More detail on this person: Charles David Godby (Charlie) passed away in Murrieta, CA on February 3rd, 2019 at age 69. He was a resident of Murrieta for more than 20 years. He is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Cynthia Godby, his sons Christopher (37) and Colin (35), and his Grandson, Bryn (3). Charlie was born in Oak Hill, WV on March 18, 1949, the son of Charles Anderson Godby and Lillian Deloris Ingram Godby. He lived a free-range childhood moving all over the eastern seaboard with his 3 brothers, Gary, Mark and Michael. Their father, Charles A. Godby was a Navy man after leaving the coal-mines of WV, and thus the Godby family was never long in one particular location. He had epic stories from those times; like catching cottonmouth snakes by the tails in Tennessee, bribing his brother's silence with a quarter after an errant BB shot to the bum, and cross country ice skating for miles in Maine. Never a great swimmer, he nearly drowned with his brother Gary trying to surf an epic swell off the coast of Virginia. He even had a close encounter with Major League Baseball after getting scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies in High School. Unfortunately, a surgery to remove a concerning growth in his elbow ended that chapter. Upon graduating High School, he decided that he wanted to chase his true passion of flying and enlisted in the Military to be sent off to Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. He flew UH-1's (Huey) during Vietnam and safely returned with numerous stories of close-calls in the cockpit and hair that would have made ZZ Top proud. He bought a cherry Pontiac GTO and enrolled in college under the GI-bill at Old Dominion in Maine; he graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration. Soon after earning his degree, he returned to the Military by entering Officer Candidate School for the Marine Corps. Once complete, he traded the east coast for the West Coast for the first time in his life. He was drawn to the "endless summer" in Southern California, no doubt inspired by the Beach Boys, where he could practice his golf swing even in the middle of January. It was in Tustin, California that he met his future wife, Cynthia Boudreau while buying chocolate candies from Cost Plus market. Charlie and Cynthia were married on February 24, 1979 in Laguna Niguel, only 10 days after totaling his car, and 2 days before moving to Okinawa, Japan. Cynthia followed him two weeks later and they lived off-base in Okinawa while stationed there. In total, he spent 2 years in Okinawa over the course of the next handful of years. Following one of his first posts in Japan, he returned to California where they purchased their first home in El Toro. His first son, Christopher, was born in 1981 in Mission Viejo, and the family soon moved to Pensacola, FL where Charlie was to take a stint as a naval flight instructor. His second son, Colin, was born in Pensacola where they lived for 2 more years, before ultimately moving back cross-country, flying CH-46 helicopters out of El Toro and Tustin air bases in California. He served the final 10 years of his time in the Marines stationed out of these Southern California bases. He ultimately made the switch to fixed wing aircraft, piloting the C12 "King Air" through a long tour in the Persian Gulf war in . Family life at that time consisted of frequent trips to the driving range, horseback trail-rides from their property in Trabuco Canyon and weekend trips to boogie board at the beach or cheer ("coach") at the boys' soccer games One of the most memorable trips that the family took was a vacation to Hawaii that ended prematurely on the runway; the Space-Available military flight that they intended to take was full for the foreseeable future. The Godby family never went back for a Mulligan on that one. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1994, having honorably attained the rank of Major. It was around this time that he was re-born a Christian, restarting a lifelong relationship with Christ. When he got out of the Military, it was a down time in the aviation industry. Charlie took a variety of jobs in the cockpit, ranging from flying sunset helicopter tours through the Grand Canyon to med-evac flights in C-12's out of the Four Corners. A chance phone call with a long time pilot buddy landed him an interview at Atlas Air Cargo, flying 747-400 cargo aircraft, truly behemoths of the sky; it was a large step in his professional career, ultimately opening the door to a fulfilling role as First Officer at Fedex starting in the early 2000's, flying MD-11s. This role continued the trend of Charlie traveling the world for work, with frequent trips to Asia and Latin America as a part of his routes. Just prior to the change in jobs, Charlie and the family moved to the hills above Murrieta, California where they were finally able to achieve their lifelong dream of building a custom home. Here they had the room they wanted for the horses and as much fresh air as you could breathe. The end of his fruitful career came in 2014, where he retired from Fedex at 64.5 years old. Much of his retirement was spent utterly spoiling the family pets with treats, procuring copious supplies for life on the ranch and staying well informed of the current political news. Charlie's first Grandson, Bryn Godby, was born in Colorado in December of 2015, to Colin and his wife, Angela. While Charlie's time with Bryn was relatively limited, it was in the moments that they spent together where Charlie's best side shined through. He was deeply caring, beyond generous, and an absolute kid at heart. The last trip that the family took together was one to Legoland in November 2018. There, Charlie rode every ride and helped build every creation with Bryn; he never stopped smiling the entire time. Charlie passed away holding the values of God, Country and Family above all. "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever." Services will be conducted at 11:45pm on Friday, February 22nd at Arlington Mortuary in Riverside with interment following at Riverside National Cemetery with Military Honors at 1:45PM. Friends may call on Thursday, February 21st at Arlington Mortuary from 4-8pm. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Charles David Godby please visit ourSympathy Store.
Burial information: Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, CA
This information was last updated 02/22/2019
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 08/05/2019
Copyright © 1998 - 2019 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association