Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Loss of a Giant

Richard Goff was the third child born to Andrew and Nellie (Hughes) Goff on November 17, 1924. The Goff family had migrated to Cincinnati from Somerset, Kentucky, and Richard was the first baby born in the city.

He started school in Cincinnati but transferred to Ludlow Independent Schools when Andy moved his family into what was known as the Section House, a place owned by the Southern Railroad. After graduating from high school, Richard enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Richard Goff was a purple heart recipient for his service upon the U.S.S. Morrison. The Morrison, was sunk by a kamikaze at the Battle for Okinawa on May 4, 1945, killing 152 men. Richard was blown away from the destroyer, and grabbing a nearby life jacket, he watched as the ship plunged beneath the surface of the Pacific. Richard spent nearly a year recovering from his injuries, and he never mentioned the horrors of war.

Richard married June Hammond Perkins on June 10, 1950. The couple reared four children, Sherry, Sheila, Bruce and Richard, Jr. He worked as a tool and die maker at R.A. Jones in Erlanger, Kentucky for more than thirty years. The family resided in Covington, Kentucky until his retirement in the 1980s, at which time they moved to Palm Coast, Florida. He lived in the Sunshine State until his death from lung cancer on February 17, 2009.

Richard loved to camp, and he also loved boating. He was a member of Ludlow Baptist Church and was a third degree master Mason.

Richard was my father's older brother, my uncle. He was always larger than life to me and one of the funniest men I ever knew. He would run up to me as fast as he could with his fists clinched, saying, "I'm gonna punch you right in the nose." Of course I would run and scream, and he would pick me up and throw me over his shoulder and kiss and tickle me. With the exception of throwing me over his shoulder, he still did the "punch in the nose" routine until the last time I saw him, which was July, 2006, just before my father lost his battle to lung cancer. For the Goff family, Richard was the last of that generation to move on, and losing him was the loss of a GIANT.

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