Ralph "Mike" Gochenour (1935 - 2019)

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Service Information
Dellinger Funeral Home
157 North Main Street
Woodstock, VA
Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
The Valley Pike Church of the Brethren
83 Headley Road
Maurertown, VA
View Map
Monday, Aug. 12, 2019
2:00 PM
The Valley Pike Church of the Brethren
83 Headley Road
Maurertown, VA
View Map

Ralph "Mike" Gochenour, 84, of Maurertown, passed away Thursday, August 8, 2019 suddenly on his farm along The Shenandoah River near Maurertown, VA.

Ralph was born January 2, 1935 in Maurertown, VA. He was the son of the late John Wilbur and Jessie Beatley Gochenour.

Ralph "Mike" was a graduate of Woodstock High School, Class of 1953 and often told tales of riding his horse to school.

He attended Berea College in Berea, Kentucky where he lived in Guest House, known as the champions of intramural sports and worked as a bellhop at Boone Tavern to help fund his education.

Prior to graduating, Ralph returned to Shenandoah County due to his father's poor health and ran the family's massive farm on the north end of Woodstock.

He began his 26-year career with the United States Department of Interior in 1969 as a part-time back country ranger on Skyline Drive and eventually retired from there as the supervisor of Mathews Arm Campground.

During these years with The Shenandoah National Park, he continued his beef cattle farm operation and operated Native Woods Lumber Mill, providing firewood, custom lumber, and more for many local crafters, builders and furniture makers.

His hobbies included milling native hardwoods, fishing, making fine crafts, picking walnut kernels and searching for Native American artifacts on his ancestral land with his grandson. He was especially proud of having sawn the timber to build his family home on Sawmill Lane.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie Bryant Gochenour; and two brothers, Harold and William Gochenour.

Ralph is survived by three sons, Larry Michael Gochenour (Cena Hubbell) of Toms Brook, VA, Gary Lee Gochenour (Tracie) of Manassas, VA, and Matthew Paul Gochenour of Maurertown, VA; a daughter, Kelly Gochenour Phillips (Blake) of Woodstock, VA; two grandchildren, Hunter Phillips of Maurertown, VA, and Meredith Phillips of Woodstock, VA; companion, Betty Jean Clifton, of Stephens City, VA; a brother, John W. Gochenour of Woodstock, VA; two sisters, Judy Shirkey (Henry) of Edinburg, VA. and Linda Wilkins (Mike) of Woodstock, VA; two sisters-in-law, Jill Gochenour of Woodstock, VA, and Dixie R. Gochenour of Jerome, VA; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends 7-9 p.m. Sunday, August 11 at The Valley Pike Church of the Brethren, 83 Headley Road, Maurertown, VA.

The funeral will also be held at the church at 2 p.m. Monday, August 12 followed by interment in the church cemetery among multiple generations of his family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bonnie B. Gochenour Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Shenandoah Community Foundation, P.O. Box 31, Woodstock, VA 22664.

Arrangements are in the care of Dellinger Funeral Home, Woodstock.

Online condolences can be left at www.dellingerfuneralhome.com
Published in Northern Virginia Daily on Aug. 10, 2019
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