Viola Jean Goforth

March 13, 1930-February 23, 2018

Viola Jean Goforth was born to Ruby and Andy Ransdell on March 13, 1930 in Lincoln, Missouri and passed away at her home in Fresno on Feb. 23, 2018 surrounded by her family, after a long and valiant battle with Alzheimer's. She was 87 years old. In the early 1930's her family moved West and settled in Armona, California where Jean and her younger brother Jimmy spent their childhood. She attended Armona Elementary and Hanford High School.

In 1946 Jean married Russell I. Goforth, a young sailor just home from WWII. Together they raised two children and built a happy and active life in the small town where she was raised. When her children were young, Jean was active in Cub Scouts as Den Mother and involved herself in the PTA and numerous activities of her two children. She was an excellent seamstress and enjoyed making many of the school clothes for the kids. Many summer holidays would find Russ and Jean piling the kids into the car and off they'd go to Morro Bay, in a car with no air conditioning!

In 1975 Russ was transferred by his company and the couple moved first to Dallas, Texas and eventually to Jonesboro, Arkansas. Each move brought new friendships that lasted decades. Russ retired in 1988 and the couple returned to California and made their home in Fresno. In retirement, they traveled extensively across the country, attended reunions with Russ's Navy buddies and made a trip to Ireland to experience the land of Jean's ancestors. The “Ireland Trip” was an adventure that she spoke about for many years. Jean loved her pets and excelled at gardening and had the uncanny ability to poke a stick into the ground and it would obediently grow into a lovely tree or shrub.

Jean was preceded in death by her mother Ruby Ransdell, her father Andy Ransdell and her brother Jimmy Ransdell. She is survived by her loving husband of 71 years Russell I. Goforth, her son Russell D. Goforth and wife Teresa of Tulare, her daughter Brenda Worley and husband Ron of Fresno, her grandson Jeffrey Goforth and wife Mandy of Visalia and her great-grandchildren Skylar and Zackary.

The family would like to thank Cris Regan, Leticia Noriega and Lori Bridgham for their dedicated and compassionate care to Russ and Jean, and to St. Agnes Hospice for their support and comfort during this trying time.

Graveside services will be held at Grangeville Cemetery on Thursday, March 1 at 11:00 am. Services provided by Farewell Funeral Services