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Former Ashe Sheriff Eugene "Gene" Goss dies at 75

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Former Ashe County Sheriff Eugene "Gene" Goss died at his Jefferson home on Jan. 31, according to information released by Ashelawn.

Originally published: Feb. 1
Last modified: Feb. 1

Adam Orr

Former Ashe County Sheriff Eugene “Gene” Goss, 75, died on Jan. 31 at his Jefferson home, according to information provided by Ashelawn Memorial Chapel Gardens & Mausoleum.

The family will receive friends from from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2, at Ashelawn Memorial Chapel.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 3, at Ashelawn Memorial Chapel by Rev. Steve Goss. Burial will follow in the Howell Hill Cemetery with military rites.

Goss, who served as Ashe County Sheriff from 1982-1990, was also a member of the trio, along with stuntman Johnny Sands — “The Nashville Flame” — and Asheville Police Officer Roger Buckner, that recovered the bodies of two murder victims from the Ore Knob Mine in January 1982.

Decked out in little more than a pair of insulated coveralls and a fireman’s hard hat for protection, Goss was lowered some 240 feet, along with Sands and Buckner, into the abandoned mine and later successfully retrieved the bodies of Lonnie Gamboa and Tommy Forrester.

A U.S. Army veteran, Goss was also a member of the Ashe Masonic Lodge, the Ashe Shrine Club, and Fletcher Memorial Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Sibbi Barker Goss, two brothers, George Wayne Goss, Rev. James “Jim” Goss and one half brother, Robert Goss.

Goss is survived by, three sons: Mark Goss of Clemmons, Greg Goss of New York and Scott Goss and wife Jennifer of Lansing, two brothers, Dean Goss and wife Ann of Jefferson and Rev. Steve Goss and wife Phyllis of Boone, one sister, Carol Driver and husband Donald of Washington state, one sister in-law, Anna Lee Goss of Jefferson, one grandson, Jonathan Goss and wife Brittany, two great-grandchildren, Emma and Easton Goss, two step great-grandchildren, McKenzie and Grayson Joyal, and several nieces and nephews.  

Flowers will be appreciated or memorials may be made to: The Shriners Hospital for Children, 950 West Faris Rd. Greenville, SC 29605.
For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.