John Lawton Goforth, 86, of Asheville, NC, passed in the early morning of March 6, 2022.
He might have been born in the early morning of Leap Day 1936 on Big Pine in Madison County, NC. He grew up loving cars, going fast, and a young girl who became our mother. He figured out how to make a living doing these things in law enforcement. He spent his life understanding the depth of love and devotion he found in his wife, Pansy Shelton Goforth, whom he married on February 12, 1955.
Preceding him in death, his parents, John H. Goforth and Lela Hagan Goforth; sister, Linda Gail Goforth; father-in-law, Wayne W. Shelton; and mother-in-law, Norma Wild Shelton.
In addition to Pansy, he left behind his daughter Donna Bolewitz (David); his sons, Roger Goforth (Leigh Ann), Charles Goforth (Raelene), and John W. Goforth (Cindy); grandchildren, Katie, Emily, Anna, Jett, Jake, Jace, Carly (Aaron), Jonathan (Lauren), and Nicholas; great-grandchildren, Everett, Evaleigh, and Elias; sisters, Lavonda Moore and Margaret “Pixie” Goforth.
He loved anything with wheels, explosive sounds, and dangerous activities. He analyzed evidence for the FBI, dealt with molten iron at a steel factory, installed solid rocket propellent for ejections seats used in military jets, led narcotics investigations throughout Western North Carolina, and served as an expert witness in many cases for the State of North Carolina. His appointment and graduation from the FBI Academy became a high point for him personally. His career spanned all levels of law enforcement with the FBI, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department, and North Carolina SBI.
He camped with his sons in Boy Scouts, volunteered with local rescue squads, and taught DARE programs in school.
He attended Sunday services with Pansy at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Asheville, NC.
His hobbies included self-taught Ham Radio Morse code, RV camping, riding motorcycles, exploring waterfalls, visiting national parks, and telling stories about his life, his episodes, his experiences, and anything about everything-adding details to gaps he might have forgotten, or thought were needed to make it more interesting. He blended his life with truth and possibility.
His funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, 2022, in the Chapel of West Funeral Home, 17 Merrimon Ave., Weaverville. Rev. Dr. Ronnie Owen and Rev. Jonathan Goforth will officiate.
Burial will follow in Cedar Hill Baptist Church Cemetery, Alexander.
The family will receive friends from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the funeral home.
Our family loved the guidance we received from Memory Care, Asheville, NC. Memorials may be made to Memory Care Asheville, 100 Far Horizons Lane, Asheville, NC 28803 or https://memorycare.org.
For those who desire, condolences may be offered to the family under Mr. Goforth’s obituary at www.WestFamilyFuneralServices.com.