In Memory of Phyllis Goddard

It seems like only a few weeks ago that I designed the article Phyllis Goddard wrote for us, "William Spratling Hallmarks: A More Detailed Look at His Early Hallmarks." It is with profound sadness that I now find myself designing this page in memory of Phyllis, a truly inspiring presence; a person of great integrity, kindness of spirit, passion, and unwavering dedication to uncovering all there was to know about William Spratling, his work, and his hallmarks. 

     Her support of MODERN SILVER magazine and SilverForum, and her constant willingness to help other collectors find answers to their questions about Spratling silver were things I began to take for granted--she was always there when we needed her. Phyllis passed away on January 2, 2004 from a virulent form of pneumonia. We miss her deeply!

Marbeth Schon

Below are remembrances of Phyllis Goddard
 from members of SilverForum

     Phyllis was a vibrant, enthusiastic, positive, dynamic, focused, proactive, generous, kind and supportive person. There aren't enough adjectives to describe her. Her favorite word was "fun." Everything she did was done because she thought it was "fun" - her collection, her web site, her book. She learned to do "techy" things like digital photography, PowerPoint, web site creation and administration, all because they furthered her passion for her Spratling collection, and her desire to share what she knew with the collecting public. That was how she had fun!

     Phyllis' attention to detail was astonishing, as was her ability to organize information. That is readily apparent on her web site. These talents became even more obvious to me when I worked with her on her book. She was always concerned with "getting it right," something I could well appreciate. But she was also always supportive of the work of others, including mine.

     She was taken from us too soon. I am glad that she was able to be a part of the "new renaissance" of Mexican silver and the exhibition, see her idea for a book come to fruition, self-publish it - and sell it like hotcakes! I am sad that her latest idea - for a hands-on workshop for collectors - was not realized.

     She will be sorely missed.

Christie Romero


     Phyllis Goddard's untimely death is a great loss. As a recent and modest Mexican silver collector, I have depended on Phyllis's web site as a terrific educational resource. Her responses to inquiries on SilverForum were always informative, and her recent books a great contribution to our information and understanding. I agree with you, though, that it was her generosity of spirit combined with her knowledge, that made her extraordinary. She helped me acquire out of print reference materials, and her warmth shone through our email correspondence. Phyllis, we will miss you.
Katherine Salazar-Poss


     Phyllis was a great help to me many times. I contacted her personally only 2 or 3 times, but she responded to questions I had on Silver Forum many more times than that and always gave me a great feeling of relief and assurance that "she knew her stuff".  I loved the way she looked for the truth in her research.  She "knew" what you wanted to hear, but she wanted her research to be valid and correct.  She was a wonderful person and such a resource to the Mexican silver community especially to Spratling lovers.  I don't know how we'll get along without her.  It is such a loss!

     I had the opportunity to meet Phyllis and hear her lecture on her beloved Spratling in San Antonio, Texas at the Maestros de Plata exposition.  I can only say that Phyllis surpassed the image I had of her in my mind's eye. She was a beautiful, warm and gracious woman who "knew her stuff" and was open and giving in sharing it.  Her family was so proud of her.  That is a wonderful thing in itself that she was loved by her peers and the Spratling Silver world, but even more loved by her family. She related the story of how she began collecting Spratling and it brought it all home to me because when a family can share a love of a collection, it makes it all the more special.

     I join all members of this community in mourning the loss of a wonderful woman and a great Silver Historian.

BeeGee McBride


     The news about Phyllis upset me also although I can't say I knew her personally.  As soon as her book came out, I ordered it immediately and mentioned how I felt so ignorant about trying to acquire a true Spratling item for my personal collection.   She didn't simply confirm my order, she wrote me a short encouraging note with a very friendly tone to it and made me feel as though I were an old friend of hers.  I thought she would be around for a long time yet to help and advise others who share her love for Mexican silver.  Once again we are reminded that no one knows what tomorrow holds for any of us.   In my mind I imagine her now sitting down with Spratling to ask him all those unanswered questions she had!

Nancy Pena


     She was one of those people that you genuinely liked.  She was a consummate "lady".   I loved the fact that she was always willing to learn.  I remember meeting her in LA.   She marveled at a Dirk VanErp silverplate bowl.   The bowl was DVE, the son.  The similarity to this bowl & Spratling's style was remarkable.  I didn't even notice it until she pointed it out.  

     She will sorely be missed.  

Nancy Hunt


     What a loss and tremendous shock to hear of Phyllis' passing.  I had just sent her an email this last week.  She was an incredible person and she will be sorely missed.

Fred Zweig 


     Phillis was such a lovely woman. We met at Pasadena & Hillsboro shows over 20 years ago. I always saved the Spratling for her.  In recent years, I noticed that she was always helping people. Such a wonderful woman will be missed.

Sue Ann


     Phyllis Goddard was one of those rare individuals who's enthusiasm and passion for learning was matched by her willingness to share her knowledge.  I miss her terribly.  Her Field Guide truly is a labor of love.  I look at it virtually every day and it is a constant reminder to me how important she was in my life.....as a friend and as a teacher.
Bille Hougart 


Photograph of Phyllis Goddard courtesy of Christie Romero
 Copyright 2004 Modern Silver Magazine