News

Longtime F.C. Resident Sarah Goodrich Dies

Sarah McLaughlin Goodrich, 65, died peacefully at her home in Falls Church on February 25. She had ovarian cancer.

A native of Bluefield, W.Va., Sarah Louise McLaughlin was born at the Retreat for the Sick Hospital in Richmond, a premature baby at only 3 lbs 8 ozs. Doctors credited her survival, rare in those days, to her very strong heart. She grew up in Bluefield and attended Bluefield High School, graduating in 1963. She was a lifelong fan of the Bluefield Beavers. From there she went to Westhampton College, the undergraduate college for women at the University of Richmond. She received her B.A. in History and taught for two years in Richlands, Virginia before earning her Masters degree in Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1970.

She became a Reference Librarian at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. It was in the Tidewater area that she met her future husband, William W. Goodrich, Jr. who was a young Navy officer at the time. They met at the Ft. Story Officers Club in Virginia Beach on a Friday night mixer in January 1971. Bill recalls saying to his friends, “I think I’ll ask that little girl to dance.” They were married August 18, 1973, when Bill was attending law school at George Washington University, where Sarah worked in the University library as a Reference Librarian.

They were living in Burke when the couple’s first child, Courtney, was born, May 1976. Two other children followed – Whitney, in December 1979 and Tom in October 1985.

A devoted mother, she spent much of her time raising the children and volunteering at their schools and church. She was an active member of The Falls Church (Episcopal) for nearly 30 years, participating in bible studies and other church activities.

In addition to her husband and three children, she is survived by sons-in-laws, Barry Kirkendall and Jason Odau, and four grandchildren.

A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held Monday, March 7, at 10 a.m. in the Falls Church Main Sanctuary, 115 E. Fairfax St., followed by a reception at the Washington Golf and Country Club.