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.