Herbert Dean Gouge OLD FORT Herbert Dean Gouge, 83, of Old Fort, went home to be with the Lord Sunday, March 23, 2014, at his residence. Born in West Chester, Pa., Jan. 7, 1931, he was the son of the late Zedie and Artie Webb Gouge. Mr. Gouge retired from the U.S. Air Force, as a Chief Master Sergeant, after 23 years of service. Following his military retirement, Dean began his second career having worked 20 years with the McDowell County Schools. One of his accomplishments while with the school system, included the establishment of the first extended day high school program in North Carolina. His desire to help students succeed was displayed through his dedication to dropout prevention programs in McDowell County. He is preceded in death, in addition to his parents, by his wife, Nancy Jane Aiken Gouge. Left to cherish his memories are three children, Doug Gouge and wife, Jane, of Old Fort, Kathy G. Benedict and husband, Brian, of Old Fort and Larry Gouge and wife, Mary Jo, of Salisbury; one sister, Mary G. Williams of Marion; seven grandchildren, Jared Gouge and wife, Kelley, Darin Gouge and wife, Kelly, Megan Gouge, Kyle Benedict, Robert Benedict, Matthew Gouge and Casey Gouge; and a number of nieces and nephews. Mr. Gouge, along with his family, were blessed to have a very special friend, Mary Cate, also surviving. A celebration of life will be held Thursday, March 27, at 4 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Marion. Services will be conducted by the Rev. Terry D. Childers, with the assistance of Dr. M. Scott Hagaman. Military honors will be provided by the U.S. Air Force. The family asks that you please join them to continue the celebration of Dean's life, immediately following the service, in the fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages that memorial donations be made to, First Baptist Church of Marion Building Fund, 99 North Main St., Marion, NC 28752 and/or Hospice of McDowell County, 575 Airport Road, Marion, NC 28752. Westmoreland Funeral Home & Cremations is assisting the family with arrangements. Words of comfort may be shared at www.westmoreland funeralhome.com.