Murray Clark Goff, born January 21, 1926 in Bellingham, WA, died peacefully with members of his family around him in the Good Samaritan Society – Stafholt nursing care center in Blaine, WA. He was 91. He is survived by his wife of 71ó years Kathryn (Spearin), daughter- in-law Jo Goff, daughter Marsha (Charles Hawkins), son Rodney (Catherine), daughter Rachel (Ken Ely), adopted daughter Theresa (Corona) and brother Tom Goff. He was preceded in death by his son Gregory, his brother William, and his sister Lois.
At family gatherings, Murray liked to quip to Kathryn, “this is all your fault!” for their union produced 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren – plus the spouses.
Murray and Kathryn were married while Murray was still in the US Army Air Corps. He served as an aerial photographer, flying in B-29s for 2 years until the end of WWII.
After he returned to civilian life, Murray held several jobs, most of them in the haberdasher line, and eventually started a men’s department in one corner of C. T. Goff Dry Goods, his father’s store in Blaine. Later purchasing the entire business,
Murray operated it for 56ó years, from 1953 – 2009, and closed the store when he retired. It was a retail establishment that townspeople still miss, for Murray and his staff offered friendly, personal service with their own style of banter. He loved telling people about the store’s antique cash register, however, he was never one to elaborate on any point and was naturally witty and succinct in his speech.
Murray was adventurous. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, playing badminton, morel mushroom picking, and water skiing. He and Kathryn learned to sail after purchasing the first of 2 sailboats. The boats took them on many voyages around the San Juan and Canadian Gulf islands. Family favorite “regattas” to Sucia were held on Memorial Day weekends.
Games were a big part of Murray’s life. The kitchen table was good for bridge and dominoes and the little table in front of the fire was nice for cribbage. In the summer, the lawn became a croquet pitch and the hillside behind the house a waterslide for the grandkids.
Murray served on the Blaine School Board for 8 years and attended the Congregational Church for a great many more. Recently, he was a member of Blaine Christian Fellowship. His faith was a powerful and abiding force in his life.
From first to last, Murray Goff was the best a man could be as a gentleman, a husband, a father, and a friend. Memorial donations may be sent to:
The Good Samaritan Society – Stafholt
456 C Street, Blaine WA 98230
Whatcom Hospice Foundation
2901 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham WA 98225-1851
Services to be announced.