Name: George Godfrey
Residence: Mayor Mitchell Court
Volunteer Service: 57-year member of the Brewster-Southeast Volunteer Fire Dept.; 8 years voluntarily meeting and greeting commuters at Metro-North Brewster Train Station each day beginning at 4:30 a.m. and again in the evening.
Profession: Served as Village of Brewster patrolman for 7 years; school bus driver, construction worker, driver for Grand Union stores, container driver from Bayonne, NJ to Boston.
Military Service: In 1951 George voluntarily enlisted in the Army and served in Korea for 18 months earning the Korean Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, the Combat Infantry Badge and the National Service Medal. In 2016, Corporal Godfrey was inducted by Sen. Terrance Murphy into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame.
About George: George Godfrey, 84, was born and raised in Brewster, NY, graduated from Brewster High School and entered the US Army. Following his service in Korea. George then returned to Brewster and served with distinction as a patrolman with the Brewster Police Department. George and his wife raised two sons and now enjoys the company of his two granddaughters.
In 2008, amid grief for his late wife and following knee surgery, a nurse he met suggested he start a walking routine. This sage advice changed his life. George decided to greet commuters daily at the nearby Brewster Metro-North train station. He walks there at 4:15 every morning and again in the afternoon as his neighbors return home. In 2017, Metro- North honored George by inducting him into their Hall of Fame and CBS2’s Lou Young chose George as one of their 50 People to Know.
Community Engagement: To date, George is still a one-man welcoming committee for Brewster commuters. In between train departures, he can be found inside the station lending a helping hand to other employees. “He shows that we have a lot of good people here in the world,” said John Kesich, Senior Vice-President of Operations for Metro-North. The Village Matters, a quarterly Brewster publication, stated that George “provides a sense of security, continuity, and neighborliness that is all-to- often lost in our world today. We are lucky to have George in our village….”
Advice for Others: “Don’t hang around the house feeling sorry for yourself. Getting up and out to greet these folks was better than lying awake in bed alone. I feel great when I can say, ‘Hello’ to everybody and they smile back at me and say, ‘Hello.’ It just helps me out.”