IN MEMORIAM: John Calvin Goss

by Jane Ahrens

Published in the Houston Chronicle


John Calvin Goss was born on Thanksgiving Day, November 24th, 1927, on Fishers Island, New York. Eager to join the party, John was born just after his mother served lunch, causing her to exclaim, “Oh what a bird we have this year!” Eighty-eight extraordinary years later, he passed away peacefully on March 3rd, 2016. His faith, family, and hard work were the foundation of his life.

John was born to Leland Harold Goss of Whitehall, New York, and Alice Dunn Goss of County Cork, Ireland, and was a grandson of Etta and Charles Goss of Wallingford, Vermont.

John graduated from Fishers Island High School in 1945 and was the only male in a class of four.

John attended The College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and majored in economics. After graduation, John worked his way through law school at Boston University. Graduating in the top of the class allowed him to enter officer training school for the Navy, where he served as a volunteer for two years.

John took a position with Shell Oil in Houston because he was enamored with the movie Giant. But better than finding oil, he found the love of his life, Jacqueline Ehlers, “across a crowded room” at an Allegro ball.

Wanting to be his own boss, he then founded John C. Goss Realty Company, where he worked tirelessly for almost five decades. John specialized in River Oaks homes, and through his work came to know and love so many people in the community. John’s motto for his company reflected his motto for life: “Home is where the heart is.” Whether in Houston or Fishers Island, he always tried to make everybody feel at home and part of the family.

John was a member of River Oaks Country Club, Hay Harbor Club in Fishers Island, Allegro, and Revelers.

John was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 54 years, his parents, and his brother, Edward Goss. He is survived by his three daughters, Alice Marie Goss, Suzanne Emerence Goss, and Jacqueline Goss Cathriner; Jacqueline’s husband William Walter Cathriner II, and their daughters Anne Amsler Cathriner and Virginia Goss Cathriner; his sister-in-law, Jane Hotchkiss Goss; his niece Janet Markley and her husband Sanford; his nephew Lee Goss and his wife Jane; his sister-in-law Suzanne Ehlers Parker, her husband Wesley, and their children Emy Parker Johnson and Jack Ehlers Parker; and multiple great-nieces and nephews.

The family would like to express its unending gratitude to Cynthia Robinson, Beverly Ferguson, Aurelia Alvarez, Carolyn Washington, Darlene Allen, and Mary Nell Moore, all of whom gave their loving care to Mr. Goss.

The memorial service is to be conducted at two o’clock in the afternoon on Thursday, the 10th of March, at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, 2140 Westheimer Road, in Houston, where the Reverend Alvin Sinasac, Pastor, is to officiate.

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests memorial contributions be made to St. Anne’s Catholic Church, 2140 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77098; or to Our Lady of Grace Church, PO Box 425, Fishers Island, NY 06390; or to a Fishers Island charity of your choice, which can be found at John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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