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Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home, Kingsport
Saturday April 30th, 2022
2:00pm - 4:00pm

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Vernon Wilson Goodlett

Wilson Goodlett, 87, of Kingsport passed away at his home, Saturday, April 23, 2022. He was born in Travelers Rest, SC on May 16, 1934, the son of Claude and Mildred Goodlett, Sr.

He attended Wofford College where he majored in chemistry and math. Wilson was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Blue Key and was a Distinguished Military Graduate having served as cadet commander of Wofford’s ROTC Battalion. He graduated cum laude in 1956. Wilson’s father also graduated from Wofford and Wilson occasionally surprised a listener by relating that when he was a sophomore at Wofford. His father showed up for his 50th class reunion (class of 1904).

Wilson went on to graduate school at Vanderbilt University where he held the US Steel Fellowship 1957-1959. He graduated in 1959 with a PhD degree in Physical Chemistry.

Wilson was then employed as a research chemist at Tennessee Eastman. He was named head of the Physical and Analytical Chemistry Division in 1970 and later held several positions in the R & D organization, retiring in 1992 as Director, R & D Planning. He was an accomplished woodworker and enjoyed restoring a number of classic sports cars. He also enjoyed a friendly game of bridge including over 50 years with a long-standing regular 8-man group where even at age 80+ he could claim to be the group’s youngest.

His first wife, Sara Murphy Goodlett, preceded him in death in 1983, after 27 years of marriage. His second wife, Barbara Gott Goodlett, died in 2013, also after 27 years of marriage. He was also predeceased by his parents, by two sisters, two brothers and by a stepdaughter, Marsha Toomey. He is survived by a daughter, Carole Richardson and Dakin Tapp, of Fairfax, VA; by a son, Steven Goodlett and wife Kathy of Columbus, OH; by a stepson, Mitchell Toomey and wife Sarah of AZ; six grandchildren and two step-grandsons. He is also survived by a special and beloved extended family, Wendy and Victoria Rapalo.

Wilson was a longtime member of First Broad Street Methodist Church, where he had served as chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was a member of the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi and served in the military in the early 1960’s.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Saturday, April 30th at Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home, Kingsport.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Petworks (Kingsport Animal Shelter) 3101 E. Stone Dr., Kingsport, TN 37660.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vernon Goodlett, please visit our flower store.


Steve and Carole,
I am so sorry about the loss of your father. I considered him a dear friend even though I had not seen him much in recent years. I'm sorry I was notable to attend the memorial service Saturday. I was in at my son Greg's house and wasn't able to returning in time for the service. Scott also wanted to attend but was not able to do so. Scott attempted to phone you Steve.
I am closing on a condo in the Birches and will sell my house. I was looking forward to being closer to Wilson but am sad that won't happen.
Again I am sorry for your loss. When you are in Kingsport for the estate closing or other reasons please call me.
Gerry Morie. 423-389-3933

Gerry Morie May 4 2022 1:26 PM

It is so sad say goodbye to this lovely man. He was my neighbor in Preston Woods throughout my childhood and I have such warm memories of him turning out beautiful woodworking projects, working out in the yard, and of the cars he drove. Sending love to Steve, Carole, and Mitch. I'm so glad that mom was able to come to HD on Saturday to give an in person farewell. You are all in my heart.

Betsy McDaniel Boyer May 2 2022 12:07 PM

Grew up with the Goodlett Family in Preston Woods. Wilson was a gem. One of the kindest, smartest and most kid-loving tolerant souls I ever met. All of us admired and respected Dr. G. Prayers for Steve, Carole and Family during this difficult time.

Leonard Y. Combs. Apr 28 2022 9:43 PM

Our hearts and thoughts go out to Wilson's family and friends. Especially Dr. Mitch Toomey's family (best friend). I spent many nights at his house, vacations, and time "philosophizing" at his house of the 35 years I have known him. He ALWAYS show genuine interest in Sabrina, Molly and Myself. We have two pieces of furniture he built for us, of which I will treasure. He was a quiet, intellectual man who seem to live in a purposed fulfilling way. My heart is sad, but glad I got to spend some time with him.

Dr. Lanny, Sabrina and Molly Hass Apr 28 2022 9:30 AM

I always enjoyed the times 'Grandpa' visited my daughter in law and family; and know how much he was loved by his granddaughters and family. He will be missed. God Speed, Rest in Peace, Wilson.

Suzanne Rose Apr 27 2022 4:10 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Vernon Goodlett

Suzanne Rose Lubkowski Apr 27 2022 4:07 PM

I will greatly miss our talks and his advice. He was truly caring, hard-working man I enjoyed every opportunity to learn from. I will always remember the moment when he walked my wife-to-be down the aisle at church.

Sergiy V Prykhodko Apr 26 2022 9:55 PM

So sorry, I lost a good Volkswagen buddy.

Mousey Johnson Apr 26 2022 7:24 PM

Wilson was a good and caring man, and a good neighbor, he will be missed.

Vivian R Caffey Apr 26 2022 5:04 PM