The Reverend Ivan F. Gossoo, former pastor at the Southampton United Methodist Church, died on July 22. He was 94 and a resident of Petersburgh, New York.
Reverend Gossoo was born in Marlboro on February 29, 1920, the son of Harry W. Gossoo and Ethel (Knight) Gossoo. The eldest of three children, he graduated from Marlboro High School in 1937 and graduated from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1944. He then enrolled in the seminary at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, graduating with a master’s in divinity n 1948. In 1949, he was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church and received into membership in the New York Annual Conference, where he served until retirement in 1985. During his 38 years of ministering, he served in churches in Kingston, Katonah, Peekskill and Wethersfield, Connecticut, as well as Southampton.
After retirement, he and his wife moved to Petersburgh. He served a number of short-term assignments during his retirement years, mostly Methodist congregations, but also Baptist and Presbyterian, in New York and Vermont.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Reverend Gossoo played an active role in the Civil Rights Movement as the president of the Peekskill area Pastor’s Association during the bombing of the Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. After the bombing, he was instrumental in organizing a candlelight memorial march through the downtown area. He later chaired the Equal Opportunities Council in Wethersfield, helping to inaugurate its Project FUN (Friendship with Urban Neighbors). A second major interest involved working with youth, and he served at least 12 summer youth programs, both as staff and director.
His hobbies included camping, carpentry and spending time with family and friends.
Reverend Gossoo was predeceased by his wife, Dorothea (Mathena) in 1994 after 50 years of marriage. He is survived by a son, Burton Gossoo of Hampton Bays; a daughter, Lynnea Jones of Connecticut; two grandchildren, Erin Jones and Shannnon Jones, both of Connecticut; two great-grandchildren, Nina Andelin and Abigail Jones; and relatives throughout the United States and Canada.
A memorial service will be held at the United Methodist Church of Berlin on September 20 at 11 a.m.
Memorial donations may be made to the United Methodist Church of Berlin, 17 South Main Street, Berlin, NY 12022.