John Godbee Obituary


John Raiford Godbee, III passed away on Thursday, October 13, 2022, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. John was an Executive Director for J.P. Morgan Private Bank. He is survived by his wife, Gretchen Larsen Godbee, D.V.M. John was born January 22, 1954 in Tampa, Florida. His parents were John R. Godbee, Jr. and Mary Mott Godbee. His early years were spent in Deland, Florida and Tampa. After a colorful collegiate career at Florida State University and the University of South Florida (U.S.F.), John graduated from U.S.F. After graduation, John moved to Athens, Georgia where he first worked for NRC, then eventually for IBM. Thereafter, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, and earned a Master in Business Administration from Tulane University in 1989. In the early 1990s, John moved to Alexandria, Louisiana to work in private banking. In Alexandria, he was confirmed at St. James Episcopal Church where he met his lovely wife, Gretchen. They moved to Baton Rouge in 2001. John was an athlete and loved sports. While at U.S.F., John played for the lacrosse club. Later, he discovered rugby. He played as a non-student ringer for the University of Georgia Rugby Club. When he moved to Columbus, Georgia, he played with both the Old White Rugby Club and the Columbus Rugby Club. John loved all things rugby, especially the comradery, teamsmanship, and post-match shenanigans. He was an England Lions fan, who would meet friends at 3:00 AM to watch a match. John played for the Baton Rouge Rugby Club from 1999 until he retired from the game at age 55 and took up CrossFit and swimming. Surprisingly, John Godbee had a soft side. He was a respected member of the St. James Episcopal Church choir and a veteran participant in the semi-annual Poland Baptist Church patriotic concerts. John was a student of history, especially World War II. He was an unrivaled trivia nut. One of his favorite parlor tricks was telling friends what day of the week they were born when he was given the month, date, and year. He loved college football and he was a die-hard Georgia Bulldogs fan. In recent years, he wrote a weekly Facebook post of his outcome predictions for the Southeastern Conference football game lineup, regularly throwing in a jab at any school not named Georgia. John also loved music. His favorite genre was classic rock, but he could have a discussion about almost any other genre (except, perhaps Rap or Hip-Hop). This year, he guest-hosted a friend’s local radio program reviewing some of the best rock guitarists of the early to mid-1970’s. John loved taking Gretchen and friends to the Red Dragon Listening Room to hear brilliant, though not typically “mainstream”, musicians play live music. John Godbee was a member of the board of South Baton Rouge Y.M.C.A., a former trustee at the Alexandria Museum of Art, a former board member of the L.S.U. Museum of Art, and a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Baton Rouge Rotary Club. John was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, William “Bill” Godbee, and his animal friends, Baskerville, Bjorn, The Yeti, Oscar, Sally Tomato, Lilly, Lola, Mrs. Stevens, Bonhoeffer, Zuul, Percy, Madonna (a.k.a Donnie) and Starme. John is survived by his wife, Gretchen, and siblings, Martha Godbee, Susan Byrd, and Tim Tyndall. Other survivors include in-laws Becky Warren, Tom and Kristina McBride, and Ricky and Susana Larsen. His nieces and nephews are Carly Byrd, Cason Byrd, Connor Byrd, Jennifer Godbee, Emily Godbee, Matthew Tyndall, Jacob Tyndall, Larsen McBride, Rebecca McBride, Lesley Warren, Emily Warren, Alexandra Larsen Lee, and Nicholas Larsen. Lastly, he is survived by his beloved pets, Tess, Delilah, Bettye, Moondog, Mr. Dagnabit, Tumbleturk, and Weezy Tate. Services will be Saturday October 29, 2022 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 8833 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806. Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the church with the service to follow at 3:00 p.m. The family requests that memorials be made to any of the following: Friends of the Animals Baton Rouge: P.O. Box 14871, Baton Rouge, LA 70898 (; St. Luke’s Episcopal Eli Palmer Shepherd’s Fund, The Red Dragon Listening Room (Louisiana Americana and Folk Society); or the Baton Rouge Rugby Club. Go Dawgs!

moved to Alexandria, Louisiana to

Published by The Advocate on Oct. 28, 2022.
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I have known John since high school. He was smart, hard headed, and invincible. I have just learned of his passing, and am in shock. He was a fine person.

Nancy R. Curtis
January 23, 2023

I will so miss John in our St. Luke´s Sunday School class. He always added the most interesting tidbits! God bless and keep! Ellen Campbell

Godbee, Jr

Ellen Campbell
October 29, 2022

I am so saddened to learn of John´s unexpected passing. I was a private banking client of his, and he had been a trusted financial advisor for many years. He was knowledgeable and informed, professional and affable. He was a good listener and although he worked for a mega- company I always felt I was getting personal attention and not just cookie-cutter advice. Over the years I came to regard him as a friend and not just a business contact. I will genuinely miss him. He was a good man. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and colleagues.
Lloyd Lunceford