Reginald Francis Goodfellow, known as Jeff, was born in West Kensington, London, the third of five children, then brought up in Lambeth. Educated locally, he soon showed an aptitude for drawing. He became an apprentice of Peter Lind, the Danish structural engineer, then saw service in the First World War with the Royal Engineers in Mesopotamia. In 1925 he joined the Ministry of Works as a structural engineer where he worked until retirement in 1959.
Although a painter from his youth, he had no formal art training until 1927 when he became a student of Walter Bayes, headmaster of the Westminster School of Art in Vincent Square. Essentially a very private person, Goodfellow painted for pleasure for most of his life: in oil and watercolour as well as executing woodcuts and etchings – often of alluring nudes – as well as intimate interior scenes - only once sending a picture for exhibition – Gaslight Glitter – shown at the R.A. Summer Exhibition 1939, the year he sketched in Dieppe. He put up his easel in Paris and in Provence. After his death, his works were included in exhibitions at Michael Parkin Fine Art (Pupil and Master – Reginald Goodfellow and Walter Bayes) and Sally Hunter Fine Art (Twenties Veterans). The British Museum holds several of his prints and drawings.