Cecil “Butch “Godwin passed away on Friday September 15, 2023 at the age of 77. He was born
in Selma, Alabama on April 10, 1946 to the late Walter Cecil Godwin, Sr. and Oneida N. Godwin.
A native of Dallas County, he attended Dallas Academy during grade school years and
graduated high school at Albert G. Parrish High School in 1965. He attended Clark Junior
College in Newton, MS.
Coming from a long line of Dallas County cotton farmers, the family farm was located at Sardis,
Alabama where Butch spent most of his life farming with his daddy and where he resided with
his family until his death.
Butch and Patricia (Pat) Smitherman, an employee of Southern Bell Company, were married on
August 20, 1968. He was employed at Walter Craig’s Inc. for several years and also worked for
several cattle companies after Walter Craig’s closed. Soon thereafter, he became employed at
Pioneer Electric Cooperative until he retired after 34 years of dedicated employment in January
2007. Butch was an exemplary employee with an extraordinary work ethic.
Butch is preceded in death by his father, Cecil Godwin, Sr., his mother, Oneida Nowell Godwin,
his sister, Nelda Godwin Chavers, and survived by a niece, Sandy Chavers Deimler, of Dothan.
He was a devoted son, brother, husband and father of two sons, Jason Hamilton Godwin
(Brittany) and Austin Reed Godwin (Natalie) and grandfather of three grandsons, Andrew Reed,
William Henry and Graham Thomas. He was better known by his grandsons as “Gah-Gah”.
Being an avid hunter, he was a great teacher to his sons and grandsons, teaching them to gun
and bow hunt, to fish, gun safety and survival, water ski, to ride horses and a multitude of other
basic lessons of life. He instilled his own work ethic in his sons as well. He was a combination of
Daniel Boone and General Nathan Bedford Forrest. His life was marked by honor and duty.
Loving their Southern heritage, Butch and Pat have spent their life together in Constitution and
Southern History Preservation activism. He was the Great Grandson of Pvt. William Henry
Godwin, who served in the 6 th Alabama Cavalry, CSA. Butch joined the Sons of Confederate
Veterans in September 1990 and became a leader of historic preservation throughout his life
serving in the SCV. He served as South Central Brigade Commander in the Alabama Division,
Sons of Confederate Veterans for two years. He was awarded the Commander-in-Chief’s Medal,
Jefferson Davis Lifetime Achievement Award, the Heritage Defense Medal and the
Distinguished Service Medal during his years in the SCV. He was known throughout the
Alabama Division and the entire Confederation for his friendly smile and his readiness and
willingness to work wherever and whenever he was needed.
Butch was a respected citizen of Sardis and surrounding community; was a member of the
Sardis Volunteer Fire Dept working at the ground level of its establishment.
Butch loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his family, his friends, his Southern heritage, his
country and his precious Southland. He was a member of Sister Springs Baptist Church.
He leaves behind family and a multitude of friends that loved him and will miss him dearly but
will cherish all the memories he has filled in their hearts over the years. His love and kindness
toward others will always be remembered.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be sent to The Sons of Confederate
Veterans in Memory of Cecil “Butch” Godwin and marked FOR FORREST PLAZA FUND and/or
SCV Confederate Museum Fund. Mail donations to: Sons of Confederate Veterans, P.O. Box 59,
Columbia, TN 38402. Donations can be made online, check, credit card or call 1-800-MY SOUTH
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. from the Sister Springs Baptist Church in Tyler, Alabama.
Interment will follow in the New Live Oak Cemetery in Selma.
Pallbearers will be Johnny Ray Harris, George Denmark, Charlie Kee, Ronnie Simmons, Ed Boardwine, Mike Whorton, Benjamin Austin, and Steve Fitts.
Honorary pallbearers will be David Allen, Tyrone Crowley, Buddy Rogers, Todd Kiscaden, Buddy Hood, Nelson Andrews, Philip Davis, Mike Scroggins, Cecil Moton, and Chris Self.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 from 5-7pm at the Selma Funeral Home in Valley Grande.
Final arrangements entrusted to the Selma Funeral Home of Valley Grande.