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Lieutenant Colonel Ralph "Jack" Goss

October 23, 1919 ~ September 30, 2018 (age 98)

Lieutenant Colonel Ralph "Jack" Goss

Shelburne - Lieutenant Colonel Ralph "Jack" Goss, age 98, of Shelburne, Vermont.

October 23, 1919 - September 30, 2018 

Jack was born in St. Johnsbury, VT in 1919, the 3rd child of Frank B. and Irma R. Goss. He attended Burlington High School and then attended The University of Vermont, before going into Active Duty with the U.S. Army in February of 1941. 

He began serving with the horse calvary in 1940, assigned to the 316th Cavalry Regiment (Reserve). His first active duty was in General George S. Patton's 2nd Armored Division at Fort Benning, Georgia. A year later Jack transferred to the Army Air Corps for pilot training. 

After combat training, in Mitchell B-25 bombers, Jack went to the European-African Theater of Operations in February of 1943. He completed 39 combat missions and on his 40th was shot down in Salerno, Italy. Jack was captured by the Germans, and spent 21 months in German prison camps, returning to the United States in May of 1945.

Jack went on to attend the USAF Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, graduating in 1951 with a bachelor's in Industrial Administration. He added a second bachelor's in Business Administration at the University of Dayton, Ohio; a Master's in Financial Management at Boston University and a Ph.D. in Business Administration at American University in Washington, D.C.

Jack married Madalene "Babe" Walker on March 22, 1947. They shared 71 years together, raising 3 children. Jack & Babe lived in many places around the United States, their favorite being their time at Ladd Air Force Base, Alaska where Jack assumed command of the 433rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

In 1960, Jack became Deputy Director of the SAGE Air Defense Systems Program Office. Four years later, he went to Washington D.C. to serve as an Air Force liaison officer to the Federal Aviation Agency. Upon retirement from the Air Force in January, 1968 Jack joined the FAA where he was instrumental in installing the current automated air traffic control system still used today. Jack retired from the FAA in March, 1983. Many of Jack's World War 2 mementos can be found at the Militia Museum at Fort Johnson, in Colchester, VT.

In March, 1984 Jack & Babe moved to Shelburne, VT, returning to their home state. One of Jack's proudest accomplishments was reinstating the Burlington Chapter of the Air Force Association, serving as their President.

Jack is survived by his wife, Babe, of 71 years. He is also survived by his daughter Jan and her husband General Al Gray of Alexandria, VA, as well as cousins, nieces and nephews. Jack is predeceased by his parents, Frank and Irma Goss, his brother Wayne Goss and his sister Celia Goss Brand. He is also predeceased by his children Ralph R. Goss Jr. and Adrienne W. Goss Schultz.

Jack spent his last several years at the Ethan Allen Residence, where he was attended by their wonderful doctors, nurses and staff. 

There will be an Honorary Military graveside service at Shelburne Cemetery on Tuesday, October 9 at 11 am, with a reception immediately following at the Shelburne Methodist Church. The family requests that in lieu of flowers that donations be made in Jack's name to The Alzheimer's Association , National Headquarters, 225 N. Michigan Ave,, Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or to the American Heart Association , National Center, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75231.

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