Supreme Court Remembers The Hon. Walter R. E. Goodfellow

White man with white hair and glasses wearing black, red and white judicial robes.

The Hon. Walter R. E. Goodfellow, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, passed away on May 5, 2022. He was 87 years old. 

The Hon. Deborah K. Smith, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, will remember her former colleague for his strong work ethic, fair approach, and significant accomplishments in the field of family law. 

“Family law was Justice Goodfellow’s passion, and now his legacy,” she said. “He is fondly remembered by many and will be greatly missed.”

Justice Goodfellow was born in Ottawa, ON, in 1934. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy at the age of 17 and served on board HMCS Carleton, HMCS Crescent and HMCS Scotian. 

During his time in the Navy, Justice Goodfellow rose to the rank of Commander. 

He went on to attend Queens University and later Dalhousie University, where in 1959 he graduated with his law degree. He was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1960, specializing in divorce and matrimonial law. He received his Queen’s Counsel designation in 1975 and was elected President of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society in 1990. Throughout his legal career, Justice Goodfellow regularly lectured in procedure and family law at Dalhousie Law School. 

Justice Goodfellow was appointed to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on July 5, 1990. He retired from the court in 2009. 

Over the years Justice Goodfellow was the recipient of several distinguished honours, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Canada 125 Medal, Queens Jubilee Medal, and the Canadian Forces Medal III Clasps.