Murphysboro- Dr. Bill Gooch, 85, traded in his earthly home Monday, January 24, 2022 surrounded by loving family and entered into the pearly gates of Heaven.
Bill was born on November 28, 1936 to Mary Enna (McCullough) and Maurice Barton Gooch “in a one room shack” in Mill Shoals, Illinois. He married Lou (Stewart) on April 17, 1957 in Fairfield, Illinois. Together they shared nearly 65 years of wedded bliss and in that time they created a beautiful family who brought them a lot of joy and a multitude of chaos.
After graduating from Mills Prairie High School he joined the Navy and made many trips across the ocean. During his time in the Navy he learned how to play the guitar; this talent would be one that would impact nearly everyone he met. Music was his passion.
Bill was a well-educated man who spent many years raising his family while attaining several academic accomplishments. In 1958 Bill began his higher education at Southern Illinois University Carbondale as an undergrad. Upon completion, he and his family made their way north to University of Illinois to work towards his masters degree and also attended the Illinois Teacher’s College of Chicago South. He finished out his stint of education at the University of Tennessee where he earned his doctorate degree.
Once he completed his education he began giving back by shaping young minds first as a high school teacher, then as a college professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. During his time as a professor he also traveled around the country as a highly regarded motivational speaker. He has co-authored multiple textbooks that have been distributed all around the country.
Out of all of his many outstanding accomplishments, the one most near and dear to our hearts would be his ability to live out and share his faith with everyone around him. He taught Sunday School for many years and shared his love of the Lord, either by word of mouth or through song accompanied by his guitar, with anyone who would listen whether they wanted to or not.
His most treasured verse, the verse that he preached so frequently that some folks thought he concocted in his own mind was: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV
This verse was so significant to him that it earned a special place in his home above the mantle where it is an ever present and constant reminder that whatever obstacles we may face GOD IS IN CONTROL.
After retiring from SIU in 1997, Bill lived out the remainder of his days surrounded by his family alongside the love of his life, Lou playing competitive games of Mexican Train, admiring their breathtaking lake view, tending to his garden, fishing, playing joyful music and sharing his contagious smile with everyone he encountered. He is greatly missed but his memory will be cherished forever.
“Here lies a righteous man who strove to make all people with whom he came into contact more valuable to themselves and to others.”
-Bill G. Gooch
Bill is survived by his loving wife Lou; son, Marty (Sheila) Gooch; daughters, Patti Berry, Kathy (Jeff) Nuttall, Dena (Scott) Ashenbremer; grandchildren, Mark (Tina) Berry, Kristin (Jordon) McClaine, Kayla (John) Aitken, Alex (Rylie) and Carter (Kylie) Nuttall; and Ashley (Michael), Philip, and Emily Ashenbremer; great-grandchildren, Landyn, Mailee, Braelyn, Nolan, Parker, Tyson, Aubrey, Rayne, Tanner and Myles; sister, Joyce Kelly; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, June Sheraden; and brothers, Richard and Robert Gooch.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Friday, January 28, 2022 at Murdale Baptist Church in Carbondale with Rev. Paul Hicks officiating. Burial will follow at Oakland Cemetery in Carbondale with military rites. Visitation will be from 5:00 – 8:00pm on Thursday, January 27, 2022 at Murdale Baptist Church and Friday from 10:00 – 11:00am at the church.
Memorials may be made to Murdale Baptist Church or Alzheimer’s Association and will be accepted at the church.
Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale is in charge of arrangements. To leave a story or memory of Bill visit www.meredithfh.com.