OBITUARY

Thomas Wesley Gooden Jr.

March 6, 1945September 23, 2021
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Thomas Wesley Gooden, Jr., 76, of Hixson, passed away peacefully at his home with his loving wife by his side Thursday, September 23, 2021. He was born March 6, 1945 to the late Thomas Wesley Gooden, Sr., and Angell Monroe Gooden Guinn. He was a devoted Christian and long-time member of Hixson First Baptist Church where he loved praise worship and singing in the choir. He was a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where he earned a master’s degree in education with a minor in music. After completing his degree, he returned to his alma mater at Red Bank High School as band director in 1969. He served as both a teacher and principle at various schools within the former Chattanooga City School system as well as Hamilton County School system for over forty years. As many would call him, “Mr. Gooden” spent the last 20 years of his career molding and educating young minds at Big Ridge Elementary before retiring in 2009. Tommy loved raising farm animals especially cows, chickens, and rabbits. He enjoyed all types of fishing whether on the lake, the creek or vacationing at the beach. He did everything he could to never miss cheering his grandsons on at a baseball or basketball game. He was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, but those left behind know he is healed and enjoying his new Heavenly home! He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Lynda McConnell Gooden, son Brian Gooden (Stacy) and daughter Amylee Gooden Hepburn (Clay), and 2 grandsons, Aidan Wesley Gooden and Owen Thomas Gooden. Funeral services will be held at 12:00 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at Hixson First Baptist Church with Dr. John Basham officating, with interment to follow at Hamilton Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held prior to the funeral from 10:30 am until 12:00 pm at the church (HFBC). Due to immunocompromised relatives attending the service, we ask everyone wear masks. Memorial contributions may be made to Hixson First Baptist Church Music Program. Please share your memories of Thomas with the family at www.chattanooganorthchapel.com Arrangements are by the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 5401 Hwy. 153, Hixson, TN 37343.

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, September 29, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, September 29, 2021

  • Interment

    Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Memories

Thomas Wesley Gooden Jr.

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Rob Burroughs

October 3, 2021

It was such an honor to work with Tommy at Big Ridge Elementary back in the late 1980's. He had a ready smile and a big heart for the kids he taught. We are all better for having known this wonderful Christian gentleman. Dear family, may the Lord bless each of you and comfort you throughout the coming days.

Mirisa Bryant

September 30, 2021

I had the honor and pleasure of getting to know Mr. Gooden. His sense of humor and sweet soul I will miss so much! I will forever cherish every visit I got to see Mr. Gooden.

-Mirisa B.

Lynda Miller

September 30, 2021

Lynda, Brian and Amy, There are no words to tell you what a special friend Tommy has been over the years, always an encourager and prayer partner. Thank you for sharing him with so many of us. You are all in many thoughts and prayers as you try to adjust to him not being here. The wonderful thing is that we all know where he is singing for all and always.
Love,
Lynda Fairchild Miller

Amy Germ

September 28, 2021

Lynda, Brian, Amy, and all the rest of the family,

Growing up with Amy at Hixson First, there was never a time Tommy wasn't there. Whether he was teaching, singing, or being the encouraging dad of one of my friends, I have nothing but the fondest memories of him. I listened to "Listen to the Hammer Ring" this morning in his honor. No one can sing it like he did. So grateful we will all be reunited in Heaven one day. Holding you all in my heart and praying.
Amy Daniel Germ

