Carol Louise Strader Goforth, 83 years old went to her final heavenly home on October 11th in Miami, Okla.
Carol was born October 12, 1933 to Berry and Mable Marx Strader at home on the family farm that her grandfather acquired in the land run. Carol was the youngest and as referred by her parents as “their gift from God”. She was adored by her parents and brother Eugene 15 years her senior that allowed his sister to do (as she described) “pretty much whatever she wanted”. She acquired her mother’s kind, sweet demeanor and her father and brother’s wicked sense of humor.
She was active in her church and high school. She played basketball even though she felt the short shorts were not appropriate. Carol’s true passion and talent was music. She began playing the piano and singing at a young age. She majored in music at Phillips University in Enid, Okla. She attended many piano music workshops at Oklahoma City University, and organ workshops at Pittsburg, Kan.
During a chance meeting at a Halloween party where she was dressed like a cat, she encountered a young man who pulled her tail to get her attention. Not until years later was his identity revealed because all she would say to him that night was “meow”. When they did meet again. It was revealed he was Jerry Goforth. They married in 1953- which was the soonest her parents would allow.
Carol followed her new husband through the Navy where he was stationed in Riverside Calif., to Okmulgee where he attended jewelry design school. In 1956 they welcomed their first daughter, Cynthia Louise. In addition to being a new mother, Carol started playing the organ at the Butler Memorial Methodist church in Okmulgee and worked in the audit department at the First National Bank in Tulsa, Okla.
The young family lived briefly in Stillwater, Okla. where Jerry worked his first job in jewelry repair. They moved to Pawhuska, Okla. where they purchased their first jewelry store located in the historic Triangle building, this is now across from the famed Pioneer Women’s Mercantile. Later they purchase a gift shop and united the two businesses in a new location. In addition to working in the jewelry store, Carol played the organ at the Methodist church, taught piano lessons, was the church secretary, and held several offices in the Methodist women, taught kindergarten Sunday school, worked part-time at the Chamber office and a law office. A salesman, who made several stops in town, once asked if she worked at every business in town. Carol may not have seen it that way since it was during this time she began to look for new challenges and certainly found them it in her two younger daughters Gina Marie and Ronda Carol.
In 1964, the family of five moved to Miami, Okla. Never one to stay idle she started working in the family Jewelry store (Dawson’s Jewelry), she started playing the pipe organ at the Methodist church and continued to play until her passing. She was honored by FUMC in 2015 for her 50 years as the organist with the organ dedicated in her honor. She served as Junior Choir Director 9 years and taught 5th grade Sunday school. She was the United Methodist Women President a total of eight times and currently vice-president. She organized two new circles and was chair of Eve Circle for many years. She also served on the UMW District and State Level. Currently, she was a member the Agape Sunday School Class until her passing.
Carol served as PTA president at her daughter’s school and hospitality chair for the state meetings. She was an active member of the Pilot Club of Miami, served in several offices including President and as Pilot Club Governor of the Arkansas, Oklahoma District. After watching a close friend struggle to care for her husband with Alzheimer’s, she was instrumental in writing grants and starting an Alzheimer’s Respite Care in Miami, sponsored by the Miami Pilot Club. She was recently honored by the Pilot club for her 25 years of service.
She was a member of FO PEO Chapter and was the North East Oklahoma Chairman of the National Guild of Piano Teachers and a member of the Miami Chamber of Commerce. She taught piano students to tickle the ivories for nearly 60 years.
Carol was the driving force in the operational success of the family store, Goforth Jewelry. Her daughter Cindy, Cindy’s husband, Bill Tanner and their son, Jeremy continue to carry on her and Jerry’s vision for the store: to be a place to buy treasured memories form an honest, friendly neighbor.
Carol was a loyal and caring friend and had a work ethic driven by other than worldly forces. She was a compassionate Christian woman with the greatest sense of humor. She was admired for her spunk, high energy, and loving dedication to her family, friends and OU football. Her favorite place to be was in her home, entertaining the people she loved and beating them at games through any means necessary. She always had a beautiful garden, an open door, a warm smile, a generous heart and at least one dessert.
She is preceded in death by her parents Mabel and Berry Strader, brother Eugene Strader and his wife Margaret Strader, her beloved husband Jerry of 63 years. Carol is honored in life by her three daughters, Cindy Tanner and husband Bill, Gina White and husband Derrell, of Miami, Ronda Wilson and husband Mike of Bartlesville, Okla. Adored by her grandchildren Jessica Tanner and fiancé Zachary Schwenke of Bartlesville, Jeremy Tanner of Miami, Kara Poythress and husband Eric of Broken Arrow, Joshua White of Owasso, and Morgan Riden of Bartlesville. Two great grandsons, Trey Tanner of Miami and Greyson Tanner of Piper, Kansas. Two great granddaughter, Daveigh and Amelia Poythress of Broken Arrow. One brother-in-law Gayle Goforth of Perry, and one sister-in-law Betty Goforth of Okeene and several nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends.
A celebration of life will be held at the FUMC in Miami on Saturday October 21st at 2 p.m. with the Reverend Mark Rickman officiating. Services are under the care of Brown-Winters Funeral home and Cremation Service in Miami.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you live each day to the fullest and as a servant of those in need as Carol did daily. Donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church and the Pilot Club of Miami.
Friends and family may send the family notes of encouragement by viewing Mrs. Goforth’s Tribute Page at www.brown-winters.com.