John W. Gouker Jr. Oct. 7, 1961 - March 22, 2014 SOUTH BEND - John William Gouker Jr., 52, of South Bend, died unexpectedly at 9:10 a.m. Saturday in his residence surrounded by his loving family. John was born October 7, 1961, in South Bend, to Alida (Saylor) and John W. Gouker and was a lifetime area resident. On June 7, 1986, in South Bend, he married Elisa A. Roberts, who survives. Also surviving are his daughters, Sarah E. Gouker (a senior at Valparaiso University) and Emily G. Gouker (a sophomore at Penn High School) both at home; his parents, John and Alida Gouker of North Liberty, IN; sisters, Darlene Bell (Jeffery) of North Liberty and Sally Kazmierczak (David) of South Bend; and brothers, Jerry Gouker of North Liberty and Jeffery Gouker (Kelli) of Allegan, MI. John devoted all of his life to his family, Penn High School, and athletics. He was an outstanding student athlete at North Liberty High School, where he played football, basketball, and track. He later earned a football scholarship to attend Sterling College in Sterling Kansas. At Sterling, he played quarterback and superback. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics/Education and Business at Sterling and a Master of Science Degree in School Administration at Indiana University South Bend. In 1986, he was hired at PHM to teach math at Schmucker Middle School, and coach football. Later, at Schmucker he became the assistant principal, and in 2009 he became the Dean of Students at Penn High School. He had a servant's heart in whatever he did and he tried to be fair to all that passed through his door. He married Elisa A. Roberts and they had two beautiful daughters. He loved them with all his heart and gave them the confidence to be successful young girls as he did to many other young people. He spent his summers playing golf, and often amazed his golfing buddies with the "Gouker Par." Most of all, he helped his daughters accomplish their horse show dreams, and he never wasted one day of his life. Sarah, Emily, and Elisa are proud to be his girls, and will truly love him forever. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, March 27th in Epworth Memorial United Methodist Church with Rev. Jennifer Weaver officiating. Committal services and burial will follow in Highland Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 26th in the Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North, 17033 Cleveland Rd. Memorial contributions may be made to the "Gouker Girls Education Fund" c/o any Teachers Credit Union location. Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at

Funeral Home

Welsheimer Funeral Home North
17033 Cleveland Rd South Bend, IN 46635
(574) 272-2244

Published in South Bend Tribune on Mar. 25, 2014