Following the Mother’s Day car crash that killed Paul and Laurie-Ann Goodrich of Kilauea, friends and family are pulling together to care for the couple’s two young daughters, McKenzie, 12, and Rylie, 9.
From homes offered for arriving Mainland family to meals to donations, Larry Hinkel, the girls’ uncle, said he hasn’t seen this kind of pulling together since Hurricane ‘Iniki.
“The outpouring of love and compassion and aloha from the community is amazing so far,” he said.
Hinkel and wife Mary, Laurie Goodrich’s sister, currently have custody of the children and are the only immediate family on-island.
Acquaintances say the Goodriches were on a Sunday drive around 8:40 a.m. in a 1994 Porsche convertible when the vehicle lost control on a sharp turn. The car went off Ko‘olau Road, slid down a slope and struck a tree, officials said.
Fifty-year-old Paul Goodrich, the driver, and his 46-year-old wife, the passenger, were pronounced dead at the scene.
The couple worked at the Princeville Resort — he in banquet services and she in floral arrangements. They also ran the Aloha Plantation Bed and Breakfast in Kilauea.
A Kaua‘i resident since the ’70s, Paul Goodrich met Laurie, his second wife, while she was visiting the island. She later joined him on Kaua‘i, where they married in 1993 and had both their daughters.
Paul Goodrich had three children with his first wife — Todd, Kalinda and Tawny — all of whom live on the Mainland.
“All five of his kids he loved immensely,” said Charlie Goodrich, Paul’s nephew, noting that his uncle was happy to start another family with daughters McKenzie and Rylie.
Charlie Goodrich has fond memories of sailing on Hanalei Bay with his uncle, who taught him to surf. He described Paul Goodrich as a “fun-loving guy who always had a smile on his face.”
He recalled how his uncle, a kneeboarder, would talk about the surf on any given day.
“He’d say it was head-high, and I’d joke, ‘Who’s head, yours or mine?’”
Laurie, who hailed from Boston, was the feisty one, according to Charlie Goodrich.
“If you deserved it, she would put you in your place only because she loved you and cared about you,” he said.
She may have adopted the island lifestyle, but Laurie never lost her New England accent or her love of stylish shoes, Charlie Goodrich said.
Paul Goodrich, on the other hand, had a collection of all things Hawaiiana as well as Volkswagen buses, which played a big role in the family’s annual summer vacations.
For one to two months at a time, the couple and their two children would drive and live in the bus. The cross-country trips a-la-Clark Griswold from the movie “Vacation” were a testament to the family’s close bond, Charlie Goodrich said.
“Not many families could do that without ripping each other’s hair out,” he said.
When the journey had ended, the family would leave the bus on the Mainland and pledge to resume from that spot the next year.
“They were the simple life kind of people,” Hinkel said.
Family members say the youngest children are doing reasonably well given the circumstances.
Asked if they wanted to participate in planning their parents’ memorial, McKenzie asked for lots of orchids; Rylie is not ready to talk about it, according to Charlie Goodrich.
Hinkel said there is no known will. Because the girls require immediate and ongoing care, a Web site, www.paulandlauriekauai.com, has been set up to accept donations.
A memorial is set for Saturday with a tentative location of Pine Trees beach. Updated information will be posted on the Web site.
Want to help?
• To make a donation for the Goodriches’ daughters, visit www.paulandlauriekauai.com