John "Cliff" Clifton Goodin

Photo of John "Cliff" Clifton Goodin
John Clifton "Cliff" Goodin, a pillar of the Russellville community, passed peacefully on Sunday, February 11, 2024, at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Russellville, at the age of 81, after suffering a stroke on February 2, 2024. Born on November 13, 1942, in Bald Knob, he was a beloved son of Duval Grant Goodin and Minnie (Collison) Goodin. On July 4th, 1964, Cliff married his college sweetheart, Sara Lou Snow, in Blytheville. For 59 years they have enjoyed doing life together, loving each other, their family and friends. Cliff earned his bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering from Arkansas State University. Cliff and Sara Lou moved to Russellville in 1966, when he was transferred with International Harvester. At the prospect of being transferred from Russellville in 1971, Cliff decided to make a career change. He began working for Vernon Howard Realty where he gained knowledge of the real estate industry. Ten years later, he started Cliff Goodin & Associates, Realtors, which led to years of real estate sales and development throughout the River Valley. Over five decades Cliff was involved in the development of numerous commercial projects including the Russellville City Mall. Residential developments include: the completion of Western Hills, the development of Deer Run Subdivision, Summerwood Estates, and Shiloh Manor Estates, along with the development of several rental projects which he managed along with his daughter Julie, until his death. Cliff transitioned his focus to the hands-on management and maintenance of his duplexes. He has remained an active real estate broker in support of his daughters, Gaye and Julie in their real estate careers. Cliff gave generously of his time to the real estate industry by serving locally and at the state level. He held every local office of the Russellville Board of Realtors, serving as president more than once. He was President of the Arkansas Realtors Association (ARA) in 1998. That same year he was named Arkansas Realtors Realtor of the Year. Additionally, he served as an ARPAC Trustee for over 2 decades and served on the ARA Legislative committee. He was inducted into the National Association of Realtors Hall of Fame in 2023, based on his generous contributions throughout his career. As an ARPAC Trustee, he played a key role in raising money to support political candidates at the local, state and national levels, and communicated ARA positions on legislative issues to elected officials. Cliff and Sara Lou participated in annual trips to Washington, DC to attend Realtor Party Legislative Meetings. In 2006 he was appointed by Governor Mike Huckabee for a three-year term as a commissioner to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission. Cliff was an active member of First Baptist Church where he served for many years as a deacon and enjoyed greeting members and visitors on Sunday mornings with Sara Lou. He was also committed to the growth and development of church properties, and played a key role through his service on the building committee. Throughout his years in Russellville, he was actively involved in civic leadership. He was a member of the Russellville Jaycees, Lions Club, Arts Center Board, and Russellville Chamber of Commerce. His service to the Chamber included being a Red Coat for many years and being the chairman of the Chamber board in 1997. He was selected as Russellville's Citizen of the Year in 1999. Additionally, he was a member of the Russellville Alliance Board and the City Corp Board, which he chaired in 2004. His most recent project, up until the time of his death, included his commitment to Citizens for a Better Pope County. Cliff's greatest source of happiness came from spending cherished moments with his family. He took immense pride in his role as a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and his greatest joy was just being with them. Among Cliff's hobbies and interests, he loved cheering on the Razorbacks and ASU Red Wolves. He enjoyed watching all sports on television. But most of all, he particularly enjoyed watching his family play golf around the state. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Arbadella Bartell of Ft. Smith; and two brothers, Kenneth Goodin of Bald Knob and Carroll Goodin of Jonesboro. Survivors include his beloved wife of 59 years, Sara Lou Goodin; his two daughters, Gaye Croom and husband Bucky, and Julie Oxendine and husband Greg, all of Russellville; four grandchildren, Libby Pledger and husband Chris of Little Rock, Tripp Croom and wife Allison, Meagan Oxendine and her partner, Drake Cooper, and Harrison Oxendine, all of Russellville; one great-grandchild, Kayce Cooper; two sisters, Patricia Guethle and husband Tom of St. Louis, Mo., and Paulette Barber and Dwayne of Bald Knob; and numerous extended family. Memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, February 14, 2024, at First Baptist Church in Russellville. The family will receive friends for visitation immediately following the service. A private burial will be held at Oakland Cemetery in Russellville by Humphrey Funeral Service. Memorials may be made to Gideons International, P.O. Box 1604, Russellville, Ark. 72811, or the World Mission Fund at First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 36, Russellville, Ark. 72811. Pallbearers are Shawn Gordon, Bryan Harris, Danny Hipps, Jim Knight, Burke Larkin, Larry Walker, and Tim White. Honorary Pallbearers are Charles Blanchard, Mike Larkin, Mike Miller, Bill Sparks, Rick Thone, and Phil Wright. Internet obituary and on-line guest book are available at

Published February 14, 2024

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