Rev. Harry E. Goll, 97

Reverend Harry Eugene Goll died on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at Bridgton Health Care at the age of 97.

Born in Beaver, Pa., on May 14, 1915, Rev. Goll was the son of Harry Ellsworth Goll and Malissa Blanche Goll, and the younger brother of John Edward Goll. His father served in the Pennsylvania State Legislature and was a respected horseman, judge and starter of harness races. His mother was a homemaker and good sport who memorably allowed Rev. Goll to bring his fraternity’s monkey home with him for the summer.

An enthusiastic athlete and scholar, Rev. Goll played football and baseball in high school and was president of his class each year. In 1937 he received a B.A. from Washington and Jefferson College. He had the distinction of being the College’s undefeated boxing champion in his weight class. He received postgraduate degrees from the Episcopal Theological Seminary and Harvard Divinity School.

Rev. Goll was ordained as an Episcopal minister in 1942, and his first parish affiliation was at Trinity Church in Bridgewater, where he was also a chaplain at the Bridgewater State Prison. He then served as Assistant to the Dean at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston, and in addition was a chaplain at the Charlestown Jail and Deer Island Prison. He later became rector of St. Luke’s Church in Hudson, Mass., and St. George’s Church in Maynard, Mass. In 1950, he became the rector of St. Mark’s Church in Southborough, Mass., where he served for 35 years. He taught at St. Mark’s School (1950–1955) and was chaplain to Fay School (1950–1974).

Rev. Goll was a strong advocate for racial equality, and in 1965 he and his daughter Becky joined Rev. Martin Luther King’s march from Selma, to Montgomery, Ala. Closer to home, he worked toward the abolishment of the death penalty in Massachusetts. Rev. Goll was proud to have been one of the first clergy in the Massachusetts Diocese to sponsor a woman for ordination.

Expert in biblical history and interpretation and gifted with wit, Rev. Goll’s sermons were both instructive and entertaining. His enthusiasm for his work led him to use symbols to make religious holidays and traditions more meaningful to the children and adults of his congregation. He would tether a donkey on the church lawn on Palm Sunday, have children release homing pigeons outdoors after the Easter service, and he held a lamb in the sanctuary on Good Shepherd Sunday.

In 1967, Rev. Goll married Emily S. Storkerson, who predeceased him in 2009. He had been previously married to Ellen H. Goll (deceased) of Rockport, Mass., with whom he had three children, Marcia Storkerson and Rebecca Thompson (David Johnson), both of Sweden, Maine, and Barbara Goll of Rockport, Mass.

Beyond his career, Rev. Goll was an accomplished and creative woodworker, needlepoint designer, gardener, and seasoned world traveler. He was a snappy dresser, recognized for his impressive bow tie collection. He will be missed and remembered for his love of life, warmth and mischievous sense of humor.

In addition to his three daughters, Rev. Goll is survived by two grandsons, Dr. Douglas (Elisabeth) Thompson of Columbia, S.C., and Andrew (Heather) Thompson, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; three great-grandchildren, Owen and Alice of Columbia, S.C., Ronette of Brooklyn, N.Y.; three stepchildren, John Storkerson of New Hartford, Conn., and London, England, Dr. Peter Storkerson of Champaign, Ill., Kristine Winnicki of Chester, Vt., and five step-grandchildren.

The family wishes to thank Bridgton Health Care, Beacon Hospice, and the Casco Inn for the wonderful care and attention their father received in the last years of his life.

A memorial service will be held at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Southborough, Mass. at a later date.  Memorial contributions may be made in his name to St. Mark’s Church, 27 Main St., Southborough, MA 01772, or to The Alzheimer’s Association, 480 Pleasant Street, Watertown, MA 02472.

 

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