Michael Stephen Godawa, 65, a resident of Prairieville, LA, passed away on August 1, 2021, the first day of his retirement at the end of a 27-year career with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Mike is survived by his children, Dana Martin (husband William), and Travis Godawa (Rachel); his father, Joe Godawa; sister, Cindie Godawa Reeves (husband Tim); brother, Brian Godawa (wife Kim); his five grandchildren, Skylar and Lance Martin, and Levi, Luke, and Elijah Godawa; and his longtime companion, Pam Tewell.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Lorraine Godawa.
Mike came to Louisiana from Rolling Meadows, Illinois by way of a Gymnastics Scholarship to LSU. He was an accomplished gymnast while on the LSU Gymnastics Team from 1974-1978, during which time he was also a member of the United States Olympic Gymnastics Team (alternate) and was also chosen to represent the United States that competed in China. He had an illustrious gymnastics career with too many honors and awards to mention.
Mike Later began his career in Law Enforcement as a Reserve Officer for the Baton Rouge Police Department and quickly knew this was his calling. In 1994, he graduated from the 57th Basic Training Academy with honors and began his lengthy career in Uniform Patrol where he also served as a Firearms Instructor. He was a natural born teacher and assisted many officers and co-workers improving their firearm skills. Mike was also a well-respected Supervisor assigned to the 2nd District as a shift Lieutenant. His dedication to the Officers he supervised and worked with was well known and appreciated by all who worked with him.
Mike was also the revered Coach of the LSU Powerlifting Team in which he coached them through several National Championship Team victories, including numerous individual national champions, as well as USA World Team Members.
Although Mike was an accomplished Gymnast, Police Officer, and Coach, his proudest accomplishment were his two children and his five grandchildren. In his life, he was referred to as Father, Son, Brother, Coach, and Husband, but his favorite titles were “Paw Paw” and “Police Paw Paw.”
He is gone, but never forgotten.
Visitation will be held at Resthaven Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Hwy. Baton Rouge, LA 70816, on Saturday, August 14, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. until Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m. Followed by the motorcade to the Baton Rouge Police Headquarters.
We are asking that his fellow Officers, friends, and the community will honor him with a “FALLEN HEROES ROLLING TRIBUTE” on Airline Hwy. from Resthaven Funeral Home to Baton Rouge Police Headquarters, 9000 Airline Hwy. An outdoor Memorial Service will also be held at Headquarters where his fellow Officers, friends, and community are welcome to attend. Thank you all for your understanding during these difficult times.
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook or leave a personal note to the family at www.resthavenbatonrouge.com.