The family of Robert Godwin Sr. were saying their final goodbyes Saturday to a man they say was kind, gentle and taught them the importance of forgiveness.
“It’s not always easy to forgive, but we know it’s what we have to do, and it’s what my father taught us to do,” said Tonya R. Godwin- Baines, one of Godwin’s 10 children. “So we forgive Mr. Stephens.”
Godwin was shot to death Sunday after an Easter celebration while walking on East 93rd Street in Cleveland.
Steve Stephens, 37, was the alleged shooter and posted video of the killing on Facebook. After a multi-state manhunt, Stephens killed himself in Erie, Pa., Tuesday.
Godwin’s funeral service is being held at River of Life Ministries on Lakeshore Boulevard in Euclid. It will begin with a wake from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. The funeral service will then begin at 11 a.m. It will be followed by a procession to Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland.
The service is open to the public.
Family members say they are extremely grateful for all the support they received from the community.
Godwin’s family members say it is very important to them that their father to be remembered for the good he did in his life, not for the horrific video. They are asking people to please not share the video.
“My father loved to fish, he taught me to fish and he taught me so much ,” said Robert Godwin Jr. “I want people to remember him like I do.”
The 74-year-old loved spending countless hours at Lake Erie and being with his family.
“At Thanksgiving this year I had everyone at my house and he really enjoyed that,” said Godwin-Baines. “I am so glad we had that time together.”