Former Nursing Dean, Dr. Lillian Goodman, Leaves Impressive Legacy

Feb 1, 2018
Dr. Lillian Goodman

So many of our faculty and alumni still talk of Dr. Lillian Goodman and her impact on nursing. She was one of thirteen children and was a freshman in 1941 when Pearl Harbor happened. She served as Dean at Umass Amherst College of Nursing from 1970-1972. She will be missed by many and we send our deepest condolences to her longtime partner Mary K. Alexander. 

The following obituary was published in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Jan. 26 to Jan. 28, 2018:

"Lillian Rachel Goodman, 94

Shrewsbury - Lillian Rachel Goodman, 94 of Shrewsbury, a visionary leader in the field of nursing education and practice, passed away peacefully Wednesday, January 24th 2018, after a period of declining health. 

Lillian was born in Hanover, New Hampshire on May 20th 1923, the eighth child of thirteen children born to the late Benjamin "Bennie" and Anna Goodman. She graduated from Lebanon High School and attended the University of Michigan. Lillian then earned her nursing diploma from Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing, and subsequently her Bachelor of Science, Masters of Science and Doctorate of Education from Boston University. She began her career with the State of Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Central Office as Assistant Chief of psychiatric nurses. Lillian also served as Interim Dean for the University Of Massachusetts School Of Nursing in Amherst. In 1973, Lillian was approached and accepted the challenge to create the Worcester State College School of Nursing Department, currently known as the Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing. While serving as Professor and Department Chair at Worcester State, she also consulted both nationally and internationally and authored several publications in the field of nursing. In 1991, Lillian then assumed the position of Dean and Professor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School Graduate School of Nursing serving in this position until 1999 when she retired. During her tenure the school began offering a Collaborative Ph.D program with the Umass Campus in Amherst. Lillian received two honorary doctorates, one from Umass Worcester in 1991, and another from Worcester State College in 1999. After retirement, Lillian continued to perform community service in the areas of health and education. 

She is survived by her lifetime companion of 45 years, Mary K. Alexander of Shrewsbury; her brother, Joseph Goodman and his wife Patricia of Nashua, NH; several nieces, nephews, extended families and many friends and colleagues. In addition to her parents, Lillian was predeceased by her brothers Samuel, George, Robert, Harry, Harvey, Louis and Richard Goodman; her sisters, Grace Smith, Mary Pearlstein, Elizabeth Fleischman and Helen Budd. 

Lillian loved reading, and enjoyed playing Golf and skiing. She also found great enjoyment traveling nationally and internationally, but always enjoyed her summers in Maine and during retirement looked forward to spending winters at her home in Florida. Lillian spent many enjoyable hours with her pets, her sheltie dog Gwenie and three Siamese cats."


Click here to make a gift in Lillian's honor to the Dr. Lillian R. Goodman & Dr. Mary K. Alexander Fellowship Fund.


To hear her own words about her nursing pathway, listen here.