- 1882 - Born, March 24
- 1975 - Died, August 5
Jessie Ann Goddard was born February 24, 1882, the eldest of 8 children born to Robert Duncan and Margurite (or Margaret?) Garrett, in Renfrew, Ontario. She graduated from the National Methodist Training School, Toronto, in 1911 and assumed her first position in Brandon, Manitoba. Two photos of her work in the Methodist congregation (Picture 1, Picture 2) were published in the 1911 Methodist Deaconess Yearbook. Many Deaconesses worked with poor families, often immigrants, and teaching domestic skills was a standard practice. From the photos it would seem she worked with children. Further investigation into the Brandon program could shed more light on Jessie’s work. In 1912, Jessie moves to Metropolitan Methodist Church in Regina, Saskatchewan, then in 1914 to Earlscourt Methodist in Toronto. The following year she is noted as being on a leave of absence. In 1922 she disappears from the Deaconess appointment list.
In 1967 Jessie was living in the community of Westmeath, Ontario. A note appears in the 1975 United Church Observer, “Jessie Goddard, a Methodist Deaconess, died in August 5, at age 87 in Renfrew, Ontario.” She must have remained active in the United Church for someone to have sent that information to The Observer and her time as a Deaconess important enough to be noted all those years later.
Why did she leave the Order in 1922. Had she found employment in a secular position, a reason for women to either be disjoined or to leave voluntarily? Was she called home to look after aging parents; that was not unheard of for the single daughter to have that expectation placed on her. Do you know more about her? What is her story?
 Westmeath Centennial Celebrations Book
Written by Caryn Douglas, 2014.