Becky Godwin

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Rebecca 'Becky' Godwin (September 27, 1954 – August 29, 1968) was the adopted daughter and only child of the then Governor of Virginia Mills E. Godwin, Jr. (1914-1999) and Katherine Beale Godwin (1917–2015), of Chuckatuck, Virginia, a small community then in Nansemond County which is now a part of Suffolk.

In August 1968, Becky Godwin, a month shy of her 14th birthday, was spending a day with her mother at Virginia Beach while her father, then in his first term as Virginia governor, attended the 1968 Democratic National Convention. With the customary state police nearby, she had just stepped out of the surf onto the sand when she was struck by lightning. Several people were in the vicinity either on the beach or in the surf, but Godwin was the only one affected. While the beach area was sunny, eyewitnesses reported that there was a thunderstorm offshore on the horizon at the time. Although rushed to a hospital, she never regained consciousness. [1]


There are three scholarships set up in Becky Godwin's name. There is the Becky Godwin Memorial college scholarship fund for the young people of Chuckatuck, Virginia and the Becky Godwin Fund at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing. At Mills E. Godwin High School in Henrico County, the Becky Godwin Memorial Award is given annually to a senior selected by classmates.[2] At Virginia Wesleyan College, there is the Becky Katherine Godwin Memorial Scholarship. Governor Godwin was a founding Trustee of the College.


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