Robert Joseph Gossett of Kenosha, Wis., the former Xavier basketball player, U.S. Air Force Veteran, retired Armco Steel executive and published author, went to be with Lord
Dec. 16, 2017.
The proud father of four, grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of two, was 87, and surrounded by many of his loving family.
Known affectionately as Bob by his many friends throughout the country, he was born the oldest of three children to predominantly Irish parents, John L. Gossett and Helen C. Sweeney Aug. 10, 1930, in the quaint Ohio River-town of Ashland, hometown of his family for many generations.
There, he starred in basketball for Holy Family High School and earned a scholarship to play his beloved sport at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he studied business. It was there that an astute English professor encouraged Bob's writing skills that later developed into his publishing 11 Western historical novels after he retired from Armco.
Bob enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant while serving at the Topeka, Kan., Forbes Air Force Base as a B29 Gunner. Some of the best friendships of his life were forged there, among fellow Airmen Bob O'Leary, Dick Smith, Jim Klein and Bob Ramsey - who continued to visit together late into their 80s.
While in the Air Force, Bob married Marie L. Nicholson, also of Ashland, and they had four children. They moved several times, most notably to Columbus, Ohio, Birmingham and Grand Rapids, Mich., and San Antonio, Texas as Bob moved up the ranks of Armco Steel as a well-liked and skilled manager.
After retiring from Armco and from his own steel consulting company, Bob moved back to the heartland, into a Kenosha home overlooking Lake Michigan, ironically, the site of a former American Motors Corporporation factory that was one of his former Armco steel customers.
An avid sail and motor boater, fisherman and outdoorsman, Bob enjoyed sitting on his balcony and watching the sailboats and Coast Guard cutters glide by his porch as he sipped his coffee. He made many friends in the Kenosha area
During his 30 years in Texas, Bob traveled extensively, befriended a Texas Ranger and collected tales and researched history that would evolve into his series of published novels, The Saddle, Who the Hell Are You, I Used to be a Texas Ranger, John King Bounty Hunter, The Seeker, My Five Sons, The Mail Rider, Two Brothers, Two Wanted Men in the Old West, Outlaws Railroads and Oil Wells, and My Friend Tommy Horn. Bob was working on new books at the time of his death.
Bob had a great sense of humor, was a great story teller to his grandchildren, a loving father, and a loyal friend. He was said to have never known a stranger or to judge a friend. He was active in the Catholic Church and in his family's lives.
Bob was a long standing member of Texas Library Association, a Kentucky colonel and a member of American Legion Post 1 in San Antonio, Texas.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved brother, Jack Gossett;and his sister, Sue Dixon.
Bob is survived by his four children, Peggy Gossett-Seidman (Dr. Barry Seidman) of Highland Beach, Fla., Robert J. Gossett Jr. (Cindy Gossett) of Cape Coral, Fla., John B. Gossett (Jaynie Gossett) of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and Beth Gossett Martin (Billy Martin) of Nicholasville; his grandchildren, Tyler, Austin and Dallas Seidman, Michael Gossett (Barbie Gossett) and Jennifer Gossett Ayotte (Nick Ayotte), Ashley Gossett Dennison (Michael Dennison), Chelsie and Jonathan Gossett, and Hannah, Sarah and William Martin; and two great-grandchildren, Mason Landry Gossett and Adeline Katherine Ayotte.
Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, at Kenosha Funeral Services, 8226 Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis.
Graveside services will be at noon Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Ashland.
Published on December 19, 2017