C. Everett Goff, 86, of Lawrence and Overland Park, Kansas, passed away peacefully from congestive heart failure, surrounded by family, June 22, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri.
Everett was born in Topeka, Kansas, to Ralph and Dorothy Goff. He was the oldest of four boys and grew up on their dairy farm in rural Lawrence. He wanted to be remembered not only as a kind, considerate person, but also as someone who was always looking for better ways to do something. He loved to innovate! Didn’t really matter what he was trying to improve -if it could make his or someone else’s life easier, he was up for finding a way to improve upon it. He was the ultimate “fix it guy.” Fixing broken toilets, toys, clutches, lawnmowers, tractors, cars, etc. And he was really good at it! One of his kids even gave him a T-Shirt on Father’s Day that coined those words “The Fix-It Guy”, which he wore proudly for all to see! It seemed to all that Everett would be able to extend his “fixing” to live forever.
Everett was extremely successful in most any endeavor he undertook. He was always bigger than life! He was a quiet man, but when he spoke, all listened because they knew, whatever he was about to say, he had given great introspection to his words. He was a natural born leader. Over the years, Everett continually demonstrated his leadership skills whether it was in the Future Farmers of America, as a leader at Overbrook High School, big brother to his younger siblings, Scout Master, second father to his children’s friends, a senior leader in the corporate world, or simply as “Poppie” to the grandkids.
His three younger brothers looked up to him to show them the ropes as they were growing up on the farm in Lawrence, Kansas, helping their dad milk the cows and farm the fields. In high school, he was the Class President for his Junior and Senior years. His classmates were very proud of this “swell guy” who led their school class while providing an empathetic ear and great advice as they dealt with the challenges of becoming adults.
He was the first one in the family to head off to college. At first, he planned on becoming a civil engineer until he realized that he’d have to get over his fear of heights while working on suspension bridges. Since that wasn’t going to work out, he focused on using his intellect and keen sense of English rhetoric and became a creative writer for United Farm Agency. He spent 20 plus years there, ascending to Sr. VP of Marketing.
One night, he and a friend went out “cruising” in Independence Missouri (“where all the pretty girls were”) and feigned needing directions. They found two lovely women to help them and struck up a conversation. One thing led to another and six months later, Everett married Lillian Tomlinson. Together, they moved to Overland Park, Kansas and raised four wonderful children starting with twins, Michael and Michelle, then daughters, Julie and Sherri. His beautiful wife, Lillian, preceded him in death in 2001 from colon cancer.
After Lillian’s passing, Everett retired from DST Systems and moved next door to one of his daughters, so he could be closer to family. A couple of years later, at the Overbrook High School reunion, he reconnected with his next wife, Helen (Burch) Bond, and they wed a few months later. They moved to Helen’s Farm in Overbrook where he could resume his tinkering with the tractors, do his gardening, and enjoy the simple life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Eventually, his hobby farming became too much work, so they moved to Lawrence, Kansas.
Throughout Everett’s life, it seemed as if he could do anything, fix anything, and answer any questions. He helped everyone and volunteered his time; A Scout Master for the Boy Scouts, A chaperone for the Girl Scouts, The Neighborhood Watch Leader. And a second father to many of his children’s friends, of whom he always treated as equals and considered his friends as well.
He also had every tool imaginable, which enabled him to help anyone, and everyone fix anything that broke. If you needed to borrow a tool, you went to “Ev.” If he didn’t have it, it didn’t’ exist or it simply wasn’t worth having.
He carried a tremendous amount of love for those around him, especially his children, stepchildren, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. He made sure to share his knowledge with those around him, mostly by showing rather than telling them. He was a great teacher!
When he and Lillian were raising their children, they traveled across the country to show them the beautiful land and educate them on the people who founded this country. They traveled coast-to-coast via car and stayed in a tent or camper because they wanted their children to understand how fortunate they were to grow up in such a wonderful place. Some of their favorite places were: Estes Park, Colorado, Smokey Mountains of North Carolina, Outer Banks of North Carolina, La Jolla, California, Wall Drug, North Dakota, and Nashville, Tennessee. Later, they spent a lot of time traveling to visit their children and their families in various locations, Texas, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Colorado.
Everett lived a full life and made many lifelong friends, spent time with his family, traveled the country, shared his knowledge and formidable skills with others, and enjoyed a quiet life in Kansas.
As a man of his word, Everett kept the promise he made to his wife Lillian before she passed in 2001, that they would be interred together, forever, at Johnson County Memorial Gardens.
Everett was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Dorothy Goff, wife, Lillian, and granddaughter, Logan Lieb. He leaves behind his current wife, Helen, his children Michael Goff, Michelle (Rich) Braden, Julie (Mark) Lieb, Sherri (Todd) Carlson; stepchildren Brad Bond, LuAlan Bond, Jackie Bond, and Nikki Bond and their families; grandchildren Melissa Goff, Claire (Jorge) Prado, Alex Goff, Langdon Braden, Lilianne Braden, Taylor (Earvin) Ray, Mason Lieb, Payton Lieb, Jessica (Carlson) Kirkham, Meghan Carlson, Kellie (Adam) McGuffie; great-grandchildren Addie, Tierney, Bentley, Emma, Colton, Willa, Barrett, Myer, Teddy, Emerson; brothers Gary Goff, Roger Goff, and John Goff and their families.
A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held at Johnson County Memorial Chapel on August 18 at 10am.