The family of Manny Godard, 73, has been informed that he was murdered during Hamas’s October 7 assault on Israel and that his body is being held by terrorists in Gaza, Kibbutz Be’eri announced Thursday.
Godard had been presumed dead since the attack, but there had not been a formal announcement until now.
Godard’s wife Ayelet called one of their children on October 7 screaming that Manny had been killed and that she was hiding in the bushes from the terrorists. She was never heard from again. Her body was found and identified close to two weeks later, but his body was not recovered.
Despite there being no body, family held a funeral for him alongside his wife on October 29 in Palmahim.
The couple are survived by their children, Mor, Gal, Bar and Goni, as well as six grandchildren and several siblings.
A eulogy posted on the kibbutz website remembered Ayelet as a longtime educator, “a special teacher, one from days gone by, the kind who brought nature into the classroom and took the children outside,” and who shaped many of the youths who grew up in the kibbutz and nearby. She was an “incredible mother and a revered grandmother,” who also “believed with all her heart in the kibbutz and its members, and was an active part of kibbutz life.”
Manny, the community said, had “a love of sports, the ocean and people.” He was a professional soccer player in the 1970s before enlisting in the army and fighting in the Yom Kippur War. In the kibbutz, he worked in a variety of positions, including in its successful printing house, the local store, as the chief economist, and as a lifeguard.
Their son Goni wrote on Facebook that they were “people with a special heart of gold… Everyone wanted to say thank you — thank you for all the years that you hugged us and loved us. Thank you for the endless support and help. Thank you for all the experiences we had with you… the list is endless.”
“These are the people you were — people who spread light in every direction, people’s people,” he wrote. “You will always, always, no matter what, be an inseparable part of us.”
The couple were among the 1,200 people killed on October 7, when Hamas-led terrorists stormed across the border overrunning military bases, local communities and a music festival. Another 253 people were taken hostage.
Thirty-two of the more than 130 hostages still held captive by Hamas are no longer believed to be alive.
In addition to the confirmed deaths, the IDF is assessing “unconfirmed intelligence” that at least 20 additional hostages may have also been killed, a recent New York Times report said.
The families of the deceased have all been informed of their deaths, with the majority of the dead believed killed on October 7 and their bodies taken to Gaza.