Neal passed away peacefully on December 22, 2019. Neal is survived by his beloved wife Jean LeDonne Goodson; his children, Lisa Dady (John), William Goodson Jr. (Wendy) and Robert Goodson (Catherine); and his sister Nancy Parrott (Maynard). He was also the kindest and gentlest grandfather to his seven grandchildren who adored him.
His education included Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech, Business Administration at George Washington University and studies at the Foreign Service Institute. Neal spent over 20 years as a career foreign service officer with the US Agency for International Development serving in various capacities related to Urban Development and assuring that US assistance for low income housing adhered to government standards. Throughout his tenure serving in Jamaica, Argentina and Kenya, Neal was known for his gracious approach and ability to bring varying cultures and opinions to common ground. His empathy across all levels of professionals and recipients of the low-income housing projects resulted in respect and gratitude for the work of USAID and the United States as well. Neal was loved and respected by both the host country leaders and the US Ambassadors that he worked with in each of his posts.
While his storied career made him many friends, it was his relationship with his family that was most important to him. Neal enjoyed working in the garden, scuba diving and being near the ocean.
A memorial service is planned at Goodwin House Baileys Crossroads on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the , Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria or to the Goodwin House Foundation in Neal’s name.