U.S. Veteran Robert F. “R.F.” Gooch  of Hemphill, passed away Saturday, June 22, at Silsbee Oaks Health Care in Silsbee. He was the son of Lawrence & Ida Youngblood Gooch, and was born in Sabinetown, TX., on Feb. 21, 1927. He graduated from Hemphill High School in 1945.

He spent two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He worked at Allied Chemical in Orange, for 33 years before retiring and returning to Hemphill. In 1951, he married the love of his life, Dorothy Jane (Dot) McDaniel, the one he marched with in his high school commencement and Baccalaureate exercises. He trusted the Lord for salvation at age 19 and served God faithfully throughout his life. He was always a part of the music ministry where he lived and served. He was an ordained Music Minister and also a Deacon Emeritus of First Baptist Church of Hemphill. Robert also was a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his grandson, Ryan Joseph Pineda, and four siblings, C.P. Gooch, Marcille Moore, Edelle McGee, Pauline Neal.

He is survived by his wife, Dot, of 61 years; two daughters, Rhonda Willey and her husband, Hershal of Mauriceville and Rachel Harbuck of Orange; one brother, J. E. Gooch and his wife, Nina; two granddaughters: Amanda Marie (Steven) of Mauriceville, and Kathryn Knighton (Lee) of Vidor, and five great-grandchildren, Justin, Addison, Jacob, Kade and Zachary.

Funeral will be held at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, June 25,  at First Baptist Church of Hemphill. Pastor E. Dale Lee of the Orange County Cowboy Church and the Rev. Kevin Brown of the First Baptist Church of Mauriceville, will conduct the service. Burial will follow in the Harper Chapel Cemetery.

In honor of Robert’s love for the church music programs where he has served, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the music ministry of the church of your choice, or the Alzheimer’s Association .