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Richard Goode, Stanford otolaryngologist and inventor, dies at 84

Goode had three children, all of whom work in the medical-device field. His son, Jim Goode, talked about how much fun he had as a kid traveling with his dad to medical conferences.

“I also got to go with him to the OR, and I have to admit, I was a bit shocked,” Jim Goode said. “He had this big, booming voice and was very animated and did not hold back on his opinions.”

He demanded excellence, and his residents admired him for that, Jim Goode said, adding that his dad left his surgeon’s voice behind in the OR when he coached Little League.

A magician

As a child, the senior Goode became fascinated with magic, and he performed magic tricks throughout his life. For many years, he held a séance party at his house on Halloween that drew big crowds of Stanford colleagues and friends.

“He did this big show, always evoking the spirit of Edgar Allen Poe,” Jim Goode said. “He had 50 books on Poe. He’d say, ‘Poe, are you out there?’ And the bell would ring or a seat would vibrate or the curtain would shake. We were, of course, pulling the strings. He was so much fun as a dad.

“We always had a séance room in our house,” Goode continued. “It was dedicated to his magic tricks and medical slides, thousands and thousands of them — work mixed together with the magic tricks. You’d walk by, and there’d be a guillotine and a crystal ball on the séance table.”

For years, Richard Goode taught an undergraduate course at Stanford on paranormal psychology.

“He’d tell me, ‘These guys are so smart, but I enjoy so much making their brains smoke,’” Jim Goode said. “He would do probability, then he would cheat and do magic. He said it made them get out of their box.”

Goode co-authored more than 170 scholarly papers, helped start several medical companies, served as interim chief of the otolaryngology division from 2000 to 2003, and was a member of numerous professional organizations. He served as president of both the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery and the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

He is survived by his wife, Lynn Szekely; daughters Melissa Wood and Allison Corallo; son Jim Goode; former wife, Marcia Lloyd; and six grandchildren.

A celebration of his life for family and close friends will be held Jan. 10. On Jan. 11, a public celebration of his life will take place from 4-6 p.m. in William Blount Hall, at the Hoover Institution’s David Joan Traitel Building, on the Stanford campus.

The family asks that any memorial contributions may be made to the Richard L. Goode Endowed Lectureship at http://med.stanford.edu/ohns/contact/gift.html.