NASHVILLE -- Dr. Gary A. Goforth, departed this life at 1:20 a.m. Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Washington County Hospital Skilled Care. He had attained the age of 68.
Dr. Goforth was born on March 17, 1946, in Murphysboro, the son of Gene and Juanita (Roberts) Goforth.
He was united in marriage to Sue Bateman on Oct. 28, 1983, in Las Vegas, and she survives his passing in Nashville.
Dr. Goforth started high school in Anna, in 1960, where he played against the "amazing Cobden Appleknockers" in basketball, lost to Marion in baseball in the finals of the sectional, one out from the state tournament on graduation day, against Ray Fosse (professional baseball); and was elected student body president in 1963. He then went on to U of I in Urbana for two years, years three and four at Tuscaloosa and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1968. He met an old D.O. from El Paso, and Dr. Goforth appreciated his practice style and capabilities for a rural general practitioner, so he wrote his letter of recommendation to the Kirksville College of Osteopathy and Surgery, which two years later the name changed to Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. He then did a unique program of rural clinics around small towns of NE Missouri with a senior four month rotation from Jeff City, Mo., (internal medicine) to Detroit (obstetrics) to Dayton, Ohio, (pediatrics) to Fulton, Mo., (psychiatry).
The biggest disappointment was that his father passed away before he graduated Jan. 1, 1972. Doc then went to Grand Rapids Michigan Osteopathic Hospital for a rotating one-year internship. He moved to Clearwater, Fla., for general practice, then "across the street" into Dunedin for his second year in Florida. He was attracted back to Washington County "coming home" to Okawville and Nashville in July 1975. He joined practice with Drs. Tom Coy and Ralph Kelley in Okawville and Nashville. His first year in Okawville he practiced out of a motel since there was no other office space available till the current medical center was built.
Dr. Goforth was involved in many community activities. He was awarded by the Nashville Lions Club for Dedication to Community Athletics in 1979, Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians in 1981, Certification in Family Practice by the American Board of Family Physicians from 1979-2023, Outstanding Team Physician Award from the Illinois State Medical Society, Certification in Family Practice by the American Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians in 1990, Family Practitioner of the year in the American Association of Physician Specialists in 1993, Physician of the Year in the American Academy of Specialists in Family Practice in 1999. He served as the past president of the Southern Illinois Medical Association. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Dedication to Area Youth from Nashville Community High School on Jan. 11, 2014, and he was to be awarded the Favorite Son Award from the Southern Illinois Medical Association in November of 2014. Doc served on the Board of Directors at Community Trust Bank, Medical Director at Friendship Manor Nursing Home and at the Washington County Health Department. Gary spent his life dedicated to serving his patients, and most of all he loved spending all his extra time with his children and grandchildren and attending sporting events, especially the Nashville Hornets.
Left to mourn his passing is his wife, Sue Goforth of Nashville; five children, Dawn Kasten and her husband, Craig of Hoyleton, Jeff Goforth and his wife, Kelly, Jason Goforth and his wife, Deitt, Eric Bochantin and his wife, Casey, all of Nashville, and Chris Goforth and his wife, Brittany, of New Minden; seven grandchildren, Zachary and Carly Kasten, Peyton Goforth, Jaxon and Ryann Goforth, and Griffin and Estes Bochantin; a sister, Karen Conner of Campbell Hill; nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother-in-law, Darrel Conner; his grandparents; and other relatives.
Services for family, colleagues and close friends will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 23, in Campagna Funeral Home, with Pastor Don Jones officiating and with interment in Greenwood Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in Nashville Community High School Assembly Hall, and from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to Nashville Football Bleacher Fund, PanCan Walk with the Dogs or the Angels for Autisim and will be accepted by Campagna Funeral Home in Nashville.
Online expressions of sympathy may be made at www.campagnafuneralhomes.com
Published by The Southern Illinoisan on Apr. 20, 2014.