Shirley Gooding

Obituary of Shirley Ann Gooding

Shirley Ann (Puckett) Gooding died on February 21, 2023. She was born to Emory Lee Puckett and Edith Ruth (Smith) Puckett on May 14, 1933 in Elmira Heights, New York, and subsequently resided with her parents and brother, Bob, in Syracuse, New York, until moving with her family to Atlanta, Georgia in 1938, prior to their moving to Tampa, Florida in 1940, where she was educated and raised to adulthood. Shirley attended kindergarten in Syracuse, and continued at primary school in the Atlanta school district. Shirley completed her public school education in Tampa, being graduated from the Henry B. Plant High School, Tampa, Florida in 1951. After her graduation, Shirley continued in higher education at the Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, where she majored in Home Economics Education. She was elected to Phi Mu Sorority. Shirley was honored at FSU with election to the Sophomore Council, an honorary society for mentoring of students. On returning to Tampa in 1952, Shirley was employed at the First National Bank of Tampa. 

On June 7, 1953, Shirley became the bride of Charles Thomas Gooding, Jr., a native of Tampa, Florida. After their marriage, Shirley and Tom Gooding moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, where Tom began serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. They later were posted to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where their first child, Steven Thomas Gooding, was born at the Fort Dix Army Hospital. After Tom completed his military service, he and Shirley and son Steven returned to Tampa, Florida, where Tom became a teacher and later served as a school principal.

Shirley and Tom's family increased with the birth of daughter Carol Ann, and second son David Lee. Shirley and Tom and family then relocated to Gainesville, Florida, where Tom had been appointed as a Graduate Fellow in the College of Education. Shirley had her fourth child, Mark Charles, who came to his parents in December of 1963. Tom completed the doctoral degree in educational psychology at the University of Florida, leading to a new position in New York. Illustrative of deep closeness between Shirley and her husband, she expertly transcribed by typewriter each handwritten draft of Tom's doctoral dissertation. Shirley also designed and constructed for him an academic doctoral robe with the distinctive three velvet bars on the sleeves. The robe has always been Tom's favorite academic attire.

In fall of 1964, the Gooding family moved to Oswego, NY, where Tom had been appointed to the faculty of the State University of New York at Oswego. The Gooding family continued to reside in upstate New York for more than 30 years. While the four Gooding children were studying in school and college, Shirley returned to work in her chosen field of human services education.

Shirley served as an educator for The Singer Company beginning in 1973, and later in sales for J.C. Penney Company, 1977-1978. The family next moved to England for Tom to teach and conduct research at the University of Liverpool. Shirley enjoyed her experience as the spouse of a visiting professor. She met many members of the Liverpool faculty, and also many members of the Gooding family who lived in England. When Shirley and Tom and family returned to New York, Shirley became a research associate at SUNY Oswego, and in 1982 she accepted a position as Executive Director of the Oswego County Unit of the American Cancer Society, serving from 1982 to 1986. She then worked as a community educator for the Oswego County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, from 1986 until retirement in 1996. Shirley designed highly successful curricular programs, published academic papers and reports, and was elected as president of several service club associations, including the Oswego County Chapter of Zonta International. Tom joined Shirley in retirement in 1998, and they returned to Florida, settling in Venice, Florida, first at the Venice Golf and Country Club and then at Jacaranda Trace, a senior community.

Shirley is survived by her large family, including four adult children and their partners, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. 

Funeral arrangements are by Farley Funeral Home in Venice. Funeral services will be at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Venice at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 1. Following the service, there will be a reception at Jacaranda Trace at 12:30 p.m. Interment will be at Garden of Memories in Tampa.


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Funeral Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church
1115 Center Rd
Venice, Florida, United States


A reception will follow the funeral service at Jacaranda Trace, 12:30 P.M.
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