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Ralph Gossett
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Ralph A. Gossett, 91, of Birmingham, Alabama, and a long-time resident of Escalon, passed away Friday, Feb. 29, 2008.

Mr. Gossett was born to Sam and Willie Gossett on Feb. 19, 1917 in Sayre, Oklahoma. He was the only son, with six younger sisters. Hard work was a part of growing up on their farm, which was a small dairy and grain raised for feed. He rode his horse to school in the early mornings to start the fire to warm the one room schoolhouse. He often reminisced about listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio with his grandfather and listening to his father play the fiddle. As a young man, he rode his horse into town on Saturday nights to sing on the radio.

Mr. Gossett was an avid fisherman, card player, and Christian man. He adored his wife and family. His grandchildren were his pride and joy. He was a tower of strength to many, and loved to laugh.

He served in the U.S. Army during WWII from October of 1939 to September of 1945 as a medic with the 45th Infantry Division in North Africa, and during the Italian campaigns of Anzio, Salerno, and Sicily, achieving the rank of Tec 4 Sergeant. For his honorable service, he received the Combat Infantry Badge, EAME Service Ribbon, and the American Defense Service Medal.

A graduate of Cameron College (later to become Oklahoma A&M), he was retired from the State of California where he served as a CPA and Tax Audit Supervisor in the Human Resources Department. He also served as Treasurer of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Stockton, California, for many years, and was a member of the District Council. He was a long time and faithful member of The Gideons International. He placed Bibles and spoke with church, youth, and school groups throughout Central California for many years.

He was an active member of Kiwanis Club, serving in many capacities including President of the Escalon Chapter. He was also a member of Sons in Retirement.

After moving to Birmingham, he remained active in Gideons, and enjoyed attending Asbury United Methodist Church, where he was an active participant in the Wednesday morning Men's Group. He was also a member of the Residents Association at Ridgeview Assisted Living.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Faye Law Gossett; sister, Nell Gossett (Buddy) Benton; daughter, Darlene Gossett (John) Brazil; grandchildren, Angela Brazil (Stephen Thorne), Anthony Brazil, and Michael Brazil; and great-grandchildren, Maddy Brazil, Jayden Brazil, and Dashiell Thorne.

Mr. Gossett was preceded in death by a daughter, Shirley Gossett; sisters, Opal Tatum of Dumas, Texas, Mary Jane Harvey of Dumas, Pauline Emmons of Pampa, Texas, Dorothy Erwin of Happy, Texas, and Sue Lawler of Canyon, Texas.

The funeral service and entombment were Monday, March 3, 2008 at Southern Heritage Mausoleum in Pelham, Alabama, with Dr. Mark Lacey officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Gideons International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214-0800.

Arrangements by Ridout's Southern Heritage Funeral Home in Pelham, Alabama.

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

March 12, 2008