Charles Robert Gossett

September 29, 1929July 9, 2019

On Tuesday, July 9, 2019, Dr. Charles Robert “Bob” Gossett passed away, surrounded by his family who ushered him into eternal life.

Born across the globe in the Philippine Islands on Sept. 29, 1929, he grew up all over the East Coast as his father was a captain with the Coast and Geodetic Survey (the oldest scientific agency in the United States). As a child, “Bobby” attended 13 different schools before landing at Castle Heights Military Academy, an Honor School in Lebanon, Tenn., for his high school years. An avid boy scout throughout his childhood, he earned his Eagle Scout distinction in 1944. After being named Salutatorian of Castle Heights’ Class of 1947, Bob went on to earn his B.S. in Physics at Duke University, where he served as vice president of his fraternity, Kappa Sigma, and was a member of honorary fraternities Sigma Pi Sigma, Pi Mu Epsilon and Phi Eta Sigma. He went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. in Physics at Rice University, a Sigma Xi honoree. Dr. Gossett spent his entire professional career as a nuclear physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., during which time he authored more than 46 articles and papers on the subject of nuclear physics and gave lectures around the world. He met his bride to be, Laura “Jo” Lee, at Rice University and they were married on Nov. 26, 1952. They went on to raise four children together in the Washington, D.C. area, and moved to Austin,Texas, upon their retirement in 1994.

A respected scientist, loving husband, and amazing father and grandfather, Bob was the very embodiment of a compassionate, humble servant. Though quite accomplished in his career as a nuclear physicist, and serving the Episcopal Church in many important roles throughout his life, Bob had a very quiet and unassuming nature and rarely talked about himself. He also became quite accomplished in such creative endeavors as furniture making, bird carving, and photography, while mastering every tool and machine imaginable along the way. A keen intellect and a dry sense of humor kept us all on our toes. A single question about chemistry homework from one of his four children turned into a 60-minute lecture, and they certainly didn’t ask again! Dad and mom enjoyed a glass of sherry as they read the Washington Post each evening after a long day of work. Attending opera, stage and symphony performances with friends were a regular ritual, along with visiting the many incredible museums DC had to offer. Friday nights were for bridge parties and Sundays for church and Redskins football games on TV. The way Bob lived his life was truly a testament to outstanding character, integrity, thoughtfulness, and service. A supporter of social justice and civil rights through some of the more tumultuous times in our country’s history, he helped shape his children’s view of the world by demonstrating respect for the dignity of every human being and exemplifying thoughtful dedication and hard work in every endeavor. Bob was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 50 years as well as his father, Commander Franklin Rice Gossett, and his mother, Josephine Davis Gossett, both of Memphis Tenn. He is survived by children Julia Ellen Gossett and her husband, John Mooney, Thomas Lee Gossett, Mary Gossett Elliott and her husband Michael and children Madison and McKamey, and Sarah Gossett Martinez and her husband Tony and children Amelia, Elias and Ellena. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. CDT on Saturday, July 13, at Christ Episcopal Church (3520 W Whitestone Blvd, Cedar Park, TX 78613). In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Christ Episcopal Church, Cedar Park, at


  • Funeral Service Saturday, July 13, 2019
  • Interment Saturday, July 13, 2019

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