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. Paul's 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. The family is honoring John's request for no service, but an informal gathering to remember John will be held at a later date. Memorials are suggested to Whatcom Hospice or the
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Published in Bellingham Herald on Nov. 10, 2013