Lt. Colonel Edward Robert Goyette, a resident of Yulee, Florida, went to be with the Lord peacefully on Monday, March 5, 2017 after succumbing to complications caused by a stroke 13 years ago.
Ed was born in Burlington, Vermont in 1937, the son of Arthur and Margaret Goyette, owners of the A.R. Goyette Wholesale Business in South Burlington, Vermont.
Ed graduated from Cathedral High School in 1955. He continued his education at Holy Cross College where he began his pursuit of a military career by joining the ROTC program. He transferred to Saint Michael’s College his sophomore year where he became a member of the SMC Drill Team. Under his leadership as the cadet commander, the team won 3 straight New England championships. Upon graduation from Saint Michael’s College with a BA in Economics in 1960, Ed was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. He served for 24 years, of which the last 14 years, were with the Green Mountain Boys of the Vermont Air National Guard 158th Fighter Wing. His desire to take to the skies was inspired by the legacy of his uncle, Colonel Robert Goyette, a well-respected fighter pilot of the VTANG. Ed was born to be a pilot. His God-given abilities gained him a reputation as an outstanding aviator and a highly respected flight instructor. He logged over 9,000 flight hours during his military career. The planes he flew included the B-57, F-4, F-101, F-102, RC-121, T-33 trainer and the T-38 (the world’s first supersonic trainer). He served one tour in Vietnam in 1966 where he got a chance to work with the legendary fighter pilot, Robin Olds. Ed served in many positions during his military career, such as Aircraft Maintenance Officer, Chief Accident Investigator, Chief of Safety, Flight instructor in the Undergraduate Pilot Training program (UPT), Pilot Instructor Trainer (training other Pilot trainers) and Squadron Commander. He was proud to have trained a future Thunderbird pilot as well as a future Blue Angel pilot during his time as a flight instructor. Ed’s many years of service and incredible talent earned him the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before he retired.
Ed met the love of his life, Carolyn F. Lacoss, at a Cathedral High School dance. They were married in 1960. Over their 57 years of marriage, they raised 5 children, traveled the United States, all while having many amazing adventures as a family.
Ed loved to fish and was an avid sports fan. Whether it was his sons’ hockey games, his daughters’ performances or or sitting courtside at UVM with his youngest son Scott, no one cheered louder than Ed. He had a infectious “need for speed and adventure” as he was known to jump on a motorcycle, take his kids on an “unknown” road-trip to explore the world, or even push the envelope of his aircraft by soaring to the edge of the atmosphere, so close he could see the curvature of the earth. He was an avid reader. He especially enjoyed history, military, political and mystery thrillers. Ed’s priorities in life were always God, family, and country…and in that order. He was a man of extreme integrity, clear-sighted intelligence, and for the ones that knew him, well respected. A hard act to follow!
He was predeceased by his parents Arthur and Margaret Goyette of Burlington, Vermont, sister Janice Wilkens (Robert) of Burlington, Vermont and granddaughter Rebecca Goyette of Yulee, Florida.
He leaves behind his wife Carolyn Goyette of Yulee Florida, his daughter Cynthia Goyette-Cook of Nashville, Tennessee, son Rick Goyette of Burlington, Vermont, daughter Karen Goyette of Burlington, Vermont, son Pastor Robert Goyette (Christie) of Yulee, Florida, son Scott Goyette of Burlington, Vermont, his brother Arthur Goyette(Helene) of Burlington, Vermont, brother-in-law Robert Wilkens (Janice), 6 grandchildren Joshua Goyette of Yulee, Florida, Rebecca Warner of Menomonie, Wisconsin, Sarah Malcolm of Yulee, Florida, Lindsay Dabney (Rapheal) of Nashville, Tennessee, Caleb Goyette of Burlington, Vermont and Jeremy Cook of Nashville, Tennessee, 5 great-grandchildren Joshua Goyette, Jr. of Yulee, Florida, Gabby Warner of Menomonie, Wisconsin Linden Dabney, Rapheal David Dabney, Jr and Imme Harper Grace Dabney of Nashville, Tennessee, many loving nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends.
Prior to his passing, Ed was a resident of the Florida Lake City VA Medical Center where he was affectionately known as “Colonel “. While in Lake City, he truly demonstrated his “fighter pilot spirit”, showing incredible courage and fortitude through a multitude of health issues. He took every opportunity to support his fellow resident veterans. Whether it was paying for someone’s haircut or donating books he read to the library for other veterans to enjoy, Ed always put the needs of others before himself. Special thanks to all of his caretakers, nurses, and doctors – he always felt, as did his family, that if he had to be anywhere that the Lake City VA Medical Center was the best!
Funeral services will be at 10:00 AM on Monday, March 13, 2017 at Living Waters World Outreach.
Lt. Colonel Goyette will be buried in Jacksonville National Cemetery following the service at 1:00 PM with full military honors.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, March 12 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at Oxley-Heard.
Ed has requested that donations be made to his son Scott Goyette’s Power Wheelchair Soccer team, The Vermont Chargers. Donations will be used to help the team participate in the National Championship Tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana in June of 2017.
To Donate online go to: www.youcaring.com/vermontchargerspowersoccer
Donations by check can be mailed to: Scott Goyette, 71 South Meadow Drive, Burlington, Vermont 05401 (please make checks payable to “NDAA” and write “Power Soccer Nationals” in the memo section).