Roll of Honor

Michael Gene Goodnight

Michael Gene Goodnight

  • Firefighter
  • West Liberty Volunteer Fire Department
  • North Carolina
  • Age: 55
  • Year of Death: 2018

Michael Gene Goodnight was the son of the late Gene and Joanne Goodnight. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca (Becky) Goodnight, whom he married on December 17, 2016; stepdaughters, Jinny Hunt and Christian Lindsay; and his sister, Judy Burris.

Michael had worked at several fire departments ever since he was sixteen. He loved being a fireman and felt like he was helping people when he responded to a call, which is what he loved to do. The fire department was a big part of his life. Other than his family, that is where he felt like he belonged.

Michael loved his family. He loved to joke around with the girls and with his firemen friends when the occasion was right. He was embarrassed at the fireman’s Christmas party in 2017, because it fell on his birthday, so we surprised him with a big cake with a working toy fire truck. He later said that was the best birthday he ever had. He loved fireballs, so for Christmas one year we gave him a fireman’s boot that was filled with 478 fireballs. There were some in his pocket on the day he died.

Michael was filled with love for his family, friends, the fire service, and life itself. He was always willing to help in any way he could, no matter whether it was putting out a fire or lending an ear and his time to listen. He loved to make jokes and bring smiles to those around him. His favorite joke was telling people that a new law had been passed that would fine farmers $500 for every round haybale because their animals weren’t getting a square meal. He was a true gentleman, opening doors for people, and if he saw someone in need, he would go to help them out.

When his stepdaughter Christian’s mom died, he went to get her so that she would have somewhere to live. That was just the kind of man he was. The relationship with his stepdaughter Jinny was the best that you could ask for. They were so much alike it wasn’t even funny, and Michael was great for her. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Michael made his dreams come true by marrying Becky, the one person he had loved since he was young, and by being a fireman.

Michael loved to go fishing with his wife. He will be missed by everyone that knew him, especially his family.