John Alexander Gooden Jr.

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ELIZABETHTOWN — John Alexander "Alex" Gooden Jr., 70, lifelong resident and businessman of Elizabethtown; passed peacefully on Thursday, June 5, 2014, at his home, surrounded by his wife and family.

He was a dedicated, loving husband, father, grandfather, friend and mentor.

He was born January 2, 1944, to the late John Alexander "Lexie" and Verniece Register Gooden.

Alex is survived by his wife of 42 years, Sally Taylor Gooden; four daughters, Jessalyn Bridges and husband Chris of East Bend, Myra Pate and husband Chip of Elizabethtown, Erica Worth and husband David of Greensboro and Dr. Jennifer Leerkes and husband Jonathan of Greensboro; and 12 grandchildren, Rex and Eli Bridges, Henry, Bizzell, Nena, Delta and Ginger Pate, Elsa, Fitz and Percy Worth, and Zandra and Sonja Leerkes. Also surviving him are two brothers, Benny Register Gooden and Ronald Versa Gooden, both of Elizabethtown.

Alex attended North Carolina State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering. He started his career as an aircraft engineer with McDonald Douglas and later Locheed Martin. In 1973, he entered into business with his two brothers as owner and operator of Ward Lumber Company and stayed in that business for 30 years. Alex also had a love of agriculture and was an avid farmer of grapes and timberland.

Services will be held Saturday, June 7, at 2 p.m. at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church in Elizabethtown. Burial will follow the service in the Wesley Chapel UMC Cemetery. The family will receive friends and family for a Celebration of Life immediately following these services in the Multipurpose Building at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Wesley's Chapel United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, 2409 Peanut Plant Rd, Elizabethtown, NC 28337 or Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Dr., Wilmington, NC 28401.

Published in Bladen Journal from June 6 to June 10, 2014
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