Dean Goodson, My Friend:
In your lifetime you will only have a few friends that you know you can
count on. I mean when the chips are down and there is no one to turn to,
there are a few friends that will help without asking. Dean Goodson was a
friend like that to me.
Dean passed away today, November 13, 2011 at 10:40a.m. He passed away
peacefully at M.D. Anderson Hospital. Dean was lucky to have been doing
what he loved when his illness hit him. He and his wife Judy were prong-
horn hunting in New Mexico when a brain clot hit him and put him into a
coma. He had a great love for hunting and guns, but most of all; he loved
hunting with his wife, Judy.
I met Dean more than 20 years ago when I started doing gunsmithing for
him. He was the first person to tell me I needed to learn how to teflon guns.
With his help, I learned how to teflon coat guns and was one of the first
gunsmiths to offer that service. Anytime I had an engineering question
or a problem, I knew who to call Dean and he would get me an answer.
Dean and I came out with a custom action for rifles made from aluminum
with a steel insert for the lugs. All of the rifles made with this action were
numbered DG—- in reference to my friend Dean. Dean had a great love for
guns and was always working on them in his home workshop. Many times
he would try something which would not work and he would bring the gun
to my shop so I could help put it back together the right way. I remember
Dean wanted to build his own rifle. I told him we would do it on weekends.
We spent every weekend for a month threading and chambering barrels,
lapping actions and installing them in fiberglass stocks. Dean did all the
work with me looking over his shoulder so he didn’t mess things up. His
finished rifle shot great and even looked good and different.
Dean loved to hunt but he couldn’t sit still in a deer stand. He would try to
stalk up on white-tail deer, which is hard to do, but Dean didn’t care he was
having fun and he didn’t need to shoot the biggest deer on the ranch. He
loved Africa. I helped him book his first safari to South Africa. I believe
he has been back 10 or 12 times since his first trip. My son needed a job
when he graduated college and Dean stepped in again and gave him a job
working, guiding and helping with the biology on Dean’s corporate ranch.
Michael worked for Dean on and off for several years until he could land a
permanent position. Dean was also very active in the Safari Club and the
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He was always there willing to help but
he would stay in the background, never asking for praise or showing off.
Dean was the type of person you could count on to do his job and not to
complain about it.
I will miss Dean Goodson very much but I know he died doing what he
loved and with who he loved. I just hope I can be so lucky when it is my
time to take that last hunt.