John Goff

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    - Dana Carpenter
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  • "What a gentle man! Peace be with you in your time of grief."
    - Sherry Bell
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GASTONIA - John Lewis Goff Jr., 85, passed away peacefully on Dec. 7, 2011.

Mr. Goff, son of the late Rev. John Lewis Goff Sr. and Lelia Hott Goff, was born on Sept. 1, 1926, in Narrows, Va.

His wife of 59 years, Bettye Newton Goff, preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death were his brother Bob Goff of Shallotte, NC, brother-in-law Troy Jackson of Grifton, NC, and sister-in-law Connie Newton of Hickory.

Survivors include son, David Newton Goff and wife Gina of Concord; daughter, Karen Goff Russell and husband Richard of Elon; grandchildren, Kevin Glenn Russell and wife Maria of Newland, Michael Goff Russell and wife Lori of Hillsborough, Scott Everette Russell of Athens, Ga., Allison Leigh Goff of Cambridge, Mass. and John Wesley Goff of Raleigh; great-grandchildren, Awa Russell and Sam Russell of Hillsborough and Isaac Russell of Newland.

Also surviving are his brother, James Warren Goff and wife Harriett of Williamston; sister, Jane Goff Moore and husband Maurice of Columbia, S.C.; sister, Lelia May Jackson of Grifton, N.C.; sister-in-law, Martha Goff of Shallotte; brother-in-law, Lynn Newton and wife Jan of Gastonia, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
John graduated from Williamston High School, Williamston, NC. He proudly served a 2 year tour in the US Navy Reserve from 1944-1946 after which he earned his Bachelors Degree from Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, NC in 1949. He received his Masters Degree from East Carolina University and his Doctor of Education from Duke University.
While at Atlantic Christian, John met and married his beloved wife Bettye Hugh Newton. They moved to Gastonia in 1949 and for thirty years John worked for the Gastonia City and Gaston County public school systems serving as teacher, coach and principal at Arlington Junior High, principal at Gardner Park Elementary School, and finished his career as Assistant Superintendent for Special Services. He actively participated in numerous state and national education associations.
John was a faithful member of First Presbyterian Church Gastonia where he was active in the Seekers Sunday School Class, served as deacon and elder, and served on numerous church committees. He also enjoyed many years of dedicated service with the Noon Optimist Club of Gastonia includ-ing a term as Distinguished President.

After retiring, John and Bettye enjoyed traveling to all 50 states, 49 of them in their motorhomes. They spent many fulfilling hours as active volunteers with the Gaston Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop. He was a dedicated volunteer with Crisis Assistance Ministry, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, and numerous other community organizations.
There will be a celebration of John's life on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 2:00pm at First Presbyterian Church, 1621 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia, with the Reverend Dr. John L. Frye, Jr. and Pastor John H. Stanley officiating. The Noon Optimist Club of Gastonia will serve as Honorary Pall Bearers. The family will receive friends and family after the service in the Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials to be sent to: the Dr. John L. Goff, Jr. and Bettye N. Goff Endowed Scholarship at Barton College (formerly Atlantic Christian College), P.O. Box 5000, Wilson, NC 27893; Crisis Assistance Ministries, 805 West Airline Avenue, Gastonia, NC 28052; First Presbyterian Church Gastonia, 1621 E. Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054; or the .

The family is grateful for the many friends and fellow church members who have shown such love and support, and would like to thank the caregivers of Gaston Memorial Hospital, Belaire Healthcare Center, and the Robin Johnson House of Gaston Hospice for the loving care given to John and his fam-ily during his illness.

Condolence messages may be sent online at

McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the family of Mr. Goff.

Funeral Home
McLean Funeral Directors
700 South New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 865-3451
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Published in Gaston Gazette on Dec. 9, 2011
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