Douglas Godbey


Mr. Douglas Benson Godbey, better known as Doug, 76, husband of Faye Collins Godbey, passed away unexpectedly on March 30, 2023, after a brief illness, at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital.

He was born May 19, 1946, to the late James Henry Godbey (a second career United Methodist pastor) and the late Janet Estella McMahill Godbey, in Omaha, Neb. He received his education and graduated from high school in Kansas. He was very proud of his Scottish heritage from the McMahill side of his mother. He had a kilt collection and enjoyed the group Mike Bailey used to get together to meet monthly for dinner and conversation at the Blarney Stone Pub to celebrate their Scottish heritage. Sometimes there were six and sometimes as many as  25 gathering, with many in kilts or tartan scarves.

After high school Doug joined the U.S. Coast Guard, trained in Cape May, N.J., and served four years during the Vietnam War, with brief time in Vietnam and other service time in Greenland and Alaska. He was also in the Coast Guard Reserve and later in the Naval Reserve. He was proud of being a “Coastie,” and in his retirement years often wore a Coast Guard ball cap.

He spent his career working in Information Technology (IT), working for such companies as American Airlines and IBM. He also did contract work. He never pursued a college degree but took numerous courses related to IT to improve his knowledge and skills. After his stroke on November 19, 2004, he had to retire on disability due to paralysis affecting his left side.

He moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia from Austin, Texas, after meeting Faye Collins Sandsbury. They married in 2008 and just recently celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. He loved the Eastern Shore better than any place he had ever lived. He never saw a stranger no matter where he was. He didn’t remember names or faces very well, but people seemed to remember him, as almost always he used a walking stick (and had a collection of them). He said he didn’t know how so many people remembered him — it wasn’t every day that they saw a friendly man with a walking stick.

Doug accepted the Lord as his Savior while in the Coast Guard and became a student of the Bible, increasing his time in independent Bible study after moving to the Eastern Shore as well as participating in Lay Servant classes and various group Bible studies.

He loved to share his Biblical knowledge and opinions with others, and a person often asked was he a preacher or had he been to seminary. Doug was a member of the Franktown United Methodist Church, the Hamilton Men’s Sunday School class, and was a Certified Lay Servant with the Eastern Shore District (now Coastal District). He served two years as a district lay delegate to the Virginia Annual Conference. He belonged to the Emmaus Community and served two years on the Men’s Emmaus team.

Doug loved puppetry and had a collection of puppets that he used when volunteering with Franktown UMC and Drummondtown UMC summer Bible Schools and with Franktown and Epworth UMC’s worship services. He designed a puppet stage and had someone cut PVC pipe to make an easy to set up and take down stage with curtains to attach easily.

Other interests of Doug included participating with vocal groups prior to his stroke, including Barbershop and musica della fattoria. He had a small collection of wind, percussion, and string instruments that he hoped to play with one hand. The most recent one arrived the day he was admitted to the hospital.

He liked creative writing and participated in Academy for Lifelong Learning (ALL) classes at ESCC. He wrote fiction for the classes and pieces on faith and the Bible at other times. He was a volunteer at and served on the board of the Eastern Shore Waterman’s Museum, Historic Onancock School.

In addition to his loving wife, he is survived by his daughter, Charity Godbey of Tulsa, Okla.; granddaughter,  Sophie Faith of Las Vegas; grandson, Adam Mahaffey; and great-granddaughter, Autumn Mahaffey of Broken Arrow, Okla.; Faye’s daughter, Michelle Richardson Goulding (Andrew), and grandchildren, Cian and Lauren of Raleigh, N.C.; his God Family, daughter, Heather Trantham (Kendall), and children, Ryan Lopez, Aaron Lopez (Lexie), Hannah Lopez (Avery), Aiden Trantham, Gavin Trantham (all of Tennessee); sister, Christine Poersch (Monte) of Kansas, brother, Mike Godbey (Kris) of Minnesota, and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a daughter, Alyssa Godbey, an infant sister, Jocelyn Marie Godbey, a brother, George Godbey, and a brother-in-law, Kenneth Collins.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 15, 2023, at Franktown United Methodist Church at 11  a.m. with the Rev. Dr. Richard “Brother Dick” Daily officiating. Flowers and/or donations are acceptable. Donations may be sent to Franktown United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 130, Franktown, VA 23354.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements are by Doughty Funeral Home, Exmore.

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