MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Looks can sometimes be deceiving.
A person who appears intimidating, can actually be comforting and kind. Dr. Alan Goodell-Holmes was a well-respected psychologist in the Twin Cities, and a motorcyclist whose nickname was “Doc.”
In this week’s Life Story, his family and friends showed us how “Doc” is being remembered as a fearless advocate for abused children.
Karina Forrest-Perkins worked closely with Alan when he served as the chair of the board of Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota.
“He was all about empowering the children so they could not be held hostage by what was done to them, for the rest of their lives,” Forrest-Perkins said.
She says Alan spent decades counselling children. He listened as they shared horror stories of abuse.
“He would always say these children are my heroes. They’ve sustained all of this and they are still going and still working on feeling better and not feeling hurt,” she said.
When “Doc” joined the group Bikers Against Child Abuse, he found another way to help kids. Dressed in black leather, he escorted children to court hearings where they had to testify, often in the presence of the perpetrator.
“He used to go in with his team with BACA and they surrounded the child and they all sat in the courtroom supporting that child, letting them know you are doing an awesome job,” she said.
“Doc” was also a Dad. His son, Gregory, showed us Doc’s Harley and the sports car he purchased after retiring so he and his wife could take long road trips.
He said his parents always wanted to have fun.
“Yeah, that was the thing. Most recently it was the ‘Year of Yes.’ We are going to go on trips. We are going to do things. We are going to treat ourselves because we deserve that,” said Gregory as he explained his parents’ plans.
We asked him what it was like growing up in a home where his Dad was a psychologist.
“I couldn’t get away with anything. I thought I was smart and I wasn’t very smart,” he added.
“He might wear the all black, he might have the goatee, he might have that rather rough look to him. He was a teddy bear. The guy was a teddy bear at heart. As my mom has always said he was a Dad first,” Gregory said.
Karina Forrest-Perkins says the mental health community has suffered a great loss.
“He was a really staunch advocate for the protection of children. It’s like a light went out, you know,” she said.
His family says Doc was also an advocate for veterans and pushed for better mental health services for them.
He served in the Air Force during Vietnam. Doc was 69 years old when he had a heart attack and died last week.