‘Bigger than life.’ Former state Rep. Toby Goodman of Arlington dies at 72

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Toby Goodman, the former state representative who played a large role in state juvenile justice reform and rewriting Texas Family Code, died Sunday. He was 72.

Goodman, most recently a civil and family law attorney at Arlington-based Goodman and Clark, represented the city and Tarrant County in the Texas House of Representatives from 1991 to 2007. He was also Arlington’s city attorney from 1974 to 1977, a past director of the Arlington Bar Association and a former UT Arlington adjunct professor.

Goodman is survived by Gloria Goodman, his wife of 38 years, and his children: Brian, Lauri and Christie.

Christie Goodman, who previously served as her father’s chief of staff and lobbied with his law firm, described him as an “iconic, bigger-than-life person.”

“I was always in awe of his intellectual ability and his ability to find solutions, problem solve and make the state a better place,” Goodman told the Star-Telegram.

Former state Sen. Chris Harris of Arlington urged Goodman to run for the House as Harris ran for the Senate, Rep. David Cook told the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Goodman and Harris effectively rewrote the Texas Family Code during legislative sessions in 1993 and 1995 and continued to advocate on behalf of children and families.

During his time as a state representative, Goodman chaired the county’s civil justice task force, the House Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues. Governor’s Juvenile Justice Taskforce and Attorney General’s School Violence Task Force, according to his law firm’s website. Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, named Goodman their legislator of the year five times between 1995 and 2003.

Services will be held 2 p.m. Friday at Texas State Cemetery, at 909 Navasota St in Austin. The city has lowered its flags half-staff in Goodman’s memory, according to a city press release.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.