Fullerton, Calif. - The Cal State Fullerton Athletics Department is saddened to learn of the passing of philanthropist, Jerry Goodwin, Tuesday morning at the age of 90.
“It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Jerry Goodwin,” said Fullerton Interim Director of Athletics Dr. Steve Walk. “Jerry and Merilyn Goodwin have been extraordinary supporters of Intercollegiate Athletics at Cal State Fullerton, as well as other programs at the University. The expansion of Titan Field into Goodwin Field resulted in inestimable benefits to our students, campus and community. As the many Titans who knew him will attest, his generosity always came with a genuine interest in helping our students. Jerry will be greatly missed."
Goodwin and his wife, Merilyn, were inducted into the Cal State Fullerton Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011 for their long history of generosity to the Athletics Department and University.
The Goodwins have been enthusiastic supporters of Titan Athletics for many decades, following teams around the country in support. In addition to their love of the baseball program they were fans of the late Coach Gene Murphy and his Titan football program.
A friendship that developed between Goodwin and former University President, Milton Gordon, prompted his and his wife’s biggest gift to the school, a 1 million dollar donation towards the expansion of the Titan baseball facility. Prior to the construction, Cal State Fullerton had played 21 straight postseason tournaments away from home. Since the upgrade for the 2000 season, the Titans have hosted 10 NCAA Regionals and eight NCAA Super Regionals.
On Apr. 14, 2000, the Fullerton baseball stadium's name officially changed from Titan Field to Goodwin Field.
A successful string of automobile dealerships paved the way for Goodwin’s giving that included large gifts to the Jerry Goodwin CSUF Alumni Association Golf Tournament that benefited student scholarships and alumni programs and the Merilyn and Jerry Goodwin Musical Theatre Scholarship.
Goodwin received an honorary degree from Cal State Fullerton in 1994, and was also honored along with five others at the inaugural Cal State Fullerton Vision & Visionaries ceremony that same year.
Goodwin is survived by his wife of 68 years, Merilyn; son David Paul Goodwin; daughter Nanette Zastrow; 18 grandchildren; and 40 great-grandchildren. A son, Ronald, and a daughter, Sandra, preceded him in death.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 72960 Parkview Dr., Palm Desert. The family has suggested that those who want to honor Goodwin may do so by sending flowers or donating to an organization or charity of their choice in his name.