By: Sallie VanArsdale

Prominent among the common interests of new residents Laurie and Tom Goddard is the desire to live next to water. Possibly, this began in their childhoods. Laurie grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts, near Massachusetts Bay. Tom did the same in Brooklyn, New York, where the southern shore edges the Atlantic.

After graduating from Weymouth High School, Laurie worked at the General Dynamics Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts. Tom graduated from “Poly Prep” in Brooklyn and went on to MIT. After graduating with B.S. and M.S. degrees, MIT’s ROTC took him to the U.S. Navy, assigned to the Quincy General Dynamics Shipyard, where, of course, he met Laurie. Within a few months they married. After they left the shipyard, Laurie worked for Mobil Oil and Tom went to Exxon in New York City. Wherever they lived there was water; Brooklyn, briefly, Darien, Connecticut, and Madison, New Jersey, for longer periods.

In Darien, they joined the Roton Point Sailing Association (RPSA) and raced a tornado class catamaran. They supported the RPSA on land, too — Laurie as Treasurer, Tom as Commodore. Summers found them vacationing at Hyannis at a Goddard family home.

Tom spent twenty-nine years at Exxon International. One early project, research on building large oil tankers, sent him to Scandinavia where the best facilities are located. “Some of the research models we used were pretty large themselves, forty feet long,” he commented. In 1973, Tom and a Dutch engineer, Wilhem Van Berlekom, won the Kinnard Prize of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

Laurie took advantage of Tom’s travel to visit the site and meet the researchers. She worked for Mobil for 21 years, including 10 of those as Assistant to the President. When Mobil moved to Virginia, she signed on with Exxon. “Commuting together was much pleasanter,” she observed smiling.

After retirement, the Goddards spent 20 summers on Cape Cod and winters in Stuart, Florida. They joined the U.S. Sailing Center in Martin County. The Center must have been delighted when two seasoned sailors volunteered for their race committee.

How did they find Plymouth Harbor? The Goddards searched Stuart and Delray Beach for Continuing Care Retirement Communities, then came to Sarasota. They drove by Plymouth Harbor and noted the waterside campus. After investigating, “We knew this was the place for us!” Laurie said.

So, two more water lovers are settling in here and appear happy with their decision.