Robert Elmon Gooding, age 69, of Laurel, MD went to be with Our Lord on Sunday, November 8, 2020. Born June 7, 1951 to Elmer Gooding and Pattie Mae Gooding (née Taylor), Robert was raised on a farm in a large, hard-working family in Lenoir County, North Carolina. He was one of 10 children.
In 1972, he joined the United States Air Force and served for 20 years with honorable discharge in 1992. More than 12 of those years were spent in exceptional foreign-service in Italy, England, and Korea, and included working with NSA. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, AF Achievement Medal, Defense Meritorious Service and other accolades. He also attended NCO Leadership School. After retiring from the U.S. Air Force, he set roots in Maryland, which was the one American tour he served in at Ft. Meade. He continued in excellence working with the Department of Health and Human Services for another two decades as a Correspondence Analyst, also with distinction and outstanding achievement.
Robert is survived by his son, Dwayne Gooding and daughter, Shawna Gooding, siblings Tommie Ann McCullom, Cassandra Lee Williams, Janice Myers, Jimmie Gooding, Vincent Gooding, Pattie Rochelle King, best friend and care-taker, Jibril Boykin. Robert was preceded in death by his father, Elmer Gooding, Mother Pattie Mae Gooding (née Taylor), sisters Carrie Elizabeth Scott and Doris Marie Jones and brother Samuel Gooding.
Intelligent, outgoing and fiercely independent, Robert was a natural leader. While inwardly a shy person, you would never know it. He developed a tremendous skill at making friends and was admired by all who came to know him. The “Gooding heart” always shone through in wry humor, boisterous laughter and talking for long, fun-filled stretches. Not only was he a gifted and soulful singer, but he had a talent for cooking and would try just about any food from anywhere at any time.
Robert’s love for all genres of music followed him from his childhood church days, into adulthood as a lead singer in a band called Chocolate Buttermilk during one of his Italy tours. Passing on his creative aptitude, Robert encouraged his son to play piano and his daughter to play flute and sing right on through to his final days. He also loved to dance, and even with Alzheimer’s and Cancer, the music never failed to touch his soul and invigorate his body. When we see him again, or when you meet him for the first time in heaven, Robert will no doubt be singing, dancing and laughing. You won’t be able to resist joining in with him.
Dance and sing on, Dad, Robert, Bobby, Uncle, Jr.! Just as we all have affectionately known you with all of these names, you have touched our hearts and lives uniquely and indelibly.
John 14 1-3: Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020
Location: Donaldson Funeral Home, P. A., 313 Talbott Avenue, Rt 198 West, Laurel, MD 20707
Tel: (301) 725-1690
*If you plan on attending in-person, please plan to wear your mask and practice safely socially distanced behavior for the duration of the service. Seating will be staggered according to COVID safety guidelines. If you feel ill, please be mindful of others and remain at home.
Flowers or Donations:
Flowers: Please send flowers directly to Donaldson Funeral home (ATTN: Shawna Gooding) at: 313 Talbott Avenue, Rt 198 West, Laurel, MD 20707, Tel: (301) 725-1690
Donations: If you would like to make a donation as a tribute to Robert E. Gooding, please do so via the Alzheimer's association website.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert E. Gooding, please visit our floral store.