Robert Harrington Goodhand

Published 8:10 am Wednesday, September 13, 2023

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Robert Harrington Goodhand (Bob), born July 5, 1932, in Buffalo, NY, passed away at the age of 91 on Thursday, August 24, 2023. He had been in the care of Upstate Hospice House in Landrum, SC when he succumbed to congestive heart failure.

He was pre-deceased by his mother, Josephine Halbleib Harington, his father Robert Paul Harrington, and his stepfather Glen Goodhand. He was also pre-deceased by his first wife, Judith Hobbs Goodhand. Bob is survived by his 4 children, Lynne Goodhand, Kathleen Goodhand, Megan Goodhand and David Goodhand. He is also survived by 7 grandchildren, Michael, Molly, Brian, Jacob, Kiah, Emma, and Leah, and 3 great-grandchildren.

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Bob is also survived by his second wife, Pan Goodhand and stepdaughter Kristin Newton. Bob met Pan in 1985 and married in 1986 in Columbus, Ohio. They spent the next year living in Paris while Bob was Director of the Sweet Briar College Junior Year Abroad Program.

In the 38 years they were married, Bob and Pan loved to travel and some of their travels included (but not limited to) adventures in Tanzania, Morocco, Egypt, the Greek Isles, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Italy, Belgium, Corsica, Mexico, Paris and many delightful French Villages and an exciting three weeks on a Windjammer Cruise in the Grenadines.

Anyone who ever knew Bob knew that he had been a French professor and had taught at some renowned colleges and universities. In 1954, he received his Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College in NY;. in 1956, his Master of Arts from Rice University; in 1961, his Doctor of Philosophy from Rice University; and in 1992, his Doctor of Humane Letters (Hon) from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.

Bob taught at Duke University from 1962-66 and continued his remarkable career at Kenyon College until 1991 when he took an early retirement for health reasons. Teaching in areas of expertise, including French novels and poetry of the 19th and 20th centuries, feminist studies, French Critical Theory and Interdisciplinary Studies. He was an advocate for international education and was involved with the Kenyon-Earlham Program to France and the Great Lakes Colleges Association Middle East Program in Beirut. Bob had published 8 articles on writers such as Flaubert, Gide, Giraudoux, Camus and Robbe-Gillet.

Bob was very active in the Democratic Party, energetically campaigning and organizing marches, and was a dynamic advocate for all Human Rights. He was passionate about the rights of all animals and Tater and Link still hold a place in their dad’s heart. The walls in Bob’s home were filled with art, and in many windows hung the original stained-glass creations that he and Pan designed together. Embedded in a piece of art is one commissioned by Bob, containing one of his favorite French sayings: 


“La vie est vaste, stant ivre d’absence.” 

Life is grand being drunk with absence.


A private Celebration of Life will be held in October.


Submitted by Pan Goodhand