Naomi LaVaughn “Vonnie” Bowden Goss
A light that shown through a smile, a prayer, or an act of kindness was extinguished with the death of LaVaughn “Vonnie” Bowden Goss. She was born on July 29, 1926, in Arkansas City, KS., to Robert E. and Alta Goode Bowden, and was named Naomi La Vaughn at her birth. Her father entered the ministry the year of her birth and, until she was an adult, her home was always a parsonage. Her father pastored numerous churches in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
She was a 1943 graduate of Big Spring High School, in West Texas. During WWII, she married a young Air Force sergeant, a tail gunner on a B-17, later stationed in England. His plane was shot down over Holland, and he was captured by the Germans and interned in Stalag Luft I until the war ended. Vonnie had successfully completed training as a telegraph operator for Western Union, where she worked in many locations. The couple encountered numerous problems, probably due to what we now call PTSD, and they were divorced in 1949.
In 1955, she married James Earl Goss. She was married to Jim for over 63 years. Jim felt her given name, LaVaughn, was too formal and stilted for her personality. Because of this, Jim started to call her “Vonnie”, which is what she was called by most of her friends and acquaintances for the rest of her life. Within a few months of getting married, she left her Western Union profession for a career in Civil Service. She held clerical positions, serving as an accounting clerk, a budget officer, a public affairs specialist, writer, editor and a protocol officer. She held positions with the Air Force, Public Health Service, Federal Aviation Agency, Army, Navy and the Marines.
After a full 30 years of Federal service she retired at the Naval Weapons she retired at the Naval Weapons Center in China Lake, CA. She and her husband moved to Roswell in 1985 and remained in the city for the remainder of her life.
She was energetic and active in numerous organizations and events. She served on the first Roswell UFO Committees for several years. She was a veteran stage performer and director and involved in many activities of Roswell Community Little Theatre. For six years, she served on the Board of Directors of Eastern New Mexico Medical Center. For some 20 years, she was associated with Noah’s Ark Christian Kindergarten and Day Care Center and served on its board until her death.
Vonnie was a Charter member of Senior Circle, where she served on its original board, coordinated its Health Sense program and directed the “Singin” Seniors.”
She attended the First Church of the Nazarene where she taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and an ensemble and directed the several Christian Drama Groups.
Vonnie was published author, poet and song writer. She was known as a devoted and loving wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.
Two infant daughters, Diane and Suzanne, and her parents are buried in Sweetwater, TX. Her brothers, Donald and Hollace and Hollace’s wife, Jeanette, pre-decease her. She is survived by her husband, Jim; her brother Donald’s wife, Dorothy of Greensboro, NC who was like a sister to Vonnie and a foster brother, Eddie Kramer and his wife Ann of Sweetwater, TX. In addition, she is survived by a brother-in-law, Dan and his wife Sally; many treasured nieces and nephews and a multitude of friends throughout the world.
There will be a luncheon for Vonnie’s family and friends at First Church of the Nazarene, 501 N. Sycamore Avenue in Roswell at noon on Friday, May 3, 2019. A funeral service will follow at 1:00 pm at First Church of the Nazarene with Ron Ellington officiating.
My Dear Aunt,
What an honor it was to hold your hand the very moment you went to be with Jesus. Thank you for trusting Holly and I with your last days. Thank you for always loving me and being a source of encouragement. Thank you for passing along your Christian heritage to me. I will never forget your smile. I love you. Carol 🌹
Carol HodginThe Woodlands, TX
We always looked forward to visits from Aunt Vonnie and Uncle Jim. I will always remember the glorious smile, the laughter and the music Aunt Vonnie brought to all of us! She was a blessing to everyone she met! Hugs to Uncle Jim. See you soon! Peace and blessings, Sharon
Sharon PiersonRiver Ridge, LA
Vonnie made such a difference in our lives, and poured herself exuberantly into everything she did. She lived life with gusto and laughed often. She spread joy to everyone around her, no matter what our age.
Remembering precious times with Vonnie over the years, she would want us to have hope & "joy unspeakable and full of glory", like the hymn we used sing when she led worship at church in Fairfax, Virginia. One of my favorite songs that she taught us in Junior Choir was "We've got a great big wonderful God, a God who's always victorious, always watching over us, a great big wonderful God. He never, never, never leaves us, He's always standing by, to pick us up if we stumble, we're the apple of His eye. We've got great big wonderful God, a God who loves every one of us, done so much for all of us, our great big wonderful God!"
We'll miss Vonnie greatly, and look forward to singing with her again "When We All Get to Heaven...when we all see Jesus, and sing and shout the jubilee..." Vonnie asked us to keep praying for those who don't yet know the Lord, that they will trust in Christ & live for Him, and enjoy the place He's preparing for those who love Him.
Zonia MitchellW Monroe, LA
Ms Goss will be missed. I remember her reading stories to the kids at Noah's ark when my son went to pre school there. Such a sweet lady. Rest in peace Ms. Vonnie, your presence will be missed.
Mrs Vonnie always had a smile for you and a bit of conversation, was always nice to see her in the halls of enmmc..fly with the angels
CYNDI MITCHELLROSWELL, NM