The San Bernardino National Forest is mourning the passing of Acting Airtanker Base Manager Edward Godinez. Forest staff joined his family for a memorial service in Yucaipa on Wednesday, Dec. 8. It was livestreamed on the Forest's Facebook page.
Godinez passed on Nov. 13 due to a work-related illness. He was the Acting San Bernardino Airtanker Base Manger and had recently been selected to serve in that role permanently.
Edward’s family shared that he was so many things to so many people.
“He was a son, a brother, an uncle, a fiancé, a firefighter, a man of God…and now he’s our angel,” they wrote. “Eddie once posted a quote by Oscar Wilde: ‘You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.’ When it came to Eddie, we could all hear it. His song was our favorite. He made everyone feel like family. He gave the best hugs. It’s hard to put into words what made Eddie so amazing.”
His colleagues share that same sentiment.
“He was loved and it will not be easy to summarize the impact he had on us all,” said Leslie Casavan, the National Airtanker Program Manager.
In a remembrance from Edward’s airtanker crew, they said, “Edward never judged anyone for their inexperience and took it upon himself to personally develop each of us not as ‘firefighters’ but as a community, as friends, and as people.”
And colleague and friend Marc Durocher looked up to Edward’s leadership, saying, “He wanted those he worked with to be curious, to learn daily and to grow as individuals to accomplish their goals and he never hesitated to go out of his way to make sure this was accomplished.”
Edward started his federal career in 2013 with the Forest Service as a contracted firefighter on the Angeles’ Roadrunner Crew (Type 2). From there he went on to work in New Mexico with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Bosque del Apache and Bitterlake national refuges. In 2019, Edward came to the San Bernardino as the Airtanker Base Engineer before being selected for the Air Tanker Base Manager duties.
Cards may be sent to: Godinez Family c/o San Bernardino National Forest, 602 S. Tippecanoe Ave. San Bernardino, CA 92408.