Stanley Thomas Gouge

Published 3:32 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

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Stanley Thomas Gouge passed away June 7, 2023.

He was born June 25, 1949, in Amarillo, Texas, to Everett and Vera Gouge.

As a child, he grew up working on farms, plowing fields, and doing chores – riding school buses for hours on end morning and evening. He was the youngest in a family of three children.

His prize possession and best Christmas gift ever, he always said, was a kid’s Mattel Derringer belt buckle and belt. It was a belt with a big metal buckle that had a little Derringer gun laying sideways in the buckle. And as a kid, if you poked out your tummy just enough with a little thrust, the gun would click open, away from the buckle, pop out at a 90-degree angle and shoot a cap bullet. He LOVED it!!

Because of that belt buckle, Stan always knew what he wanted to do in life. He wanted to be in law enforcement. And as soon as he was old enough to sign up, he did. He joined the Texas Department of Public Safety and became a state trooper. He served the Texas DPS in many different capacities for 31 years. He loved every minute of it – and Texas was lucky to have him.

Criminals he arrested respected and liked him.   Judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors – they all loved working with him.

After 31 years, he retired and started a handyman business. He did that for two years and had a waiting list a mile long of people that wanted him to help them with various projects.

He came out of a client’s house one day to find the local District Attorney sitting on the edge of his trailer, waiting to talk with him. She begged and cajoled and offered him an investigator’s job in her office. So back to law enforcement he went. He spent 6 years in that office in varying positions, and then retired because of health reasons, for good.

His law enforcement career was varied and interesting and dangerous all at the same time. He had many fascinating stories and experiences and had a way of recounting them that always had you on the edge of your seat.

As a young man, he married Delores Allison. They had two sons, Mark and Chad.

In 1984, on the 4th of July, (his grandparents’ wedding anniversary) he married Brenda House. They had a daughter named Lesan.

Above all, Stan was just one of the good guys. Everyone he met became a friend, and everyone loved him.

He was known for his grilling skills and revered for his meat-smoking skills on his cherished Tiernan smoker. He taught many, many people how to smoke ribs. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to have some of his ribs, you know.

He had serious bouts of heart disease (hereditary) and fought a valiant fight for 32 years. He was airlifted four different times in various medical helicopters and small medical aircraft. Stan survived two out-of-hospital sudden deaths 15 years apart and visited heaven during one of them. He spoke for years about that experience to groups and organizations who wanted to hear his story. He loved his life here on earth and lived every day with enthusiasm, but he also looked forward to God’s gift of eternal life.

Stan was a member of many law enforcement organizations, and a board member of most of them, but the organizations he contributed most to in his later years were dear to his heart. He was an “honorary” member of the Old Three Notch DAR – and the hardest-working member of that group. He spent tireless hours creating and launching the now annual (this year will be the 11th) 4th of July parade in Andalusia. It gave him joy to help Old Three Notch any way he could. He also spent countless hours placing American flags at businesses and homes in Andalusia on federal holidays. He loved his country and felt the pride of a true patriot.

Stan was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Betty Helton.

He is survived by his wife, Brenda; his children: Mark Gouge of Simpsonville, South Carolina, Chad Gouge of Wenatchee, Washington, and Lesan Gouge of Niceville, Florida; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Bryan and Yasmin House of Niceville, Florida; nephew Nick Cooley (Chelsey) and family of Savannah, Georgia; nephew Sawyer House (Alyssa) and family of Mobile, Alabama; nephew Philip Helton and family of Lubbock, Texas; nephew Monte Helton (Neely) and family of Mabank, Texas; nephew Brandon Helton (Caroline) and family and nephew Byron Helton (Tonja) and family all of Amarillo, Texas, along with several cousins.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, you find some way in the next few days to pay a kindness forward, and do so in honor of Stan. Think of him while you’re carrying out your act of kindness. Remember him fondly and with love.

There will be a private family memorial service.

The family will receive friends at home at 1708 Cedar Rd in Andalusia, come and go, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon on Friday, June 16th. Please join us at that time and help us celebrate Stan’s life.