Cindy DePew Matthews

September 27, 2021

I first met Tommy when I moved here from North Carolina, and he became my daughter, Leslie’s sixth grade teacher at Big Ridge. She loved him because he was someone she could banter with, complain to, and have fun with! I came to love those same traits myself when I was hired, and we became co-workers and friends for my 18 years at Big Ridge. He seemed to have a sixth sense about when people needed him…appearing with encouragement on bad days, smiles and congratulations on good days, and celebrating with you on the great days. We became prayer partners of sorts…it didn’t start out well. When I first asked him to pray for me, he came back the next morning and announced to me: “I tried that prayer thing for you, but God kept interrupting me and asking, ‘Cindy who?’” (I KNOW some of you are smiling right now because you know that sounds exactly like him!)
Another fun memory happened when Tommy went to Rock Eagle Camp with us and our fifth graders for a week. He had the misfortune of having his birthday fall on the last night of camp when we had a big campfire event. With the help of some conniving counselors, Tommy suffered a few indignities including having his shoes thrown into the woods, singing goofy songs to the kids, and soaking the seat of his pants by sitting on a huge wet sponge! He “performed” well and was a great sport, but for some reason, he kept pointing his finger at me for the entire show!!
He probably would not appreciate remembering the time I sent one of my kids to the office, but instead of reporting there, the child walked out the front door and then ran. Tommy went after him in his car, found him, and was trying to persuade the child to get in his car when the police showed up, thinking he was a kidnapper!! Back at school, it was all cleared up, but he definitely had some “air to clear” with me, too!!
No man ever existed that had a bigger heart, a greater love for his Lord, and a genuine ability to love others.

Linda Robinson Medlin

September 27, 2021

Lynda and family, I was saddened to see that Tommy had passed away. It has been over 25 years ago that I was in your Singles class at Hixson First Baptist Church, but I still have very fond memories of being in that class and all the love and support that you and Tommy provided. Tommy was such a kind and caring man. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family during this most difficult time.

Linda

Barbara Terry

September 26, 2021

You were a wonderful youth director at Memorial Baptist name now Gathering. We all had so much fun. You go on our level and made church fun! Know you were loved by all who knew you! Barbara Sue

Daniel Nicholson

September 26, 2021

To one of the best teacher and most special people anyone could ever have the opportunity or privilege to ever meet or spend time with thank you and Lynda both for the wonderful memories from tutoring me and my kids at times to being there when my kids were born to being just a shoulder and an ear I will always cherish the time and special memories that was shown to me and my family that will never forget the most important and wonderful people that you didn't have to be thank you both

Robert& Joy Stephens

September 25, 2021

With fond memories & deep sympathy!
Linda , Texas sized prayers for you & family!

Bob & Joy

Abby Martin

September 25, 2021

Tommy was one of my absolute favorite people. Being paired with him as a student teacher was a highlight of my life & teaching career. He has taught me so much over the years & was undoubtedly aware that this world was not his home. He loved Jesus with all his heart & prioritized serving & praising Him above all else. Even living through pain & health struggles for several years, he was always incredibly positive and prayerful when I spoke with him, which was such an encouragement to me. He will be missed, but I know his legacy will live on in the hearts of those who knew him because he was pure light & love to everyone. To know him was to love him.

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Biography

Thomas Wesley Gooden, Jr., 76, of Hixson, passed away peacefully at his home with his loving wife by his side Thursday, September 23, 2021. He was born March 6, 1945 to the late Thomas Wesley Gooden, Sr., and Angell Monroe Gooden Guinn. He was a devoted Christian and long-time member of Hixson First Baptist Church where he loved praise worship and singing in the choir.
He was a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where he earned a master’s degree in education with a minor in music. After completing his degree, he returned to his alma mater at Red Bank High School as band director in 1969. He served as both a teacher and principle at various schools within the former Chattanooga City School system as well as Hamilton County School system for over forty years. As many would call him, “Mr. Gooden” spent the last 20 years of his career molding and educating young minds at Big Ridge Elementary before retiring in 2009.
Tommy loved raising farm animals especially cows, chickens, and rabbits. He enjoyed all types of fishing whether on the lake, the creek or vacationing at the beach. He did everything he could to never miss cheering his grandsons on at a baseball or basketball game. He was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, but those left behind know he is healed and enjoying his new Heavenly home!
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Lynda McConnell Gooden, son Brian Gooden (Stacy) and daughter Amylee Gooden Hepburn (Clay), and 2 grandsons, Aidan Wesley Gooden and Owen Thomas Gooden.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 pm Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at Hixson First Baptist Church with Dr. John Basham officating, with interment to follow at Hamilton Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held prior to the funeral from 10:30 am until 12:00 pm at the church (HFBC).
Due to immunocompromised relatives attending the service, we ask everyone wear masks.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hixson First Baptist Church Music Program.
Please share your memories of Thomas with the family at www.chattanooganorthchapel.com
Arrangements are by the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 5401 Hwy. 153, Hixson, TN 37343.