Ralph Emery Goff, our warm-hearted and intensely loyal husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and brother left this earth on December 20, 2020 after struggling with health issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 virus.
Ralph was born on May 27, 1941, to parents, Emery Ielo and Luella Grace Newbold Goff, happily joining two older sisters on their farm in Sandy, Utah.
Ralph’s kind and loving spirit will be carried on by his wife and sweetheart of nearly 60 years, Drylee Ann Astle Goff, his children Blake (Julie) Goff, LeAnn (Kenny) Deming, Byron (Wendy) Goff, Franklin Smith, Matthew (Laura-Leigh) Goff, and Amanda (Jacob) Atkinson. He is also survived by 21 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, 6 siblings and so many others whose lives have been made so much better just by being near such a gentle giant of a man.
Ralph has now joined his parents and his sister, JoAnn, in Heaven.
We were blessed to learn many very important lessons from this wonderful man during his 79 years, among them: you can only stop fishing when it is too dark to bait your hook, or if you are frozen to the bottom of the boat; you can never have too much flank steak at a barbeque; and pork ribs aren’t done until the entire surface is covered in black ash. Also remember, if you don’t root for the Utah Jazz, you don’t really like basketball, and never miss an opportunity to sing Christmas Carols or Happy Birthday to every family member every year.
Along with family and fishing, Ralph loved The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a dedicated member his entire life and served faithfully in many church positions such as Sunday School teacher, scout leader, and counselor in the bishopric. He and his wife served faithfully as temple workers, and he often said this was one of the best callings he ever had. He loved serving with Drylee. He taught generosity by example through anonymous acts of kindness and charity. If you were having a hard time and Ralph found out, chances are the box of food, or envelope of money came from him. He not only believed, he lived his life as an example of how a Christ-centered man should live.
Ralph also taught us the lesson of absolute unconditional love and forgiveness. No mistake was too big, no error too grievous that he would not open his warm, loving arms and let you into his giant embrace.
He was the cement that held so much together for so many and he will be missed dearly.
Growing up, Ralph learned the value of hard work and the importance of using his strength and his smarts. His days on the Goff farm were hard, but ultimately rewarding. When he wasn’t working on the farm, you would find him fishing in the canal for bluegills with his brothers or doing homework in the small, cramped farmhouse. He was unusually dedicated to his studies and graduated from Jordan High School in 1959.
Just one day prior to his 20th birthday, he married his high school sweetheart for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1963 with a degree in Civil Engineering.
He began his engineering career in Vernal, Utah, working for the United States Forest Service. Ralph worked in the forest north of Vernal most of the week. Drylee hated the isolation, lack of loneliness and spartan nature of their life there so gave she gave Ralph one of the only ultimatums she would ever give him. She told Ralph that she was going back to Salt Lake Valley and if he wanted to see her she would be at her parent's home.
Ralph immediately quit that job and moved back to the Salt Lake Valley where he started working for the Utah Department of Transportation. He eventually took a job as a consulting Engineer with Engineering Corporation of America (ECA). In 1970, ECA offered him a great opportunity, so he swept his family off to Boise, Idaho, where he worked on several projects, including designing bridges and roadways for the interstate highway program. ECA asked him to move to Arizona, but after a visit there, Ralph and Drylee didn't feel the fit was right for them, and they wanted to be near family. Ralph changed course again, and with Drylee’s full support, they returned to the Salt Lake Valley. He entered into a partnership with an former colleague, and worked for DeMass and Associates for the next 20 years. They wanted to build their dream home where they could raise a family, but with the new job, money was tight, so they moved in with Drylee's parents. While living there, he began building that dream home with his own hands, working nights and weekends and whenever his work schedule would allow. After the home was finished, he moved his family in and lived there for the rest of his life. Many, many happy memories have been created there.
In 1991, Ralph had an important choice to make; the company was closing, and he had to either find a new job or carry on and make the business his own. He chose to make it his own, and Ralph Goff and Associates was born. Through good times and bad, he carried the company through to his retirement in 2005. Along the way, he provided quite nicely for his family, developed a fiercely loyal clientele, and created jobs and work experience for each of his children.
During retirement, Ralph continued to enjoy gardening, fishing, and being with his wife and family as often as possible. If there was a grandchild with a soccer game, a musical production, or science fair, Grandma and Grandpa would always be there. He was and is the most incredible, sincere, and honest man anyone could ever, or will ever, know.
To this amazing man, we bid farewell. Your light will never dim. As like a rock thrown into a pond, the ripples of your life will forever influence everyone you have known. From your closest family, to the stranger you found stuck in the snow and brought in from the cold. All of your love will continue on and on, forever and ever.
Services will be held virtually via Zoom on Monday, December 28, 2020 at 11 am.
The recording of the zoom meeting can be found here: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/OSN1OFGuQX6rX8K9_dVMv3Yb8htWabDv158N5pZkToJ3nTQR30dFi6RPuTtf9A0w.EqPqSfoB2bzYfd3V?startTime=1609176752000