Francis Xavier Goss, 78, electrician, veteran

July 04, 2005

Francis Xavier Goss, a retired electrician and World War II veteran, died Thursday as a result of a tractor accident at his home in Perry Hall. He was 78.

A lifelong athlete, Mr. Goss was inducted into the Maryland Lacrosse Club Hall of Fame in 1985. He played football and lacrosse at Baltimore City College and football at Bucknell University. He left the university to serve in the Marine Corps near the end of the war, but he remained active in the Bucknell Alumni Association.

During a men's league football game at Herring Run Park, he met his wife, the former Mary Hogan. She was riding through the park on horseback, when she stopped to watch the game. The couple married in 1952 and raised seven children on a small farm in a home he built in Perry Hall. The family also kept horses, beef cattle, poultry and rabbits and grew vegetables at the farm.

"He really had a tireless work ethic," said his son Eric Goss of Harford County. "Everybody came to him because he was the jack of all trades and the master of many."

Mr. Goss also built a summer house on the Susquehanna River and rehabbed several rental properties, all while working as a lineman for the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. He retired after 30 years with the company, ending his career there as a safety instructor. In his retirement, Mr. Goss devoted much effort to woodcarving and furniture making.

"He loved to build things like chests, cabinets and tables," said his son. "We all have a piece or two of something he made."

Mr. Goss also became an accomplished winemaker and a talented woodcarver. He and his wife had traveled frequently to Germany and visited the surrounding countries.

"My father's grandparents came here from Germany, and he held on to his German heritage and was fiercely proud of it," said Eric Goss.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Bradshaw.

In addition to his wife and son, survivors include another son, Gregory Goss of Harford County; five daughters, Terry Goss of Baltimore, Patricia Conner and Gretchen Derewicz, both of Hunt Valley, Eileen McArdle of Annapolis and Regina Goss of Perry Hall; and five grandchildren.

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