The good Lord called James Wayne Goff home on Nov. 19, 2016, at the age of 73. Wayne died peacefully in his sleep in Reno, Nev., while visiting his daughter Staci Bayliss after a battle with multiple illnesses.
Wayne was born to James and Evelyn Goff on Feb. 21, 1943, in Murdo, S.D. He lived in White River, S.D., for several years where he spent time with his large extended family swimming in the power dam, horseback riding and raiding the neighbor’s watermelon patch. His family then moved to CA where he took up, speed skating and couples dance. He was the youngest qualified speed skater at the National Speed Skating competition. It was on the streets of LA that Wayne developed a passion for street rods. He purchased, restored, and refurbished a 1953 Ford Mercury. This car with tuck and rolled upholstery, baby moon hubcaps and a 45 speed record player was the beginning of the love affair with hot rods. The family moved to Sturgis, S.D., while he completed his senior year of high school in White River. After joining his parents in Sturgis, he met and married Carolynn Nelson. To this union two children were born, Staci JoAnn and Edward Wayne.
Wayne spent approximately the next 50 years educating children as a teacher, principal and superintendent. In 1981 Wayne moved to Gordon, Neb., when he accepted a teaching contract from Shannon County Schools. He met Janel Youel and later they were married. Wayne retired from Shannon County Schools where he was remembered for his passion and commitment for doing what he thought was best for children and their families.
Wayne is preceded in death by his infant son, Edward Goff, parents Evelynn and James Goff, sister Lenora Rhoden and brothers in law Duayne Rhoden and Guy Bailey.
Wayne is survived by daughter Staci (Mike)Bayliss, wife Janelle Goff, sister Joyce Bailey, nephews Ben and Bruce Bailey, niece and nephew Lisa and David Rhoden and his pride and joy grandchildren Jake, Grace and Ellen Bayliss.
A memorial will be held on Friday July 14 at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 136 N Oak St. Gordon, NE. Graveside rites will be held on Saturday, July 15 at 2 p.m. in the Evergreen Cemetery at Wood, S.D.
In lieu of flowers, tune up your car, check the air pressure in your tires, and have a glass of iced tea—he would have wanted that.