news 4 days ago

Bruce Goodman, sports junkie who started golf tournament for onetime Cubs announcer, dies

Chicago Tribune — Bob Goldsborough Chicago Tribune

Jan. 11--A fixture at Northwestern University sporting events and an enthusiastic sports fan, Bruce Goodman in the late 1960s created the Jack Quinlan Memorial Golf Tournament -- named for the late Chicago Cubs broadcaster -- which raised funds for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago.

The tournament was held for more than 30 years.

"It drew the biggest names in Chicago sports, past and present," said WGN-AM 720 sports director Dave Eanet, a longtime friend. "Bruce was always a welcoming host and a generous donor."

Goodman also was a longtime businessman in Evanston who had been president of Evanston's Chamber of Commerce.

Goodman, 91, died of complications from prostate cancer Dec. 12 at his Highland Park home, said his daughter, Margie Conroy.

Born in Chicago, Goodman grew up in Highland Park and first attended Mississippi College through a program for officers in the Navy. He then transferred to Duke University, where he played football.

After college, Goodman went into business in real estate office management with his father, who had owned the Carlson building at 636 Church St. in Evanston. After Goodman's father died in 1962, Goodman and his two sisters became its owners, and he began managing it, his daughter said. He owned and managed other properties over the years, and never fully retired, she said.

In 1965, Cubs radio announcer Jack Quinlan was killed in Arizona in an auto accident. Several years later, Goodman created the golf tournament as a way to honor Quinlan and also to raise money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. Goodman, an avid golfer, excelled at networking, and as an ex-jock was comfortable speaking with sports figures.

"He was totally a sports groupie," said Goodman's son-in-law, Vince Conroy. "He had been a very good athlete, and he knew how to talk to these guys. He set up this tournament through word of mouth. Everybody you can think of played in this tournament. Guys looked forward to it, and it was a lot of fun."

The event was successful, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. It was well-attended by many sports celebrities over the years, including Stan Mikita, Ara Parseghian, Johnny "Red" Kerr, Bobby Hull, Ferguson Jenkins, Bob Love, Ron Santo, Billy Williams, Alex Karras, Doug Buffone and Ernie Banks.

Over the years, the tournament mostly was held at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, although it also was held on occasions at the Evanston Golf Club and the Rolling Green Country Club.

WGN Radio commentator Ted Albrecht, who does Northwestern football games with Eanet, met Goodman at the golf tournament in 1978 and got to know him well over the years.

"He seemed like he was everywhere," Albrecht said with a laugh. "He was delightful. He led a dynamic and fruitful life, and didn't waste a minute of it."

Eanet recalled Goodman frequently visiting the WGN Radio booth during Northwestern football games, with friends or relatives in tow.

"It was always nice to turn away from the field and see Bruce's smiling face, even when things weren't going well for the 'Cats," Eanet said. "He knew he always had a standing invitation to stop by and hang out with Ted Albrecht and me."

Goodman was president of Evanston's Chamber of Commerce in the mid-1960s. He was president of the Western Golf Association in 1980, and in the 1960s, he was on the board of directors for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, which later became part of the Burlington Northern Railroad. He served on the board of First Evanston Bancorp's subsidiary, First Bank & Trust and had been a member of the Kiwanis of Evanston for more than 55 years.

Goodman's community service extended to his own hometown. He had been the chairman of the Highland Park Community Foundation grant-making group, and in 1997 he helped to found YEA! Highland Park, a group that raises funds and awards grants to local organizations aimed at youth, the arts, education and social services.

He was also on the board of the Chicago Crime Commission from 1993 until his death.

Goodman collected Model A Fords from the 1929 to 1931 model years.

In addition to his daughter and son-in-law, Goodman is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary; another daughter, Patty Pell; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Services were held.

Goldsborough is a freelance reporter.

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