“When we first heard about it on Friday we gathered at Providence to make phone calls to his classmates because Providence is such a small school, we’re all like family, and we felt like they needed to hear it from school personnel and parents,” Considine said Sunday.¿“Monday is going to be a very difficult day for the entire school system because there were so many lives touched by him and his family. We have a big hole in our hearts at Providence as I’m sure they do at Hannah McClure and the other schools also.”
Goff was an honor roll student and outstanding athlete who had a magnetic personality that endeared him to everyone he met, Considine said.
“Whitt had the biggest smile and his eyes literally sparkled. He was just loving school, loving his friends, he was never having a bad day. He was so full of life. When I say he was full of life, he lived life to the fullest,” said Considine. “Children were drawn to his personality because you want to hang around people who are always happy and having a good time, and that was Whitt. He had a good relationship with everyone.”
While Whitt was proud of his exploits on the athletic fields, Considine said he was even more proud of what he had accomplished in the classroom.
“Whitt was an honor roll student and very proud of it,” Considine said. “He was part of the Bug Program and he brought his grades up while he was at Providence and he was so proud of that Bug certificate. He worked really hard to get on that honor roll.”
Third grade teacher Lora Birkes said Whitt's smile was contagious.
“He was just such an energetic, happy child. He was funny and he had such a good heart and you couldn’t help but love him,” Birkes said. “He had fun every day. He was smiling and enjoying being there, which then made me smile. Even on the playground, he was with all the kids of every age, and they loved him. I feel blessed to have been his teacher, and I feel like he will stay with me always.”
He transferred to Providence from Hannah McClure Elementary School in the middle of last year, and like Considine and Birkes, his former teacher at Hannah McClure, Kathy Miller said Whitt’s smile and his eyes were something she will never forget.
“We meet people every day, but once in a while a kid comes by and they just catch your eye and you dont’ forget them. They tug at your heartstrings, and that’s what Whitt did,” Miller said. “He had the most precious eyes. It didn’t matter if you were trying to teach him or discipline him or what, when he looked up at you with those little eyes, everything just melted.”
Along with Whitt,¿Miller also taught his sister Claire and brother Tucker, and said one of her fondest memories was of seeing the three leaving school each day.
“Every day Whitt would come across the hall from his second grade class and hug me when he picked Claire up. Then they would walk hand-in-hand down the hallway to meet Tucker, then Tucker would put Claire on his back and there they would all three go walking along,” Miller said. “It was just the most heartfelt time, because they were all three so close and such sweet, sweet kids.”
Whitt also was very active in sports and loved swimming, dirt-bike racing and hunting and fishing. He also played both baseball with the Dodgers and football with the Cowboys where he was continuing a family tradition, said Cowboys coach Mike Bordas.
“I coached Whitt’s uncle Jake Goff and brother Tucker, and his sister Claire cheered for us, and his grandfather, Ben Goff helped coach us for a couple of years, so Whitt has been around the Cowboys for a long, long time. I loved that boy,” Bordas said.¿“He played running back and linebacker and he was a tough little kid who wasn’t afraid to tackle a buzzsaw. He truly loved football, and he will be greatly missed.”
The Civitan football league will honor Whitt this year by having his No. 2 placed on the helmets of every player in the league, Bordas said.
Visitation for Whitt Goff will be today from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Tuesday at the church. Scobee Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Contact Bob Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.