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Pam Boyer

I always loved Joe’s smile and how he was always dressed so nicely, each and every day. Seeing him and Charlie come into our Edward Jones office always brightened my day. Our earthly loss is surely Heaven’s gain, as they now have a truly wonderful and kind soul there. My condolences to Lynne, Keith, Jo, and the entire family. My heart is with you.Pam Boyer (Edward Jones office of Steve Gibb)

Meddie Joseph "Joe" Gooding


Meddie Joseph “Joe” Gooding, 90, of Fernandina Beach passed away early Saturday morning, January
22, 2022.

He was born in Fairfax, SC and was the youngest son of the late Dessie and Emma Priester Gooding. His parents were farmers near Hampton, South Carolina. As a child growing up on the farm, he developed a love for farming and gardening. We have heard so many funny and wonderful stories from him about things happening on the farm, and shenanigans with his brothers. Great memories that we will certainly hold in our hearts.

Following graduation, Joe served honorably in the U. S. Navy for two tours. He served on a ship delivering goods to other ships and Navy bases all over the world. After his first tour was completed, he moved to Fernandina Beach in the early 1950’s. There he met and married Elizabeth Ann Tomlinson. After the wedding, they moved to Corpus Christe, Texas, where he completed his second tour with the Navy.

Upon returning to Fernandina Beach, Joe worked for several companies in the electrical trade including Rayonier, Florida Public Utilities, Hudson Paper Mill in Palatka, and then St. Regis Paper Mill in Jacksonville. In 1970, he opened his own highly successful electrical and heating and air business, M.J. Gooding Electric Company, Inc. in Fernandina Beach. Joe owned and operated this business for over 25 years before selling the company and retiring. He was active in community groups and enjoyed serving others in need.

Joe and Ann loved to travel and see the world. They went on many of the group tours with Carrier Air Conditioning group going to Rome, Spain, London, Switzerland, Germany, just to name a few. Their favorite trip was on a cruise to Alaska. When their youngest daughter, Laura, was in school in Brevard, NC, Joe and Ann loved going to visit her, staying in their favorite bed and breakfast, shopping, and sightseeing in the mountains.

Joe and Ann also enjoyed their home on the river in Palatka where they were able to fish and go boating to their hearts content. He enjoyed outdoor activities including hunting, fishing with Tim and Craig, golf with Lee Thomas, watching baseball games with Frank, and working in his yard. His neighbors said he kept the prettiest yard on the street

A man of many talents, Joe loved his building projects and refurbishing furniture. Most of all he loved spending time with his family, all of his daughters, granddaughters, grandsons, son in laws, and his favorite dog, the one and only “Charlie Brown”. In later years, Joe and his companion, Charlie Brown, could frequently be spotted cruising down Centre Street with the windows open and Charlie Brown’s ears fapping in the wind.

Joe dearly loved his church. He was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church of Fernandina Beach where he served as a Sunday School Teacher and a Deacon over the years. Joe was a true man of God and a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ.

In addition to his parents, Joe was predeceased by seven siblings, a grandchild, and his wife of
over 45 years, Elizabeth Ann Gooding. Several years after Ann had passed, Joe married Jo Ann Sapp.
They enjoyed spending lots of time together traveling to Alabama to visit Jo’s family, and to vacation in
the family home there. They both also enjoyed gardening in their yard, rooting for their favorite college
football teams and spending time with Jo’s grandchildren, Kyle, Cole, and Callie.
Joe developed a very close relationship with Keith and enjoyed their weekly lunches.

Mr. Gooding leaves behind his wife of 20 years, Jo Sapp Gooding of Fernandina Beach; his children, Lynne (Tim) Higginbotham of Fernandina Beach, Beth Beller, also of Fernandina Beach; Marilyn Gooding of Jacksonville, Paula (Craig) Randle of Yulee, Laura (Frank) Rausch of Palm Coast; his step-sons, Keith Kirkland of Fernandina Beach and Scot Kirkland of California; 15 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren as well as several extended family members.

The family will receive friends at Oxley-Heard Funeral Directors Tuesday, January 25, 2022 from 5:00
until 7:00 PM.

Funeral services for Mr. Gooding will be held Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at First Baptist Church,
Fernandina Beach beginning at 11:00 AM with Pastor Zach Terry officiating. He will be laid to rest with
his wife, Ann, at Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Mary’s, GA.

Those desiring may remember Mr. Gooding by making donations, in his name, to the First Baptist
Church of Fernandina Beach Building Fund.


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