Cover photo for Courtland Goss's Obituary
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Courtland Goss

April 13, 1931 — June 16, 2023

Courtland Goss


Courtland “Joe” Stiles Goss entered Paradise on June 16, 2023, from Cocoa, Florida, at the home of his daughter and son-in-law.  Both of his daughters were able to spend his last day with him.

Courtland was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, on April 13, 1931, the only son of Leonard and Charlotte Goss.  He grew up in St. Johnsbury Center, attending the local elementary school and St. Johnsbury Academy (Class of ’49), all while delivering milk for the family business Gossholme Farms Dairy, until he enlisted in the Navy.  He served four years during the Korean War after which he returned to the Center and the dairy business giving many local children rides in his milk truck.  In 1955 he married Shirley Alice Jacobs and together raised their two daughters, moving to a new home on Breezy Hill, St. Johnsbury, in 1970, where he enjoyed having a front-row seat for the building of the new hospital.

“Joe,” as most people knew him, was very active in the First Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury Center where he served many years as usher, trustee, and wherever else he was needed.  He loved helping people, and would usually greet his customers along the milk route with the greeting, “You’re looking good!”  He could always be relied on to be on time and get the job done right, earning him a bowling trophy “Mr. Reliable.”  His rebirth occurred in the ‘70s when He recognized his need to be reconciled with God through Christ, securing his eternal home.

He and Shirley were charter members of the Country Corner Squares square dance club, and they enjoyed camping, traveling, working around the house, and taking care of the Goss-a-Mere family camp at Miles Pond.  He remained close to extended family members including siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews, enjoying camping trips and family reunions. At the age of 50 he earned his pilot’s license.  After “retiring” from the dairy business (finishing out at Kilfasset and then Idelnot), in 1989 he went to work for E.T. and H.K Ide until retirement in 1996 and became a volunteer driver for Rural Community Transportation. 

Shirley passed away in 2008.  After grieving for several years, Courtland’s eldest sister Beverly helped him reconnect with an old girlfriend, and after a 60-year hiatus he exchanged vows with Phyllis Griffin Russell.  Joe and Phyllis enjoyed each other’s company from 2013 until her passing this April.  After a brief period of illness and a stay at The Pines, his daughters took him on his final road trip, and his daughter Melodie lovingly and skillfully cared for him the last month of his life on earth.   In addition to his parents, Shirley, and Phyllis, he was predeceased by his sisters Beverly (and Stanley) Russell and Phyllis Copp, sisters-in-law Betty Jean (and Robert) Foster and Carol Ann (and Leo) Mossey, brother-in-law Eldon (and Mary) Jacobs, his parents-in-law Charles and Iola Jacobs, and an infant niece.

He is survived by his sister Nancy (and Peter) Eaton, brother-in-law Robert Copp, daughters Melodie (and Larry) Hays, Marilee Jaye Young, by his grandchildren Ryne, Patric, and Kayla, Heather, Amy, Abigail, Krista, Rebecca, Brody, Nicole, and Lauren, step-grandchildren Mariah and Holden, along with their spouses, and by ten great grandchildren.

Services will be held on Thursday, August 3, 1:30 p.m., at Concord Community Church. Should anyone wish to make a contribution in his memory, please send your donation in his name to River of Life Camp (counselor fund), 1147 US Route 14, Irasburg, VT 05845, a wonderful ministry he supported that serves local youth.

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