Byron Godwin III (July 25, 1953 - December 13, 2021)

In loving memory of
Byron Godwin III
  • July 25, 1953
  • -
  • December 13, 2021

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Byron “Kerry” Kiernan Godwin III, age 68, of Winter Park Florida, passed away on December 13, 2021. A service will be held at 10:00 am on Friday, February 11, 2022 at Meade Gardens in Winter Park, Florida.

Kerry was born in Albany, Georgia to Jacquiline and Byron Godwin Jr. the middle child with 4 sisters. Growing up, he was active in the Methodist Church, Boy Scouts with many wonderful stories about camping. He worked summers for his father’s plumbing company, digging ditches or after hours auditing the books at the Family Hotel “The Downtowner”. He delivered papers, both morning and evening editions and saved his money to buy his first car, bedroom furniture, countless records, and a shag rug for his room. 

He attended Albany Junior College and The University of Georgia. A lover of UGA and Athens, GA—the history, the architecture, the gardens, and watching games from the railroad tracks—led him to sharing these passions with his family by watching football on Saturdays and sharing stories of his college days.

He loved the beach. Growing up, many days were spent with his family having popsicles on the beach in Jacksonville. As a father, he shared that love with his children on many trips to the coast—burying their legs in sand to turn them into vintage race cars, surfing waves and teaching them to boogie board. 

He was a lover of cars, especially antique cars and Volkswagen bugs, as he had a few of them himself.

He loved music, but only “good music” (this was the only time he was ever a snob!). He taught his children about southern rock and the artists he followed and the concerts he attended. Growing up, on every payday, Kerry would go to the record store, buying one of his favorite albums, a new release, and one the clerk recommended. He held a lifelong pride in the record collection he amassed.

Kerry moved to Miami in 1977 to work with Turnberry Isles in Aventura; then went on to work for the Deltona Corporation working on projects like Tampa Palms. In 1981 he met Meryl Matthews and they wed in 1983. They had three children: Kathryn “Katie”, John and Carolyn “Callie”. Weekends were filled with YMCA camping experiences, beach outings, driving down country lanes, viewing houses and dreaming up renovations. Kerry and Merly ended up buying and renovating eight homes. 

While living in Maitland, Kerry was the Chair of the Planning Commision, Co-Chair for the Cultural Corridor, worked on revitalization projects and major School improvement grants.

Kerry created the xeriscape standards for the State of Florida, receiving recognition from Governor Bob Graham. These standards would later guide him in designing Bonita Bay receiving the Grand Aurora Award, the Urban Land Institute “Award of Excellence” for Large Scale Master Planned Community, and garnered the Audubon Sanctuary Distinguished Club and Platinum Club distinctions. 

He also worked in the private sector as a Consultant for Bowyer-Singleton/Dewberry, PBS&J/Adkins and The Evans Group. Some of his projects include Celebration, a Disney-owned master-planned community, Baldwin Park in Orlando, Kingsbridge in Oviedo, and Heathrow in Lake Mary.

Kerry was calm and quiet but still a strong presence, with compassion, kindness, and fairness. He always spoke with immense wisdom and support and also had the best chuckle you would ever hear! All these traits led him to also be a leader and mentor for many.

Kerry was preceded in death by mother, Jacquiline Brewer Godwin and father Byron K Godwin III. He is survived by his wife Meryl Matthews Godwin; daughters Kathryn “Katie” Godwin and Carolyn “Callie” Godwin; son Jonathan “John” Godwin; sisters Kathy Perkins, Dru Thomason, Gail Mundt and Sandra Robb.

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  1. FRANK DORROH says:
    07 Apr 2022
    I met Kerry in 2000 when he was with PBSJ when he helped a client with a complex road design in Orange Co that would eventually make this gentleman a small fortune and later similar results for several clients in Osceola Co. The smartest guy I've known in my 30 year career as a broker in land development. He was a funny guy too and once had a whole group of attendees at a pre-app meeting laughing at me [a die hard Bama fan] with a big War Eagle shout out as soon as I sat down in the meeting the Monday after Auburn beat us the previous Saturday. He was always willing to help all of us but kept it to the letter of the law and we always knew where we stood as he was straight up and honest with his words and rulings. A good guy for sure...gonna miss you friend.

  2. Andrew Mai says:
    21 Mar 2022
    What a wonderful person he was. I will miss him.

  3. Jane and John Adams says:
    09 Feb 2022
    He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  4. Kim and Ivan Valdes lit a candle:
    09 Feb 2022
    Lit since February 9, 2022 at 2:17:55 PM

  5. Kim and Ivan Valdes lit a candle:
    09 Feb 2022
    Lit since February 9, 2022 at 2:17:18 PM

  6. Angeli G. Powell lit a candle:
    09 Feb 2022
    Lit since February 9, 2022 at 2:29:37 PM

  7. Angeli G. Powell says:
    09 Feb 2022
    Dear Godwins, we remember Kerry and your family fondly from our Maitland days. We appreciate your friendship. Prayers for comfort at this time.
    The Powell Family

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