PennVet | In Memoriam - Walter Flato Goodman
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In Memoriam - Walter Flato Goodman

By: Helma Weeks Published: May 12, 2014
Walter Flato Goodman

Walter F. Goodman, 91, died in Miami, FL on the afternoon of October 6, 2013, the day of the Montgomery County Kennel Club All-Terrier Show. A successful breeder and exhibitor of Skye Terriers, Walter served on Penn Vet’s Board of Overseers from 1986 to 2005. He was a friend to the School’s deans and a generous supporter of the School’s programs. In particular, he was interested in furthering canine health through the study of genetics. To that end, he and his son Robert A. Flanders established irrevocable trusts to support the Walter Flato Goodman Center for Comparative Medical Genetics, dedicated to clinical and basic research of animal genetic diseases that also afflict humans.

Walter was introduced to Penn Vet by Josephine Deubler, V’38, a fellow terrier exhibitor and judge and close friend. Walter commissioned the painting of Josephine Deubler that hangs in the School’s lobby.

A world traveler with a keen interest in other cultures, art, music, and architecture, Walter was a terrific teller of stories. His great love was the world of dogs. In addition to breeding and showing Skye Terriers, he was a tireless steward of the sport of dogs.

Dean Joan Hendricks says, “Walter was such a professional in the dog world and so highly regarded. My special memories include visiting him in his wonderful Miami condo – where terriers were present in oil paintings, photos, and sculptures – and joining him for dinner before the Montgomery County Kennel Club All-Terrier Show – the premier event of its kind, where he was royalty. Walter was always humorous, dynamic, funny, and warm. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to know him.”

Former Dean Edwin J. Andrews remembers, “Walter was always a great friend of Penn Vet, providing access to the Westminster Kennel Club and many other dog-oriented groups. Despite his devotion to Penn, he had a particular level of ‘preference’ when it came to dining, always choosing the Yale Club of New York to the Penn Club as a venue for lunches. He had a special table on the rooftop garden, which always made for memorable events. He will be dearly missed.”

Alan M. Kelly reminisces, “When I first came into the Dean’s office in 1994, several of the School’s friends and benefactors came to meet with me. Among them was Walter. He was very positive and supportive of the School. For a novice dean entering an entirely new world, it was a very reassuring encounter. The next time I saw Walter, he was serving as Best in Show judge at Westminster, beaming and having a wonderful time in the middle of the ring. It didn’t change in the years that followed. Walter was exceedingly generous to the School and was one of the most loyal members of our Board of Overseers. He will be remembered as a happy, stylish gentleman with an infectious smile.”

Walter’s accomplishments will stand for many years:
> One of the most successful breeder-owner-handlers in the sport with more than 300 Terrier group wins and 99 Best in Show wins, including Westminster in 1969
> Winner of the 1962 and 1963 Ken-L Ration (Quaker Oats) Owner-Handler Award, 1969 and 1971 Kennel Review’s Male Owner-Handler of the Year, and 2011 AKC Lifetime Achievement Award
> Inducted into the Anne Rogers Clark Hall of Fame at the 2012 Show Dogs of the Year Awards
> Judge of Terrier breeds, Best in Show, and Junior Handling in the USA and internationally
> Founding member of the Museum of the Dog
> Founding member of the AKC Canine Health Foundation
> Delegate, Skye Terrier Club of America, 1951-2012
> Member, Penn Vet Board of Overseers, 1986-2005
> President, Montgomery County Kennel Club, 1986-2010
> Member, AKC Board of Directors, 1988-2012
> President Emeritus, Montgomery County Kennel Club, 2011-2013

Walter F. Goodman is survived by his son Robert A. Flanders, five nieces
and nephews, three great-nieces, his many friends, and his beloved Norfolk Terrier, Gypsy.