John Edward Gooch

May 06, 1919 - November 04, 2013

John Edward Gooch

May 06, 1919 - November 04, 2013


Bellingham, Washington

John Edward Gooch passed away Monday, November 4th at Whatcom Hospice House, with his son and daughter-in-law by his side. Born May 6, 1919 in Bellingham, WA to Edward W. and Lena S. Gooch, John was a gracious gentleman; everyone enjoyed meeting and knowing John. He liked to share stories of his interesting life, experiences and travels with his soul-mate and wife Barbara, and his knowledge of an incredibly varied number of topics from antiques to gardening. John was an avid outdoorsman, proficient fly fisherman, accomplished student and teacher, and a great father. John began collecting stamps in his teens and pursued that hobby into the role of a well-known Philatelist with trading colleagues across the globe.

John attended Bellingham schools and graduated from the University of Washington. He served in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Master Sergeant, and saw station assignments in Korea, Panama, New Jersey and California. John married Barbara Jean Myers at St. Pauls Episcopal Church on June 25th, 1948, and their first home was on Lummi Island, WA. He began his teaching career in Anacortes, WA and then taught English at Bellingham High School for 21 years before retiring in 1979. He spent summers commercial fishing in Alaska in the late fifties and early sixties, serving double-duty as the chef on the boats.

After retiring, John and Barbara travelled extensively, in the U.S. by motor home and abroad by cruise-ships to destinations in Europe, and China. John and Barbara enjoyed antique collecting, auctions and selling the wares they collected and restored at the Bellingham Antique Mall (now Penny Lane Antiques). John was operating his space there until just a few weeks before his death.

John was preceded in death by his infant sister and his wife of 58 years, Barbara. He is survived by his son, Tom Gooch (Lisa) and many loving friends.

Farewell Tribute Information

The family is honoring Johns request for no service, but an informal gathering to remember John will be held at a later date. Donations Information

Memorials are suggested to Whatcom Hospice or the charity of your choice.

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4 responses to John Edward Gooch

  1. Dear Tom & Lisa, Pete & I would like to express our deepest sympathies to you both. We dd not know your father, personally, however, we do know that he raised a caring & loving individual, who married a caring & loving individual, Lisa. If there is anything we can do, please let us know. Lovingly, Pete & Marie

  2. When I bought my house on North Forest St., the seller said his loan had a good rate and was assumable. I called the telephone number of the lender. A kind, elderly gentleman answered the phone. I assumed he worked for a bank. I asked about assuming the loan. Well, he said, I will only loan you the money if you promise to take good care of that house. It is a beautiful old house. OK, I thought, I am not talking to a bank. It was John. He was carrying the note. We talked for a long time. He told me how he grew up in the house. We invited him and his wife Barbara to our house for dinner. He toured us through the house telling stories. He even gave us some photos of the house from the 1910s to 1930s. I cherish those photos today. He was so gracious. I would see him a couple times a year; usually on his way to garage sales in his minivan. He was always a pleasure to talk to.

  3. Kacy Inama says:

    I was one of hundreds of students that graced his classroom. He always had a smile and great stories to tell. I also remember him coming to our garage sales. Always that smile. May he Rest In Peace.

  4. katee wowk says:

    I bought and sold antiques for yrs with John, we would be standing outside of a garage sale waiting for it to open and I would always comment on his red jacket. Saying John I wound’t know you without that jacket, He would always smile and say in his most gentle voice Me Either.. Miss you Mr Gooch.

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