James R. Gohery of East Quogue died at his home, with his family by his side, on Sunday, February 16. He was 77.
Mr. Gohery was born on July 10, 1936, in Brooklyn to James and Helen Gohery, and raised in Freeport. Growing up on the bays and canals of Freeport, he developed an early love and respect for the water. Building and racing boats from an early age ultimately evolved into a lifetime passion for boating.
Mr. Gohery entered the Coast Guard shortly after high school where he learned navigation, in which he continued to educate himself up to his death. Shortly after he was discharged from the Coast Guard, he met and married Rene Gohery in 1958. The couple lived in Islip until 1970, but then moved to East Quogue, where they raised five children together.
Racing boats in his younger years was by far one of the biggest passions in his life, survivors said. It seemed to satisfy three very important needs for him: water, boats and speed. His racing career spanned more than 25 years, forming friendships along the way that have lasted a lifetime. When it was too cold to race boats, he enjoyed riding snowmobiles in the winter and hunting deer upstate.
Mr. Gohery’s love for sports is evident by his helping to reignite the Police Athletic League’s Youth Football programs in Westhampton, Hampton Bays and Southampton, and by serving on the Westhampton Beach High School booster club for 25 years. His volunteer spirit was celebrated in 1995 when he was selected to be the grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Westhampton Beach, a very proud day for both him and his family.
Mr. Gohery’s ability to fix things or make almost anything from scratch was a standout aspect to his personality, survivors said. From turning a piece of copper piping into a water fountain for 10 thirsty football players to retrofitting an old oil drum into the nicest barbecue on wheels anyone has seen, although those who knew him also knew better than to ask him to cook. He was a loyal and hardworking master electrician for the IBEW Electrical Union for close to 40 years, all of which was spent working for DiFazio Electric. His work ethic and integrity were recognized in both his personal and professional life.
Mr. Gohery is survived by his wife, Rene; and 5 children, Jill Swanson and husband Steve of Florida, Donna Conti and husband Danny of Quogue, Susie Allan and husband Seth of East Quogue, Janet Madden and husband Larry of Colorado, and Jim Gohery and wife Amber of Colorado. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, Stephanie, Kyle, Steven, Shae, Courtney, Bree, Dylan, Doone, Finn and Seamus; three sisters, Dolores Golder and husband David of East Quogue, Peggy Poulson and husband Bob of Cooperstown, and Helen Golder and husband Donald of Pennsylvania; and a community of friends.
Visitation will be held on Friday, February 21, from 2 to 4 and from 7 to 9 p.m. at Follett and Werner Funeral Home in Westhampton Beach. A funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, February 22, at Immaculate Conception Church on Quiogue.
Memorial donations may be made to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, N.Y. 11978.