Jesse Lee Goforth
May 3, 1935 – October 27, 2019
Jesse Lee Goforth was born on May 2, 1935, to Jewel (Mullins) and Joseph Dewey Goforth, at his home in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He departed this earth on October 27, 2019, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the age of 84.
He is survived by his daughter, Brenda Arambula, and grandchildren Eliana (Jim) Tedrow, Joshua Gottschalk, Jason (Angela) Arambula, Kristen (Robert) Hernandez, Carlee Shrum, Katie (David) Barfield, Paul Arambula and Kyle Goforth, his son-in-law, Howard Gottschalk, and daughter-in-law, Tiffany Goforth, plus 20 great-grandchildren: Sarah, Spencer, Vivian, Casyn and Benjamin Tedrow, Kadence Arambula, Aiden and Fenix Hernandez, Maximus Bagajewicz, Colton, Mason and Laynie Gottschalk, Austin Martin, Bryson, Jordyn and Carter Barfield, Logan Shrum, Wyatt Dickinson and Blaklee and Ryder Goforth, including a host of other family and loved ones.
Jesse loved his family more than anything and would often talk about how proud he was of each of them. Known for his wild storytelling, Jesse would frequently remind his family, “We may be poor, but we’re rich. Rich in love.” Jesse understood better than anyone, the things that matter in this life aren’t things. People knew Jesse as a horse-loving, Western-watching cowboy. He was hard-working, fun, and playful with his grandkids, who still talk about the time his wife (their Grandma), Lucille, found the kids playing in mud. Instead of getting on to them for getting dirty, Jesse took off his shirt and jumped right in the mud along with them. That day went down in history as one of his grandkids’ favorite memories of their fun-spirited Grandpa.
The hardships Jesse endured growing up helped form his character. As a boy, Jesse would travel three miles by foot, sometimes in deep snow, in a pair of oversized shoes with holes in them, to get to school. This kind of grit and determination would help him all through his life.
Jesse knew the value of an honest day’s work. At the young age of 11, Jesse realized how much his parents needed help. Out of love for his family, he decided to quit school and pick cotton alongside his parents in the cotton fields so he could help feed his family. Jesse received no more than a 6th grade education, but that never got in the way of him supporting his family. Jesse was eventually hired by Speas Vinegar plant (later bought by Clements Foods), where he worked as a manager and superintendent. Jesse worked there until his retirement in the 1990’s. Jesse’s life changed forever the day he went to a skating rink. That day, Jesse says he saw “the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen.” Jesse vividly remembered his future bride, Lucille, wearing a yellow dress, and the rest was history. They were married soon after and had a baby girl, Brenda Gayle, the following September. A short time later, Glenda Dale was born, and later a son, Ricky Lee. Jesse loved Lucille as much as he loved giving her a hard time. He could often be heard belting Kenny Rogers, “You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille!”
Jesse’s proudest accomplishments were his family, especially his eight grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. He smoked the best ribs around and even made a signature barbeque sauce he enjoyed giving to friends and family. Nobody enjoyed a good Western like Jesse. His collection of Westerns was epic, and he could rattle off the names of almost every Hollywood cowboy. He loved riding his horse, “Jessica,” alongside his wife and her horse, “Lucille.” Jesse often hosted poker games that lasted well into the night, sometimes all weekend. Those poker games brought a lot of joy and laughter and, even when he didn’t have a winning hand, Jesse enjoyed every minute spent with his family.
Jesse is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Jewel Goforth, his brothers JC, Jean, Junior, Jerry, Jimmy and Johnny, his wife, Lucille, son Ricky, and daughter, Glenda.
Services will be Saturday, November 2, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at Bill Eisenhour in Del City, Oklahoma. The final resting place will be at Resthaven Cemetery, Garden of the Prophets section, next to his loving wife.
- Joshua Gottschalk
- Jason Arambula
- Kyle Goforth
- Paul Arambula
- Ray Goforth
- Craig Goforth
- Visitation Friday, November 1, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, November 2, 2019
- Burial Following Service Saturday, November 2, 2019