BY MICHAEL REISIG
Mandy Godfrey was born in Carthage, Texas, then moved to and grew up in Arkadelphia, Ark., but she simply loves her adopted home of Mena.
Godfrey’s father was a contractor for homes and businesses and her mother was a homemaker. She grew up and graduated high school in 1987 in Arkadelphia and went on to attend Ouachita Baptist College, obtaining a degree in Business. She met her husband, Michael, while attending college and they were married in 1991. Godfrey will tell you with a smile that it was a blind date, set up by friends that brought them together, but after the date she knew she had met the man she was going to marry.
Mike Godfrey became a ranger at DeGray State Park, and their daughter, Ashlyn, was born in 1994. A few years later their son, Justin, was born. The family moved to Mena when Michael was transferred to Queen Wilhelmina State Park.
“I went to work at the Union Bank for a year, then joined First Financial Bank, and have been there ever since,” Godfrey said. “As the children grew up I became involved in their school activities and ended up spending time supporting Mena High School. In the process I became involved with the Mena Bearcat Foundation. It’s an organization that raises money for the various athletic programs at Mena High School. We do a number of things, including helping purchase uniforms and equipment for the various sports, and when our teams make it to State finals we assist in travel expenses, etc.
“It’s a great organization and we’d love to have more people become involved with us and support it, because, ultimately it really helps our kids,” she continued. Godfrey also participates in a number of other organizations such as Beta Sigma Phi Society, and in the past she has been a part of the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club and the Lioness Club.
“Eventually, I had to take some time out in order to keep up with my children’s other activities as well,” she explained. “But both my husband and I are members of the Dallas Avenue Baptist Church and I’m a member of the ‘Praise Team’ there. Michael and I also teach the Wednesday night Youth Group.”
In 2011, her husband became county sheriff and Godfrey is more than pleased with that.
“I was so proud to see him receive this honor and we look forward to him serving in this position for years to come,” she said. “For us personally, it allowed Michael to go from working nights to working days, and the family got to see more of him.”
Godfrey also mentioned that her daughter, Ashlyn, graduated from Mena High School in 2012 and is now attending Arkansas State University. Her son, Justin, will be in 10th grade this year.
“When we moved here from Arkadelphia I didn’t know anyone, and we lived on the mountain, which was pretty isolated, but since we moved to town, when Michael transferred to the sheriff’s department around 2000, we’ve begun to enjoy the community much more,” she said. “We’ve made wonderful friends – some of our best friends – and we love it here. We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I tell my friends elsewhere, ‘once you come to Polk County and Mena, you won’t want to live anywhere else. It’s like a big family.”