspaper:

Claude J. Godfrey was born April 6, 1926 in Keota, OK and passed away January 14, 2011 in Madera at the age of 84. He was a resident of Madera for 80 years and graduated from Madera High School in 1945. He was retired from the CHP as a commercial vehicle inspector. He was preceded in death by father Alvie Godfrey, mother Ruth Godfrey, wife Ruth Gates Godfrey, brothers JR and Lee Godfrey, and son Kenneth Godfrey. He is survived by his wife Ethel Scrivner Godfrey, brother Carl Godfrey, daughters Godfrey Deborah Coppinger and Kathy Stults, sons Ed and Jim Scrivner, 9 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Claude’s love for God inspired him to share his God-given talent for music with others. As a Bluegrass and Gospel performer he worked with such artists as Bill Grant, Bill Monroe, and Josh Graves. More importantly, he inspired innumerable young people to develop their own talents.

 “The memory of his wisdom, creativity, and zest for life will be treasured forever.”


At the funeral I sang “When I Get To Glory.” I had been practicing alone in my room in the key of “G” but when I sang it at the funeral it was really too low. And I barely maintained my composure, but I managed to make it through without falling apart… too much.

I told the Bobos (my twin nephews) that I had bought a jar of nuts because they were Daddy’s favorites. Later they asked NikkE if we were going to throw the nuts in the grave. They had seen people in the movies throwing dirt and flowers into graves and they thought that was what we were going to do. The nuts, however, were for the reception after the funeral.

I spoke about all the instruments he had given me, and that most of the instruments I owned were from him – fiddles, guitars, harmonicas, etc. I also spoke about how he had inspired so many young musicians to pursue their talents, just as he had inspired me.

Many people spoke at the graveside services, but the most touching was when one of his great grand daughters sang “Happy Trails.”