Leah M. Goodman

Leah M. Goodman

April 20, 1976 - October 22, 2013

Leah M. Goodman

April 20, 1976 - October 22, 2013


Leah Michelle Goodman 37 passed away on October 22, 2013 after a long and courageous battle with anxiety and depression. She is survived by her mother Melanie Balestra, Irvine,CA; father Gary Goodman, Polson, MT; sister Lisa Goodman San Diego,CA;, grandmother Mildred Balestra., Clearwater, FL.; Uncle Chet Balestra, and family, Ponte Vedra, FL, cousins in Italy and Tim Shaffer, Fiance, Costa Mesa CA.

She was born in Pasadena CA, spent her early years in Florida and Washington. During her years in Washington State Leah became an excellent skier and gained an appreciation for the mountains and outdoors. She spent her high school years in Irvine California graduating from Woodridge High School, which included s 6 months student exchange in Santiago Chile. Leah obtained her undergraduate degree in early childhood development from San Diego State University and was one class away from completing a graduate degree in psychology with a specialty in marriage and family therapy. During the clinical portion of her graduate studies she was instrumental in mentoring several students in Watts to high school completion and university entrance.

Leah was above all a teacher. Leah had a passion and affinity for children, particularly those with special needs, tirelessly advocating for their inclusion in mainstream education and extracurricular activities. Her other love was animals. In her younger years, she was a very accomplished horsewoman becoming very competitive in 3 day eventing. Throughout her life she was always willing to adopt a stray dog or cat.

She loved to travel with both her mother and sister, In her travels she was able to visit many European, Asian and South American Countries and made may friends along the way.

Leah was a beautiful daughter, sister and friend. She will be greatly missed by everyone whose life she touched with her spirit and sweet smile. A celebration of her life will be held on December 7th at 10:00am at Mariners Chapel, Irvine CA.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Leah’s name to:
Shea Center, 26284 Oso Rd, San Juan Capistrano, CA, 92675

You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
– Kathryn Stockett, The Help

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12 responses to Leah M. Goodman

  1. Leah, I remember you putting your big black high heel sandal to block the university back door open so we could go out for 5 minutes and get fresh air after a complicated test or presentation at National University. I miss you. I think of you often and since completing our program and dealing with Clients diagnosed with Anxiety or Depression, I think of you daily. You would have been a fantastic Therapist! I am sorry you are gone.

  2. I am here again. I am thinking of you and I miss you. I remember your pig pet which scared the blank out of me when I visited you at home. You are warm and sensible. Leah, you would have been wonderful working with children because you understood them. Merry Christmas honey. Love Martha

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