John Ragan Gooch Sr. passed from this life to the next on March 6, 2013, at the age of 88.
He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 67 years, Ella Jean Gooch; parents Joseph (Peck) and Eula Gooch; brother Dale Gooch; in-laws Monroe and Ownetta Lorance; and daughter-in-law Kay Beth Gooch.
Survivors are sister Jean Bianchi; brother Joseph (Bo) Gooch; children Brenda Gale Alexander and husband Ron, John Gooch Jr. and wife Nancy, and Clay Gooch and wife Gail; grandchildren Curby Alexander and wife Gina, Katie Murray and husband Joe, Amy Underwood and husband Chad, Kelly Maier and husband Jared, Thomas Gooch and wife Jessica and John Hal Gooch; and great-grandchildren Callie Underwood, Ella Murray, Nathaniel Alexander and Samuel Alexander.
He was born in Farmersville on July 14, 1924. Mr. Gooch graduated from Bland High School and attended East Texas State Teachers College until the outbreak of WWII. Drafted in 1943, he served with the 75th Infantry Division 275th Signal Corps to the end of the war. Before deployment he married his “high school sweetheart,” and together they started their family. Landing in Belgium days before the outbreak of the Battle of the Bulge, the 75th earned the nickname “Bulge Busters” for their role in turning back the Germans, logging 98 days of continuous combat. His division eventually participated in four major campaigns, earning four unit battle stars. Returning home he farmed for several years before using his knowledge of Morse code to work for the Santa Fe Railroad and later for Arkansas Best Freight as a terminal manager until his retirement in 1978.
He was an avid gardener, skilled mechanic, and talented woodworker and craftsman. A staunch Southern Baptist, serving as a teacher, music leader, deacon, and in numerous church leadership roles at Second Baptist Church Garland, First Baptist Church Sachse, First Baptist Church Merit and finally at First Baptist Church Farmersville where he was honored as “Deacon Emeritus” for his long tenure of service. He was a beloved husband, father, grandparent and Big Daddy to a whole community of children and adults. He was known for his gentle spirit and warm smile and his love for America.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Farmersville with Dr. Bart Barber officiating. Interment will be in the Merit Cemetery at Merit.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Hurst’s Fielder Baker Funeral Home in Farmersville.
The family wishes to express their appreciation to Mayberry Gardens Assisted Living and Garnet Hill Skilled Nursing for their loving care.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to DEBRA to seek a cure for Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB); donations may be made via the Internet at http://www.debra.org/
Online condolences may be made at www. hurstfielderbaker.com and www.heraldbanner.com.