On Jan. 2, we lost Kyle Joseph Viola Goodwin.

He was 16 years old, bright, beautiful, loving and so very loved.

Kyle was born in Exeter on April 30, 1987 to Lynne and Reed Goodwin.

He had a sweetness about him that will live forever in the souls of those who loved him.

From the beginning of his life Kyle had a special connection to each member of his extended family. He had such a playful approach to life. The oldest call him their favorite while the youngest all look up to him as their idol.

Kyle attended Exeter Union High School, where he lettered on both the water polo and swim teams. He was proud of his role on the California Youth Council as well as his work with the California Friday Night Live Partnership and Tulare County Office of Education. He was loved and nurtured by the Friday Night Live family. He took pride in working and earning things for himself, putting in hours of hard work at a few local ranches. He loved communicating with all his friends and cousins with the computer.

Kyle was blessed with two sisters, Casey and Kellie and his brother Christopher. It was obvious that they shared an amazing love. They drew strength and direction from each other. It was one true, right thing in a world that often makes no sense. Kyle ached relentlessly over the loss of Casey on March 13, 2003. We can only survive losing Kyle because we know that Casey is holding him now, as she did in life.

Kyle's family includes his adoring parents Reed and Lynne, sisters Casey and Kellie, his brother Christopher and brother in spirit, Ryan Warren. Leah Mitchell was special to him. His grandparents Frank and Louise Viola, Dianna Thornsbrough, Anne and John Baker, Reed and Doreen Goodwin.

He was a special boy to his aunts and uncles: Leslie and Sean Pennington, Laura and Steven Preciado, Joe and Wind Goodwin, Vivian Weaver, April Pagel, Jim Goodwin, and Diane and Barry Sudbury and their children Tyler and Matthew.

He leaves behind many cousins who will miss him for the rest of their lives.

A Celebration of Life funeral service was held on Tuesday, Jan. 6. at the First Assembly Church, Caldwell at Akers in Visalia. A reception followed at the Exeter Church of God, 246 W. Chestnut St., Exeter.

Remembrances may be made to the Kyle Goodwin Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 601, Exeter, CA 93221. On-line condolences may be made to www.caseygoodwin.org.

Arrangements are under the direction of Smith Family Chapel, Exeter.

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