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Allen Cortez Gooden, Jr.

September 14, 2014 June 30, 2012
Allen Cortez Gooden, Jr.
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Obituary for Allen Cortez Gooden, Jr.
The Early Years Allen Cortez Gooden, Jr. was born in Birmingham, Alabama on September 19, 1914. He was one of seven children born to Allen Gooden, Sr. and Jenny L. Jones Gooden. He was preceded in death by all his siblings John, Louis, Wilson, Nathaniel, Lula, and Gerteude. He was educated in private and public schools in Birmingham and graduated from Industrial High School. Mr. Gooden attended Alabama State Teacher' College (now Alabama State University) in Montgomery, Alabama and graduated in 1937. He earned a Master's Degree in Education Administration from Virginia State College in 1965 and pursued additional graduate studies at the University of Arizona, Pennsylvania State University, University of Virginia and Columbia University. Allen Gooden honorably served as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army during World War ll. During his four year tour of service, he was stationed in Georgia, Missouri, Virginia, Flordia and Arizona. He was deployed with the 1873rd Company of the 5th Army Air Corps. He served as a combat engineer in New Guinea, Japan and was honorably discharged from the Army in January 1946. A DEVOTED FAMILY MAN While stationed in Virginia, Mr. Gooden met and married the love of his life, the late Christine Shelton Gooden. They were united in holy matrimony on April 5, 1944 and remained married for 57 years until her passing in 2001. In 1946, he came to Buckingham County to meet the parents of his wife with the intention of staying two days. He remained a proud resident for the next 66 years. As a Buckingham resident, he was a husband, father, educator, appointed official, farmer (hog, tree, and cattle) and community activist The blessed union produced seven children; Rodney Alonzo (Brenda), Joyce Ann, Jacqueline Audrey (Joseph Seay) Allen Cortez lll (Annie), Orestes Devino, Basil Ivanhoe(Susan) and Jennifer Yvette (Rodney). The seven children blessed him with 14 grandchildren; Shawanta (Keno), Kush (Nicole), Shadaia, Barbrosa (Rasheedah), Allen lV, Shawn Aleese, Whitney, Aaron, Caper, Ethan, Hannah, Karis and Mason. He has six great- grandchildren, Dominique, Zion, Raamah, Kyle, Aidyn, Drayden, and Kyra. Additionally, he considered several special people as his own children and grandchildren including Donnie Redd, Jr. and the Jordan Family (Towanda, George, Eric, and George, Jr.). Mr. Gooden steadfastly emphasized education snd considered it a proud accomplishment that all seven children earned college degrees. Additionally, among his childre, their spouses and his grandchildren, you will find Ph.D's, law degrees (JD) and numerous master's degrees. His children and grandchildren excel in various career fields including law, education, sviation, engineering, nursing, business, agriculture and the military. A DEDICATED AND REVERED EDUCATOR Mr. Gooden began his educational career as a teacher at Lincoln Jr. High School in Birmingham, Alabama. After coming to Buckingham, he dedicated more tan 40 years to the Buckingham County educational system. His most notable positions included: History teacher and baseball coach at Buckinghams Training School; Principal and teacher at Ridgeway Elementary School; Principal of Stephen J. Ellis Elementary School (both locations); Principal of Dillwyn Elementary School Eight years total service as a member of the Buckingham County School Board. His commitment to educating "all" of Buckingham County's children was foremost in his goals throughout his years in the county. As principal, Mr. Gooden was very strict as he emphasized student respect toward self, toward otheres and for their community. In addition to his role as principal, Mr. Gooden was a blessing and inspiration to many through his service to his community. He was active and loyal in supporting Boy Scout activities statewide. He was appointed by Governors Charles Robb, Gerald Baliles and L. Douglas Wilder to serve on the Virginia State Board of Social Services. He served in this capacity for 12 years. He was a member and president of the Board of Directors for Central Piedmont Action Council (C-PAC), now HOPE Community Services. He was a member of the Buckingham Correctional Center Center Community advisory Board; the Board of Directors for New Dominion School; member and president of the Board of Directors for Central Virginia Community Health Center, member and Chairman of the Board of the Buckingham County Social Services Department where he served eight years; a board member of Farmers Home Adminidtration; and an advisor for the Farm Service Agency. Mr. Gooden was a active member of countless civic organizations including serving as; a member and past Chairman of the Buckingham Democratic Committee, long time member and Deacon of Union Grove Baptist Church; life member and past treasurer of the Buckingham Branch NAACP, member of Buckingham Voters League; member of Buckingham Afro-American Life and History Society; member and past Adjutant of American Legion Post 134; and Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Inc. which he joined in 1936 and remained active for over 76 years. Mr. Gooden received countless awards and recognitions for his commitment to community service. A few of these include; the By Scout Silver Beaver Award; the Boy Scout's Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award; Buckingham Citizen of the Year by the Ruritans; Outstanding leader in Soutside Virginia by Kappa Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc; Outstanding Leader in Southside Virginia by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; Man of the Year by Iota Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; Martin Luther King Sr. Community Service Award presented by First Liberty Baptist Church; numerous Virginia Extension Cooperative 4-H service awards and the Buckingham Chamber of Commerce 2005 Man of the Year. In addition to committment to education and community service, Mr. Gooden owned and operated a cattle and tree farm, Gooden Family Enterprises, LL. He was recognized by the Virginia Department of Forestry as a Certified Forest Steward. As one of few minority farm owners in central Virginia, he was pro,inetly highlighted in the book, "Black Farmers in America" in 2006. This book documented the experiences of Black farmers and was part of a national exhibit featured at the Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. He and his farm were also featured in a television segment of "America Heartland" in 2009, Episode 308. His military service is proudly presented in an exhibit at Scottsville Museum in Scottsville, Virginia. He loved life, people and education youth. When asked about his well being, he was often fond of saying, "I'm doing as I Please." Although he was blessed to live until the age of 97, he was emphasized that, "It's not the length of time you live, but what you do with the life you live." He often stressed that, "the life you live speaks for itself." Reflectiong upon hiw own life, Mr. Gooden often remarked, I've lived a great life, it's been a good run." AMr. Gooden departed this earthly life on Saturday, June 30th, 2012. He led a full life as a mentor, father, educator, and strong community activist that indeed speaks for itself. Local information supplied by A. C. Robinson & Son Funeral Home, Inc. E. B. Allen Funeral Home, Farmville, Virginia is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the family at


11:00 A. M.

Buckingham Middle School, Buckingham, Virginia
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