24-year Murietan Jim Gouker dies at 66
A family with a deep connection to Rancho Murieta is mourning the loss of Jim Gouker, who died Monday at the age of 66. “Not only did I lose my brother, but we’ve lost a son, a husband, a grandfather, a nephew,” said his sister, longtime Murietan Joanne Brandt.
Mr. Gouker and Patti Gouker, his wife of 41 years, moved to Rancho Murieta from Folsom in 1987 after he had heart surgery. His mother, Florence Gouker, was already living here.
Despite years of health problems, “he didn’t let anything slow him down,” Patti Gouker said of her husband.
“Whatever he did, he always got into it,” Joanne Brandt said. Bowling and golf were among her brother’s pursuits. “Once he got really good at it, then he’d go do something else,” she said. The Food Network inspired him to take up cooking. “He was always busy,” she said.
“He was really proud of his kids, and he just loved his grandkids,” Brandt said. “They were his life,” Patti Gouker said.
Mr. Gouker is remembered for his generosity, his skill as a gourmet cook, his weekly pinochle games, outdoor Christmas decorations, his love for his family and for his work as a salesman. Friendly and outgoing, her brother was “just a classic salesperson,” Brandt noted. “He could take anything and he’d make a business out of it, a really successful one. He was just a good guy.”
“He always bonded with his customers. They all loved him,” Patti Gouker said. She recalled that her husband carried treats for his customers who had dogs. “He’s going to be missed a lot,” she said.
His many customers became his friends and, after learning of the surgery he was undergoing for an aneurysm, they were all praying for him, Brandt said. Her brother died from complications during surgery.
James M. Gouker Sr. was born in Los Angeles Dec. 26, 1945. He met his wife in Germany when he serving in the Navy. The couple has five children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Gouker is survived by sons Jim, John and James, daughters Tina and Liannae, his mother, Florence Gouker, brothers Bill, Bob, and Mike, sisters Janet, Joanne, and Debra, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
A rosary will be said 6 p.m. today at Price Funeral Chapel, 6335 Sunrise Boulevard, Citrus Heights. The viewing takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. A funeral mass for Mr. Gouker will be celebrated in Rancho Murieta 10 a.m. Friday at St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church on Cantova Way. Interment follows at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 6700 21st Ave., Sacramento. After the interment, friends and family are invited to lunch at New Happy Garden Restaurant, 5731 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento.