Obituary for Ivan Goodner

Ivan Cleo Goodner was born on Nov. 12, 1934, in Franklin, Arizona to Cleo Connon and Clara Ruth Goodner at his grandmother Addie’s home. His parents divorced when he was 4, and later, Richard “Dick” Johnson married his mother and together they raised Ivan on the Twin Peak Ranch at Bitter Creek and the farm at Johnsonville, New Mexico.

Ivan attended grade school in Franklin, Arizona and then high school in Duncan, Arizona, where he played football and developed a love of art; painting and drawing. He graduated in 1952 from Duncan High School.

At age 17, Ivan left home and attended Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Arizona and graduated in 1954. His first official job was with Kennecott Copper in Hurley, NEw Mexico in the boiler shop.

In 1957, Ivan was drafted into the Army 3rd Brigade at Fort Ord, California as a Private First Class. He was honorably discharged two years later so he could help his father on the farm and ranch.

Ivan played steel guitar in two western bands, The Boothill Boys and Rhythm Wranglers, who entertained in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.  His other hobby was flying airplanes when he obtained his pilot’s license in Silver City, New Mexico.

He married Janice Karyl Houston on Oct. 21, 1960 in Hurley, New Mexico and lived in Silver City where their two daughters, Terri-Anne and Karla Kay, were born.

Ivan Goodner

After the surprising death of his father in February 1967, the family moved back to his home town of Johnsonville, New Mexico to help his mother with the farm and ranch. He also took a boilermaker job at Phelps Dodge in Morenci. His third daughter, Sandra Lu, was born in 1971. 

In 1996, Ivan retired from Phelps Dodge, spending his retirement years playing his steel guitar, ranching, building corrals and spending time with his family.  He lost his wife and the love of his life in 1999 to breast cancer. 

He passed away at the age of 86, in Show Low, Arizona at the home of his daughter, Terri-Anne, and is now reunited with Janice.

He is survived by his three daughters, Terri-Anne (Bob Eberly), Karla Kay (Stan Ellis), and Sandra Lu (Chuck French); 11 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; sister in law, Susan Schear; nieces, Staci Schear, and Kellei Baca, and nephews, Dwight Phillips, and Troy Phillips. He is preceded in death by his wife of 39 years, Janice; his parents, Dick and Ruth Johnson; mother- and father-in-law, Dwight and Grace Houston; sister- and brother-in-law, George and Vickie Zumwalt; brother-in-law, Luther Schear: nephew, Rusty Schear, and many uncles, aunts, and friends.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Feb. 27, with a public viewing and slide show beginning at 10 a.m. and services starting at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Duncan, in Duncan, Arizona.  Internment will be in the Duncan Cemetery with full military honors.

Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory.  Online condolences may be extended at