Well-known borderlands rancher William Daniel “Bill” Gooch passed away peacefully July 31, 2019 surrounded by his family in his Douglas home. He was 94.
Mr. Gooch was born Nov. 10, 1924 in Cananea, Son. to William and Vida Gooch. His father worked in the Cananea Consolidated Copper Co. store, and then acquired a ranch south of Cananea.
When he was six years-old, Bill started working on the ranch under the guidance of Joe Rhodes, an old Texas cowboy, and learned skills he used the rest of his life. Bill attended Bisbee High School, but graduated from New Mexico Military Institute. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
After military service, Mr. Gooch returned to his ranch. He also worked for Charlie Wiswall, manager of the Greene Cananea Cattle Co., as a cattle buyer. Bill acquired a plane and used his Army training to fly all over northern Mexico on buying trips.
In 1949, he married María Dolores Elías, and began cattle buying for William Greene, Jr. This led to Mr. Gooch’s involvement with Frigorica y Empacadora de Sonora, a firm that canned Sonoran beef shipped to Europe as part of the U.S. Marshall Plan.
Greene, Wiswall and Rhodes taught Mr. Gooch to treat everyone, from ordinary vaqueros to state governors, with equal consideration and respect. He became known for his integrity and wide range of knowledge.
In the 1950s, Bill sold his Sonoran ranch and moved his family to Colorado. He returned to the border in 1960 and started cattle buying again. He also managed large ranches in Nevada and California before re-settling in Douglas in 1972.
He had businesses in Arizona and Sonora, and a ranch between Arizpe and Nacozari, Son. He became noted for his innovative ideas that enhanced the cattle industry on both sides of the border.
Mr. Gooch is survived by his widow, Maria Dolores. They celebrated their 70th anniversary with family and friends earlier this year.
Mr. Gooch is also survived by his children, Patricia McLaughlin (Robert), Kathy Lipton (Scott), David, Tom (Marcia), and Anne Teran (Luis); nine grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by sons William and Robert.
Family members recall he was happiest when he riding a favorite horse along a mountain trail so he could see God’s nature, beauty and peace.
A rosary will be recited at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 10 in Immaculate Conception Church followed by a Mass of Resurrection at 11.
Memories and Condolences can be shared atwww.BrownPageMortuary.com.
Brown Page Mortuary is in charge of arrangements, 364-3434.