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Mena, Arkansas, News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Joseph Gooch

In Mena, Arkansas, our beloved Joseph Gooch peacefully passed away at the age of 93 surrounded by loved ones on March 8th, 2024. Born October 14th, 1930, in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Joseph lived a full life serving his country, lovingly raising his family and generously giving to the church and his community.

From a young age Joseph Gooch was driven to better his humble beginnings by applying himself to his education. A strong belief that he passed down to his children. He mastered languages, traveled the world, forged worldwide friendships and gained a lifetime worth of incredible stories he was ready to tell anyone lucky enough to listen.

Joseph honorably served his country in both the army for 6 years and the Air Force for 20 years. He dutifully fought in two separate wars, Korean War and Vietnam war. He attained the rank of staff sergeant and retired to raise his family in Mena, Arkansas.

Known as “Mr. Fix-it” Joseph was quite savvy and was able to fix just about anything with a little duct tape, some bungee cords and rubber bands. All while telling a joke or two followed by a story with amazing twists.

Joseph Gooch passed down to generations his kind and loving teachings. Always ready with a life lesson. He was hard working, fiercely loved God, his family and his country. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten.

He is survived by his loving wife of over 63 years Paula T. Gooch; his pride and joy daughters, Grace Newsom, Elizabeth Wages, grandchildren Brandon Traugott and wife Candace, Heather Payerli and Thomas, Suzy Newsom and Lily Newsom; great-grandchildren Alex Payerli, Lavender Traugott, Ivy Grace Traugott, Catherine Payerli, Grayson Traugott, Phoenix Traugott and Asher Traugott.

Joseph Gooch is preceded in death by his mother Lessie Gooch and his tender grandchild Grayson Traugott.

Cremation services for Mr. Joseph Gooch are entrusted to Beasley-Wood Funeral Home. There are no services planned at this time.

Online obituary and guestbook at

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