Richard L. Goodson
Richard L. Goodson

June 28, 1943 - March 2, 2022
Born in Tennesee
Resided in West Des Moines, Iowa
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Richard Lee Goodson, Jr.
June 28, 1943 - March 2, 2022

Richard Lee (Dick) Goodson, Jr. was born on June 28, 1943, and passed on March 2, 2022.

He was born in Chattanooga, TN to Reverend Richard Lee Goodson, Sr., and Ruby Story Goodson. His father was a Baptist minister and that calling took the family to several states including Illinois, Idaho, Indiana and New Jersey. Dick was a gifted storyteller and he enjoyed talking about his childhood adventures in all four states. From a young age, he was enthralled by cars and his love of and appreciation for nice, fast cars carried throughout his entire life. His face would light up as he spoke of street racing his Dodge Hemi in New Jersey and driving his BMW 740i at 140 mph across Montana and Idaho.

While living, working, and attending junior college in New Jersey, Dick met his future wife, Diane. Soon after he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Ft. Benning, Georgia for basic training. He and Diane married and their son Richard Lee Goodson, III was born in 1968. The Vietnam War was raging, and Dick wasn’t sure where he would be sent following basic training. Dick had experience as a butcher, and that important life skill landed him a stateside mess sergeant assignment. Coffee was an important commodity during the Vietnam War and Dick loved to tell the story of two officers bidding for his cooking/baking talents. A trade of several pounds of coffee sealed the deal. He worked hard in the Army and was popular with his superiors. Dick earned the rank of E5 and following his honorable discharge, he moved his family to Indiana, where he continued his college education and earned a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science.

Dick accepted a research director position at the Polk/Des Moines Taxpayers Association and brought his family to Des Moines during the winter of 1973. He clearly remembered the historic snowstorm that year and enjoyed telling how his car was stranded in the middle of the street as he walked home through two feet of snow. In 1980 he was hired as President of the Iowa Savings and Loan League and represented all savings institutions in Iowa. In this position he oversaw all state and national governmental affairs and traveled regularly to Washington, D.C. on behalf of his members. Through his work he drew on his political science education and began building relationships with elected politicians, both state and national, from all political parties. Dick had a gift for bringing opposing parties together and helping them see the value in working together toward a common goal. He was passionate about every election season, every caucus he was involved in, and every presidential candidate he could meet. He would invite presidential candidates to his home, and several accepted his invitations.

In 1990 Dick formed Diversified Management Services, Inc. (DMS, Inc.), an association management company which managed state, regional and national associations. DMS was created to ensure the survival of a strong service delivery system to the Iowa Savings and Loan League membership. DMS was Dick’s ‘baby’ and he nurtured it as such and helped it become one of the largest association management firms in Iowa and a portion of the Midwest.
He was a firm believer in women’s rights and equality in the workplace and hired many strong, intelligent, and talented women to help grow DMS. His final act of supporting women in the workplace came as he chose Kathryn Banasiak to become his successor at DMS.

In addition to his business achievements, Dick was a passionate community leader and volunteer. He touched many lives and was a mentor to many. He was a firm believer in civil rights and developed solid friendships within diverse communities. There are far too many organizations and positions to list in this space. For a complete list of his business accomplishments and volunteer positions, please visit the tribute page.

Dick lived a full and interesting life. He was an amateur chef and wine connoisseur and bringing people together in his home and kitchen brought him great joy and satisfaction. He traveled with his family and on business to almost every U.S. state including his favorite - Hawaii. He also traveled to Australia & New Zealand, Canada, Europe and Mexico. His favorite summer retreat was in central Wisconsin at the Green Lake Conference Center/American Baptist Assembly, where he had spent his childhood summers with his parents and his brother Bob.

In the late 1990’s Dick started another chapter in his personal life. He met and married Kerry and they worked and traveled together. Kerry brought three dogs and two horses into his life and although at first, he wasn’t sure what to think of the new four-legged creatures in his carefully structured world, he eventually learned to appreciate and understand all animals in a deeper, more meaningful way. This connection with all animals continued as he worked in the woods around his home and admired the deer, fox, raccoons, birds, and other wildlife that he experienced daily. One summer he cleared a walking path through the woods and found solace among the trees as he contemplated his future following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

He openly shared his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, courageously fought the disease for many years and eventually gracefully accepted it. Those who encountered him during his final years always noted his dignity. He wrote about Alzheimer’s in his blog and regularly sent editorials about the disease to the Des Moines Register. He never gave up hope that a cure would be found in his lifetime. His family would like to thank everyone who supported him and took good care of him during his final years. With special thanks to his respectful primary care Dr. John Amspaugh at the IA Clinic in Johnston; Dr. Yogi Shah & Dr. Robert Bender at Broadlawns Geriatric and Memory Center, the IA Alzheimer’s Association staff and his favorite support group leader Susan, the caring and upbeat staff at Wesley Adult Day Program and his wonderful comfort care nurses at Methodist West hospital.

In Dick’s own words, “I am so proud of my son and my grand-children and I’m so fortunate that I was loved by three good women: my mother, my first wife Diane, and you (Kerry). What more could a man ask for?”

Dick was preceded in death by his parents. His brother Bob, whom Dick took care of for over 40 years, died six weeks after Dick. Those left to remember Dick’s life and legacy include his wife Kerry, son Richard (Rich) Goodson III (Beth), grandchildren Zoe and Eli, first wife and mother of his son Diane (Jim) Baker, nephew Matthew (Melissa) Goodson and their children Ruby and Maggie, great-nephew Alex (Emily) Goodson and their baby Luca, brothers in law Rick (Arlene) Poppert, Tim Poppert, step-niece Rebecca, three step-grandchildren, several cousins and many dear friends.

A Celebration of Dick’s Life will be held from Noon to 2 pm Friday, April 29, 2022, at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines. Tributes will begin at 1 pm. Dick loved bringing people together, enjoying great conversation and great food. We hope you will join us as we do all the above.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the Greater Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association ( or to the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute's Dick Goodson Named Scholarship ( or contact Amy Jennings at or 515-286-4980.




Celebration of Life
Wakonda Club
3915 Fleur Drive
Des Moines, IA USA 50321
Friday, April 29, 2022
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM