In Memory

John Gossett

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11/13/09 05:34 PM #1    

Susan Smith (Daniel)

My first clear memory of John is from Mrs. Whitmore's fourth grade class at Birdwell Elementary. It was autumn and the World Series was in progress. I arrived at school early one morning to find John expounding with excitement about Roger Maris and the record he had set. I have to admit that I had no idea who Roger Maris was, but after hearing John (age nine) talk about him, I have never forgotten his importance in baseball. I even have a visual image of John from that day--big blue eyes and dressed in his blue Cub Scout uniform.

I was able to reconnect with John in high school when we were both debaters. At a couple of debate tournaments, I was fortunate to be his partner. John was just as enthusiastic as a debater as he had been about Roger Maris. He was a great speaker and I always looked forward to the opportunity to be teamed up with him.

John went on to have a wonderful career based on his love of public speaking. He was the Chairman of the Communications Department at the University of North Texas. He was revered by colleagues and friends alike.

Over the years, I enjoyed meeting John's wife, Karen, and hearing about his children. John accomplished a lot in his life as a professor, husband and father. I remember him as a very special classmate who was always a good friend. I will miss getting to see him and talk to him again.

Edited to add: Several people have emailed me to ask about John's death. It is my understanding that John died due to an infection following a successful liver transplant. He had been ill for several years prior to receiving the transplant and died during the summer of 2009.

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