Allan D. Godfrey proudly wore the Stanley Cup championship ring that he received as a scout for the 1989 Calgary Flames. It was one of the proudest moments of his long hockey career that took him from his native St. Paul and the frozen outdoor rinks in Baudette to the National Hockey League.
"That was a thrill for him," said his oldest son, Allan Jr., of Alexandria, Minn.
Godfrey had many other proud moments during his career, including coaching competitive hockey teams at Hopkins and Hopkins Eisenhower high schools. He was inducted into the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1992, and in 1994 earned the American Hockey Coaches Association's John Mariucci Award, given to a secondary school coach who exemplifies the spirit, dedication and enthusiasm of hockey legend Mariucci.
Godfrey underwent triple bypass surgery two weeks ago, but developed complications in his lungs and died April 8 at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Fla., where he lived during the winters. He was 75.
Hockey got into his blood as a child, his son said, and the passion never left. After his playing days at St. Paul Central High School in the 1950s, Godfrey earned bachelor's and master's degrees at nearby Macalester College, then followed his father's footsteps into coaching, where he made it fun to play the game. He coached and taught social studies and history in Baudette before arriving in Hopkins.
"He was a very popular teacher and a bright man," said Ron Sellnow, a friend and one of Godfrey's assistant hockey coaches in the 1960s at Hopkins. "He worked with youth programs all year to be sure the high school programs would be a success. And he worked at camps during the summer, gratis."
His connections in the hockey world led to a scouting position with the NHL's St. Louis Blues in the late 1970s. From there, he went to work for the Calgary Flames and worked for the team for 15 years. He worked behind the scenes and had a lot to do with the team's success, said Jeff Sauer, former coach at Colorado College and the University of Wisconsin. Godfrey also was a scout for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
"NHL teams were pleased with decisions he made and the input he gave them as far as what players to draft," Sauer said.
His skill at matching high school players to the right college program and his keen eye for assessing talent earned him an invitation to teach clinics with USA Hockey and serve as a scout for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Godfrey, a shark of a cribbage player, also coached at the North Star and Bob Johnson youth hockey camps. Later in his career, he worked with disabled athletes, family members said.
In addition to his son, Godfrey is survived by his wife, Shirley, of Wingham, Ontario; two sisters, Alice Wimer, of North Andover, Mass., and Marilyn Burnes, of Palo Alto, Calif.; three other sons, Kevin, of Clintonville, Wis., Brian, of Savage, and Steven, of Phoenix; a daughter, Karen Puffett, of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; two stepdaughters, Andrea Hamilton and Angela Mann, both of Wingham; a stepson, Joe Walker, of Wingham; his first wife, Marge Korsmo, of Plymouth, and 16 grandchildren.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at House of Hope Presbyterian Church, 797 Summit Av., St. Paul.