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Honoring The Life Of Nancy Good

Rep. Diana DeGette

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Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor the life of a longtime constituent of mine who recently passed away. Nancy Good was a social and political activist whose career, which was focused on bettering the lives of others, spanned several decades and three continents. Nancy was especially committed to furthering the cause of civil rights, and was an enthusiastic advocate of racially integrated neighborhoods, a cause she worked on both in Washington, DC, and Denver. She died August 24th at St. Joseph's Hospital in Denver after a brief illness at the age of 89.

After World War II, she worked in Germany to repatriate displaced persons for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) and edited the agency newsletter. It was during this time that she met her husband, Robert C. Good, and together they opened a settlement house under the sponsorship of the American Friends Service Committee in Frankfurt in 1947, work for which she was honored fifty years later by the German government.

Nancy moved to Denver with her family in 1953 and worked for the Social Science Foundation at the University of Denver (D.U.). She worked with community groups to establish fair housing practices among Denver realtors. She was also very active with the ACLU during this time.

A long career detour took the Goods to Washington, DC, where Nancy worked for the Washington Planning and Housing Agency. Nancy organized Democracy in Action, which took groups of DC junior high school students to meet with Senators, Supreme Court Justices and members of the Kennedy administration to learn firsthand about the workings of the federal government. The Goods lived in France in 1959, and in 1965, her husband was appointed the first U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, where Nancy remained active with the Girl Guides and with hunger relief projects.

In 1971 the Goods moved back to Denver when Bob Good was appointed head of the Graduate School of International Studies at D.U. Nancy worked for Mayor Bill McNichols's Commission on Community Relations (working with John Simonet on police sensitivity training among other issues) and Commission on Aging (where she started the Wise Old Owls gift shop to sell crafts made by seniors). Her proudest accomplishment at this time was helping to start Denver's first Community Gardens project under the leadership of Min Yasui.

In 1976 the Goods moved to Granville, Ohio, when Bob Good became President of Denison University. At Denison, Nancy oversaw a three year renovation of a derelict Victorian building in the center of the campus, which became the Good's residence and the center of social and intellectual life of the university. Bob and Nancy returned to Denver in 1984.

Nancy was a proud longtime Democratic Party activist. She worked on election after election, bringing in cadres of volunteers to elect the Jerry Kopels, Pat Schroeders and Wellington Webbs of Denver. She was a member of the Downtown Democratic Forum, the Social Legislation Committee and the League of Women Voters, and spent her life fighting for positive social change in her community.

It may be for a more light-hearted institution, however, that she will be remembered by generations of Denver children. ``Eggnog for Eggheads,'' a Christmas party, was given by Nancy for 40 consecutive years. The party eventually grew to become an all-day affair with a guest list of over 1,000 attendees including Mayors, Congresswomen and professors who mingled with Nancy's Park Hill neighbors. Kids built houses, castles and other architectural wonders from sugar cubes and frosting in the Goods' basement which were later donated to children in hospitals across the city. In honor of the popular gathering, Mayor Wellington Webb declared ``Eggnog for Eggheads Day'' in Denver on December 3rd 1996.

Nancy is greatly missed by friends and family and will be remembered most for her enthusiastic nature, zest for life, and commitment to political and social change and for the great love she had for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.