Hurley Goodall, who served for 14 years in the Indiana General Assembly and was a founding member of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus (IBLC), died May 12. He was 93.
Goodall was elected in 1978 to the state House of Representatives, where he represented District 34 until 1992. Before that, he was one of the first two Black firefighters and the first Black school board member in Muncie, where he died.
In a joint statement, members of the IBLC said the caucus would not exist without Goodall.
“The name ‘Hurley Goodall’ will be remembered for years to come,” the statement said. “We will ensure it as we work to realize his vision for Hoosiers. We offer our prayers and condolences to Representative Goodall’s loved ones during this time of mourning.”
Goodall’s niece, Belinda Anderson, said helping establish the IBLC likely ranked near the top of his list of accomplishments, which included serving in Japan as a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and receiving an honorary doctorate from Ball State University.
Goodall had times where he wasn’t “treated quite as well” because he was African American, Anderson said, and that was one of the reasons he wanted to start the caucus.
“I don’t think he wanted other people to be treated like that,” she said.
Anderson said the family will remember Goodall in two ways: as someone who cared about his community and, in a more intimate way, “just as Uncle Hurley.”
“He would sit around and just watch everyone and see how we interact with each other,” she said. “Always a smile on his face. Just being a part of the family.”
Goodall was born on May 23, 1927, and graduated from Muncie Central High School in 1945. He married his high school sweetheart, Fredine, who died in 2009.
Together, they established a scholarship program to help students continue their education at Ivy Tech Community College, and Goodall was known to help with resumes and cover letters.
“He has the patience and the skills and discipline to make every person he meets feel they’re important,” Belinda Anderson’s husband, Julius, said.
Julius was one of the people who helped drive Goodall anywhere he needed to go over the last 20 years of his life — to the Statehouse, meetings, galas, all of it — which gave them a lot of time to talk about life and how to make things better.
“I really, really loved this man,” Julius said. “This man really loved me. We had a great relationship.”
A private burial is planned because of COVID-19 restrictions. There will be a memorial from 2-3:15 p.m. May 23 at Cornerstone Park in Muncie.
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.