Asheville lost one of its most determined advocates for justice on Dec. 31, 2018.
Althea Marie Goode, 75, was an Asheville native and 1963 graduate of Stephens-Lee High School, mother of three, grandmother of six, and great-grandmother of four.
She was fearless and outspoken in her advocacy for the needs of all those without the means or opportunity to speak for themselves. Residents of public housing as well as lower-income neighborhoods, students attending low-achieving schools, all those without a voice, found themselves represented by Ms. Goode. She appeared before City Council and Buncombe County Commission, at public meetings of advocacy groups, and at rallies and demonstrations of every sort—whenever someone was needed to speak out, and speak up.
As Elder Alfred E. Blount of Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church said, Althea Goode was, in spirit, a descendant of biblical Queen Esther. At whatever cost to herself, she entered the temple of power wherein to seek justice for her colleagues, neighbors, and friends.
Althea Goode was preceded in death by her mother, Lena Elizabeth Pilgrim, her husband John Goode, Jr., her brother James England, and sister Linda Pilgrim. She leaves behind her daughter Coleta, sons Mark and Glenn, brothers Eugene Kelly and Robert Pilgrim, sisters Brenda Mason (Rick) and Albertina White (Norman), to mourn her passing, cherish her memory, and celebrate her life. And she leaves with all of us a legacy: that Asheville is a better place thanks to her.