Allentown, NY – Clifford E. Gooch, 91 of Allentown, passed away peacefully at Hart Comfort Home on August 23, 2023, surrounded physically and spiritually by both family and friends.
Cliff, “Gene” to his Buffalo family, was a 1949 graduate of Seneca Vocational High School. After graduation Cliff entered the US Navy in November 1949 and served to April 1953 primarily aboard the USS Philip, DDE-498, as a sonarman. After honorable discharge from the US Navy, Cliff worked for Bushes Delivery, Buffalo Slag, and became a fireman for the City of Buffalo.
On November 10, 1956 Clifford married Rita C. McGee at St. Agnes Church in Buffalo. Rita predeceased Cliff on April 16th, 2022 after a 66 year marriage.
Cliff joined the NYS Troopers in April 1963 and moved the family to Allentown in 1965, Along the way Cliff also: co- owned a Yamaha Motorcycle shop, worked with his good friend Al Ford, catered for Johnston & Gooch Catering, was a Town Justice in Scio NY, and delivered parts for Fred Roberts Auto Parts from where he reluctantly retired at the young age of 83.
Cliff committed much of his time, talent and energy to serving his community. He was a PROUD member of the Wellsville Lions Club for over 50 years – serving as an enthusiastic end-man at many Lions Club Minstrel shows, chicken BBQs for the Trout Derby, and spending hours filling gumball machines at numerous establishments. As Scio Town Justice he truly enjoyed officiating marriage ceremonies, often holding those nuptials in their front yard with the help of Rita or other locations like Letchworth Park and Syracuse University. Cliff was also an enthusiastic, long-standing member of the Association of Former NYS Troopers, Allegheny Chapter and a member of the Wellsville Elks Club.
Cliff is survived by: four children, MaryBeth (John) Thompsett of Scio, Jeffrey (Elaina) Gooch of Rochester, Lesley (Jon) Gooch-Christman of Wellsville, Jennifer (David) Gooch-Johnston of Rochester; eight grandchildren, Emily (Lucas Jandrew) Thompsett, Hannah (Kevin Walsh) Thompsett, Abby (Justin Perrelli) Christman, Olivia (Stephen Hoffman) Christman, Ellyn Gooch, Graham Gooch, Noah Johnstn, and Clay (Brie Boxell) Johnston; two great-grandsons, Sonny and Carmen Christman-Perrelli, sister Betty Windover, as well as brothers-in-law Tom (Pat) Wozniak and Hank Gath.
In addition to his wife Rita, Cliff was predeceased by four brothers: David, Edward, Frank and Bobby, and three sisters: Shirley, Mary, and Joy.
Lastly Cliff was known for believing in second chances and his commitment to being fair, his incredible sense of humor, his ability to feed a crowd whatever the occasion (a talent he and Rita passed on to all his children!) , his love for playing cards, and most certainly a nice bottle of beer! Cliff liked nothing better than being together and enjoying life. He believed in the power of friendship and offered it freely to others.
Truly a life well-lived and well-shared!!!
Calling hours will be held at J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home 34 West State Street, Wellsville NY 14895 on Monday August 28th, 4pm – 7pm
Services will be held at J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 29th, 11am, internment to follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Scio NY 14880
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to the Wellsville Lions Club, the David A. Howe Library or the Hart Comfort House.
To leave rememberances and condolences, visit EmberFuneralHome.com