October 29, 1929 - November 19, 2019
Visitation: 11 am – 1 pm, Monday, November 25, 2019 at Lexington Ave Baptist Church in Danville
Funeral Service: 1 pm, Monday, November 25, 2019 at Lexington Ave Baptist Church in Danville
Burial: Bellevue Cemetery
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J.T. Goggans, 90, died, Tuesday, November 19, 2019. J.T. was born on October 29th, 1929, in Ft Payne AL on what came to be known as the first day of the Great Depression. He was the middle child of five siblings (three brothers and one sister.) Because he was born at home, he had no birth certificate. His father’s name was Joseph Trumee Goggans. When he was twelve, J.T. said that in order to get a job he had to get a birth certificate. He filled it out and named himself J. T. Goggans.
The way he told it, all he did from that time on was go to school and work. He married his high school sweetheart, Delores, shortly after graduating high school. Having grown up working in the construction industry with with his father, he chose to pursue other types of work. For a short time, he and Delores moved to Detroit where he worked the automotive line, and his wife held a clerical position. It was determined during this time that having suffered many untreated injuries as a young man, manual labor was not something that he could do in the long term. They moved back to the south, and he enrolled in Southern Tech in Atlanta where he received a degree in the construction field.
J.T. worked for large companies that built hangars and other large scale industrial buildings. While working in Brunswick, GA, he fell from a building and broke his back. This injury led he and Delores to form their own construction business. Shortly after their two children were born, they settled in Danville, and J.T. Goggans Co., Inc. was founded in 1968. J.T. and Delores were equal partners with J.T. working the construction side as Delores handled the business side.
Having a great amount of experience and contacts, their earliest work was primarily government housing. There was an endless amount of this type of work in KY. As their company and their reputation grew, they branched out into other types of construction. Some of their earliest projects locally were the Holiday Inn (1972) and Arnold Tower (1976). Several other projects were built locally during this time, but the majority of their work was done in eastern Ky.
Their son, Mark, joined the company in 1983, and the company chose to focus their work locally. J.T. Goggans Co. spent the 90s working on the campus of Centre College. J.T. is particularly proud of the projects completed during this time. He retired shortly before 2000, and while he enjoyed retirement, he continued to help Mark with the business and provide construction consultations with friends and neighbors.
Both J.T. Delores were very active in the local humane society. As a young man, J.T. had been an avid bird hunter. As he got older, he developed a love of animals and birds. It became his mission to feed and house them. He was known for feeding as many as 1,500 Canada Geese at his farm during the winters. It was not uncommon to see a host of deer, fox, raccoons and other wild animals eating in his front yard every night. He and others were responsible for building the original humane society at the current site. Both J.T. and Delores remained board members until their travels and later their health became their main focus. He maintained corn feeders and cultivated feeder crops at his farm as long as his health allowed and maintained a bird feeder in his apartment window at McDowell Place.
J.T. was very active in the local rotary. He looked forward to Fridays with his peer group. He and Delores hosted several rotary international guests from all over the world. They also enjoyed hosting rotary functions for local children at their farm and pond. He believed everyone should know how to fish.
J.T. was active in his church. He was a deacon at Lexington Ave Baptist church. He served on the building and grounds committee, helping to oversee many renovations and additions. J.T. was a board member of Central Ky Federal Savings Bank.
Because J.T. was older and had more health issues, he never anticipated outliving Delores. But neither of them anticipated cancer. J.T. cared for Delores throughout her 15-year battle with cancer, the last year of which the two of them rarely left the house. After Delores’ death, finding taking care of himself and a house and yard more than he could handle, J.T. made the decision to move to McDowell Place.
J.T. was always generous with those he felt were deserving. He was a generous donor to the local humane society, his church, the United way, Centre College, as well as many other institutions and individuals. His children, grandchildren, family and friends describe him as the most honest man they know. He believed in the values of hard work and trust, values he passed on to his children and employees.
J.T. was a well-respected man among his business associates, his community, and his family. He was often confronted with disagreement as is common for a man who stands on principles. He did not recognize the word “can’t” and could be very stubborn. But it was these very qualities that engendered the respect of his family and community, and it is how those who are close to him knew that he loved them unconditionally.
J.T. is survived by 2 children, Sherrie and Mark (Amy), 2 grandchildren, Joseph (Jess) and Stephen (Brandi), and 3 great granddaughters, Aurie, Anniston, and Lily, all the lights of his life.
The funeral service will be 1 pm, Monday, November 25, 2019 at Lexington Avenue Baptist Church. Rev. Tommy Valentine will officiate. Pallbearers will be Jack Bosley, Chuck Keiser, Stith Keiser, Fred Durham, Tom Tye and Mike Perros. Honorary pallbearers will be the Rotary Club. Burial will be in Bellevue Cemetery. Visitation will be 11 am – 1 pm, prior to the service, at the church. Memorial donations are suggested to Danville-Boyle County Humane Society.