Obituary: Elia Lorenzini Goodby, 96

by | Jan 19, 2024

She complemented her painting as art director at The Rhode Island Pendulum

From the Hill Funeral Home website

Elia Goodby, a lifelong artist who tragically lost most of her sight late in life, still remembered exactly where the nutmeg and gravy boat resided.

But if you knew her, that figured.  

Ellie, who died this week at 96, was married for 75 years to her dear husband, Donald Goodby. She was a forgiving and persistent mother, a vector of intelligence and decency, and a constant advocate for art and artistry. But her true mission was to leave nothing unnoticed or unappreciated. She wanted to gather every moment, every detail, everyone and everything in, and never let it go. 

To the very end, even when she couldn’t see, she wrote often unsent notes to the people in her life. She thought endlessly of people around her and people long ago. 

Born in Spilimbergo, Italy, in the state of Friuli-Venezia Giuli, Ellie traveled to the US through Naples with her mother and sister at the age of two. She grew up in the Chestnut Hill and Germantown neighborhoods of Philadelphia where her parents always maintained a loud and welcoming dining table late into the night for the entire family. It was an unforgettable education in tastes and sound for all the children.  

Ellie attended Temple University and studied art. It was in Philadelphia that she met her future husband, US Navy veteran Donald, who was attending Wharton Business School. They went on a double date and went forward into life together. 

Throughout her life, Ellie painted at the highest level, studying for decades under Foster Caddell in Voluntown, Connecticut, and exhibiting at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Providence Art Club, and art shows throughout New England. Her work won numerous awards. Her home, and the homes of her children, are blessed with her work. 

For many years, she complemented her painting with commercial work as an art director at The Rhode Island Pendulum in East Greenwich. On the side, she consulted on projects of product development, inventing the leaf scoops seen now seen on the hands of gardeners everywhere. She also worked at the Silverman’s store, choosing dye colors for shoes to complement bridal dresses. 

Certainly her greatest pleasure in life was her children, Jeffrey, Scott, and Loren. Each of them share the artistic sensitivity and intelligence their mother encouraged. Grandchildren followed, eight of them: Nina, Nathaniel, Honor Grace, Kristen, Brittany, Benjamin, Kevin, and John. And then, great grand-children: Remy, Malia, Josephine, James, Emily, and Tripp. She held each one close in her memory every day. 

Her sweetness will be sorely missed. 

A memorial service is planned on February 10, 2024 at 10:00 AM, in St. Luke’s Church, East Greenwich, Rhode Island. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Providence Art Club, 11 Thomas Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, [email protected].

You can leave an online condolence at the Hill Funeral Home website HERE.

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EG News Obituary Policy: We post obituaries relevant to our readers. If you would like to share an obituary, send it to [email protected]. Put “obituary” in the subject line. 

Posted 1/19/24

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Bruce Mastracchio
Bruce Mastracchio
January 20, 2024 6:12 am

Condolences to the Goodby Family. Mrs. Goodby was a lovely lady and very talented.
Your memories of her will all be good.

Bruce & Elaine Mastracchio


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