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Otis Lee Gooding, Jr

Otis Lee Gooding, Jr. lived from December 5, 1935, to May 17, 2014. He was the oldest son of Otis Lee and Ruby Lohr Gooding and had three younger brothers: Ray, Jason, and Roger. He grew up on a farm in Aroda, Va, and graduated from Madison County High School in 1955. He married eighteen-year-old Shirley Louise Compton in 1957, and together they had and raised six children:


Troy Daniel Gooding (born 1958)

Melinda Dawn Gooding (born 1959)

Tracy Donald Gooding (born 1961)

Melanie Diane Gooding (born 1962)

Trevor Dale Gooding (born 1965)

and Melissa Denise Gooding (born 1967)


While working full-time and raising a family, he graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He taught Building Trades at the Piedmont Technical School in Culpeper for nineteen years until his retirement. He had a passion for teaching and sharing his knowledge with others. During his life, he made many pieces of furniture, such as footstools, pie cabinets, beds, tables, clocks, chairs, etc. He gave most of the pieces to family and friends.


During his very active life, he was a farmer, a football player, a baseball player, a gardener, a beekeeper, a fisherman, a hunter, a musician, a brick mason, a heavy machinery operator, a craftsman of high-quality furniture, an academician, a historian, a genealogist, a mechanic, a restorer of antique tractors, a real estate appraiser, a homebuilder, a police officer, a coach, a soldier, a rescue squad member, an avid reader, an educator, a devout Christian, and a wonderful husband and father.


At the time of his death, he and Shirley had been married for 57 years and had eleven grandchildren. His headstone at Walker's Chapel in Madison County inscription reads, "A True Renaissance Man."


(Submitted by Melanie Shifflett) 

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