Obituary: Mitchell Goodman

Obituary: Mitchell Goodman

Mitchell Goodman, 65, passed away June 17, 2019.

Mitchell Goodman, 65, passed away June 17, 2019. He was born Dec. 3, 1953, in Utica, N.Y., to Robert Jay Goodman and Florence Frances (Lison) Goodman, of blessed memory. Mitchell shared most of his life with his wife, Wendy Orent-Goodman, to whom he was married for 40 years.

Mitchell, the youngest of three brothers, grew up in Maplewood, N.J., where he attended Columbia High School, and subsequently enrolled at, and obtained a degree in philosophy from, the University of Pennsylvania. Afterwards, he took a Master of Letters degree from the University of Oxford, also in philosophy, during which time he met his wife, who was studying for a doctorate in anthropology at the University of Michigan.

After becoming engaged in Cornwall during his time at Oxford, the couple decided to make their home in the U.S., and Mitchell enrolled in law school at Wayne State University in Detroit. Thereafter, the couple, who were married in 1979 at B’nai David Synagogue, moved to Ann Arbor, where Mitchell began practicing corporate law while Wendy finished her doctorate.

Using his extraordinary analytic and creative abilities, Mitchell was instantly successful in the legal world. After rising quickly within a corporate eyewear firm in Michigan, the couple — along with two young children: Eve, who was born in 1984; and Jonathan, born in 1986 — relocated to Atlanta in 1992. Here, Mitchell became general counsel of National Vision, a growing eyewear firm. He spent the rest of his career there and became a widely respected lawyer, in whom people recognized an unusual combination of aptitude, intellectual rigor and morality.

In 2014, just after the firm was sold to a private equity firm, the CEO of National Vision, Reade Fahs, stated that the company would not have existed without Mitchell. He was an avid traveler and spent many vacations in England, Greece, Italy, and France, spending a year in the latter during his undergraduate years and speaking the language fluently.

All who knew him respected his integrity, his outstanding intellectual achievements, and perhaps most importantly, his kindness to everyone with whom he came into contact. He was a loving and nurturing husband and parent, and his memory will be cherished by his family, friends and colleagues forever.

Donations can be made to the American Civil Liberties Union and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. A graveside service was held June 18, 2019 at Crest Lawn Memorial Park with Rabbi Yossi Lew officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, Atlanta 770-451-4999. Sign online guest book at

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