Florence Theresa Louise Gouker

February 17, 1928 - August 5, 2022

Florence Theresa Louise Gouker

On Friday, August 5, 2022, Florence Gouker of Phoenix, Az, passed away in Sacramento, Ca. She was 94.
She lived a full life on her own terms: bucking horses, riveting for Goodyear during World War II, building bomb shelters, and repairing and selling everything from appliances to entire houses with irrepressible energy. Never idle, she always sought ways to improve whatever faced her, and no project was ever too ambitious. She made placemats, holiday decorations, games, and magnificent quilts all themed for their lucky recipients. She had a keen eye for detail too, often tearing apart a whole day’s work just to get it right. Florence also enjoyed cooking—especially big holiday meals. And she loved to bake! She shared generously, sending off delicious packages of banana nut bread, carrot cake, peanut brittle, fruit cake, jam, and fudge to her family. She was also an ardent sports fan, whether she was taking her kids to Little League, watching the World Series together in the living room, cheering for the Sacramento Kings, the UCF Knights, and Michigan Wolverines, and these were always family activities too.
Family, to be sure, was the sacred theme of her life. As a youth, she was a lovely, feisty girl who defended her brother Joe with fists on the playground. As a mother, she became the center of every gathering, the sun around which everyone orbited, and her passion was contagious, fostering eternal bonds. She loved fiercely, forgave charitably, and, though her body finally faded, her mind remained sharp as a tack.
She was so lucky in love, first marrying Jim Gouker in 1945. Together they spent 46 years working and playing together, golfing, traveling, and enjoying their lives. They raised seven children: Jimmy, Janet, Bill, Joanne, Bob, Michael, and Debra. After Jim’s passing in 1993, Florence married his brother Robert, and they spent 14 years of retirement together, watching their family multiply, adding the families of her nephew Toby, and nieces Sheila and Maura to a growing host of grandchildren and great grandchildren. In fact, by the time of her passing, Florence was blessed with 28 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren, and 16 great-great grandchildren. Her brothers Joe and George and sisters Betty, Grace, and Margaret, who were her great friends and constant companions, as well as a loving extended family of nieces, nephews, and other kin also survived her.
She will be missed by us all.