Mitchell Cary Goddard, a longtime Ridgefielder, died at his home here on Sunday, May 20, of complications from Parkinson’s Disease. He was 58 years old.

Mr. Goddard was born on April 14, 1954 in Yonkers, N.Y. In the 1960s, he attended Ridgefield schools, including Ridgefield High School. He later enlisted in the United States Army in 1976, where he served honorably for three years.

In recent years, Mr. Goddard had worked with horses, dogs and other animals. He was employed for many years as a horse breeder at Ward Acres Farm, Sunset Hill Farms and several others. He was also a volunteer at the ROAR animal shelter.

“Mitchell was known as a gentle giant, with a keen sense of humor,” his family said. “He also had a knack for befriending nearly everyone he encountered. As a youngster he would bring wayward kids home, where his mother would wash their clothes and cook them meals.”

“Mitchell was an excellent singer, harp player and a very good artist,” said his brother Dennis. “In later years when I fronted my own band, I was quick to tell anyone who complimented me that I had a brother in Connecticut who is way better than me.”

Ex-Ridgefielder John Hallenborg, a close friend, said, “Mitchell saw the irony in everything. He was one of those people who found it very hard to accept that life can be harsh and unforgiving. His big smile and unique spirit will be missed by everyone who knew him.”

Mr. Goddard had married twice and had two sons, Max, of Sullivan, N.H. and Mitchell, Jr., of Staten Island, N.Y. Other survivors include his mother, Dolores Goddard of Ridgefield; father, Dennis Goddard of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; two sisters, Donna Goddard Pace of Bethel and Lisa Goddard Rossi of Washington, D.C.; two former wives, Lila of Staten Island, N.Y. and Mary of New York, and his son Max's mother, Maryanne of New Hampshire.

Services will take place Tuesday, May 29, at 10:15 a.m. at St. Mary Church, 55 Catoonah Street. A memorial ceremony and reception will follow.

Contributions in his memory may be made to ROAR, 45 South Street, Ridgefield CT 06877 or to Parkinson.org.