Cover photo for Carole  Lee Gochenour's Obituary
1936 Carole 2019

Carole Lee Gochenour

September 20, 1936 — September 30, 2019

Carole Lee Gochenour, 1936-2019

Carole Lee (Brooks) Gochenour, 83, of Boonville, died Monday, September 30, 2019, at Katy Manor in Pilot Grove. Per her wishes, there will be no services.

Carole was born in Boonville on September 20, 1936, to Virginia Lee (Drinkwater) and Dennis Carroll Brooks. She graduated from Boonville High School in 1954 and attended Mizzou for one year where she lived with “the crazy girls in TD3.” On October 27, 1957, she married Jerry Dale Gochenour, who she always called “Goch” (except when he was in trouble), in Boonville.

She initially worked at the Western Union and later at the Cooper County Clerk’s Office. She enjoyed knitting roll-brim hats, playing bridge, working at the local elections and traveling absolutely anywhere, even if it was only to Columbia to have lunch—Murry’s chicken salad was her favorite. Her travel tales were legendary. Her favorite spots included Denver, Colorado, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, anywhere in Canada, Jamestown, New York and Port Aransas, Texas. In August of 1987, Carole and Goch drove approximately 10,000 miles to and from Alaska for a five-week camping and fishing vacation. While fishing for salmon on the Russian River, Carole was heckled by an observer for taking too long to reel in a large fish. Without missing a beat, she turned and asked, “How many of these have you caught?” On another trip, she turned her ankle in front of an UNEVEN SIDEWALK sign at a rest area in West Virginia, which she found so amusing that she was afraid she wouldn’t make it to the bathroom. Because she couldn’t walk the next morning, she was pushed out to the car via a hotel luggage cart. The parking lot was completely full of people who stared at her but she put on her straw hat, smiled and gave everyone her best Miss America wave. During her final trip in 2011 to see her friends in 10,000 Maniacs, she wowed the crowd and the band by swing-dancing in front of the stage. Upon seeing the moves she learned on Boss’s dance floor in the 1950's, several people asked her to dance and she didn’t say no to any of them.

Carole liked to cook and was creative with it—she always added extra ingredients—but she could get testy if one of her children implied that the only things she knew how to make were the broccoli casserole and the cherry fluff that she took to every potluck and picnic. She would get very tickled when she was reminded of the time she put cinnamon instead of cumin in the eggplant casserole because she didn’t have her glasses on. When she was asked if there was really cumin in the recipe she giggled and shook her head no. She was also known to pan-fry a mean midnight cheeseburger and make a delicious coconut cream pie.

An avid Pirates and Tigers fan, her family joked that Carole had watched more basketball than Norm Stewart. She rarely missed her children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events and she loved to watch Monday Night Football, especially if the Chiefs were playing.

She is survived by her husband of the home; her children Jeff (Lida) Gochenour of Boonville, Todd (Kristin) Gochenour of Raymore and Julie Gochenour of Columbia; her grandchildren Allison Gochenour of Springdale, Arkansas, and Clayton Gochenour and Madison Lenz, both of Boonville; her cousins Douglas (Lynn) Yaeger of Ladue and Nancy Yaeger of Kirkwood; and many additional family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her favorite aunts Mary “Mimi” Yaeger and Ruth “Dado” Drinkwater and her dear friends Betty Ann Callis, Trudy Curtis and Merleen Bean.

The family wishes to thank the gracious and attentive staff at Katy Manor who took care of Carole for the past five years and allowed her to keep traveling, albeit through the halls in her wheelchair. Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at

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