ANNISQUAM, Mass. - George Henry Gossom Jr., 85, passed away in his ancestral home in 'Squam on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, surrounded by his loving family.
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Born in Gloucester on Sept. 25, 1927, he was the son of the late George H. Gossom Sr. and Florence E. (Griffin) Gossom Moses.
George began his education at the old Leonard School, followed by the Riggs School and Gloucester High School. He left Gloucester High School during his junior year to enlist in the Marine Corps. He became an expert marksman and was chosen to attend Sea School in San Diego. George served in the Philippines, Kodiak Island and completed his enlistment in Washington, D.C., where he was chosen to become part of the honor guard for two U.S. Presidents.
During his tour of duty, George received his G.E.D. and after his honorable discharge in June 1949, he continued on to attend Boston University. His unquenchable thirst for knowledge led him to pursue his master's degree and Advanced Certificate of Education degree, both from Harvard University where he graduated magna cum laude. George became a perpetual student, receiving honors in many other courses at Tufts, MIT and Salem State College over the years. He enjoyed his career as a teacher. His great wit made him a favorite among the faculty as well as his students. An ardent book lover, George explored many subjects and languages and collected a vast library in his lifetime.
George's great uncle and aunt, George and Esther Wilkinson, as well as his grandmother, Elizabeth Gossom, had a great influence on his life, especially after the death of his father when he was only 6 years old. After extensive travel and art collecting, they returned to Annisquam and founded the Annisquam Market and Marina, formerly known as Chard and Wilkinson. George grew up watching his great uncle's generosity in helping others during the Depression and World War II. He was further influenced by his mother and stepfather, Anthony T. Moses, who helped nurture his passion for gardening, nature and animals, as well as the importance of family life and traditions. His love and compassion for humanity, learned early in George's life, strongly influenced his daughters to pursue careers in nursing.
Following his retirement, due to his declining health, George spent time researching his family's genealogy. He was able to trace his ancestors back to Oliver Griffin, one of the first settlers in Annisquam.
In addition to his wife, Nora M. (Dunn) Gossom, the love of his life, he is survived by his three daughters, Eileen P. Gossom, of Annisquam, Sheila M., wife of Timothy Logue of Manchester, N.H., and Kathleen A. Schad and Wayne Gertsner of Annisquam; brothers, Gilbert C., husband of Nancy Gossom, Kenneth J., husband of Cheryl Gossom, all of Gloucester, and Anthony T., Moses Jr. and Adrienne of Maine; grandchildren, Tara, Heather, Michael Jr., Maura, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Timothy Jr., Benjamin, Meghan, Matthew and Alexander; many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was also predeceased by his sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Norman Murphy; his first great-grandchild, Connor Kilrain; and his stepfather, Anthony T. Moses Sr.
services: A celebration of his life will be held at the Riverdale Methodist Church in May on a day and time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to the American Asthma Foundation, Attn.: Susan Hyde, 4 Embarcadero, Suite 3150, San Francisco, CA 94111, americanasthmafoundation.org. Arrangements are under the direction of the Pike-Grondin Funeral Home, 61 Middle St., Gloucester. For information and to send online condolences, visit grondinfuneralservices.com.
Published in Union Leader on Jan. 6, 2013