Dennis W. Goul, 67, gave his country two years of service with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam. Near the end of his life, he was given a lung transplant and a few more precious years. Those years ended Monday night in his home with family by his side. His journey took a turn after his 1964 Elyria High School graduation with the sudden death of his father, Wayne. Three years later, Mr. Goul found himself serving as a corporal with the military police in a Vietnamese territory southwest of Da Nang.
His decorations included five medals and two ribbons: the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and two Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citations -- the Gallantry Cross Medal and the Civil Actions Medal, First Class Color with Palm. He also received the Presidential Unit Commendation Ribbon and Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, plus two badges, one each for rifle and pistol marksmanship.
Mr. Goul was chosen to guard Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara during his tour of the I Corps, but he was particularly proud of being chosen to guard Bob Hope during a 1967 Christmas Special with the USO.
Upon his return home, Mr. Goul worked 30 years as a union pipefitter with Local 42 of Norwalk and became a lifetime member of the VFW.
About a week before Mr. Goul's death, he celebrated a 32-year anniversary with his devoted wife, Gwen. He also is survived by a son, Matthew, mother, Mary Lou, and best friend, David Bannick. Mr. Goul loved animals and leaves behind his German Shepherd, Pepper.
Memorial donations may be sent to Friendship Animal Protective League, 8303 Murray Ridge Rd, Elyria, OH 44035, or Oasis Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 11, Oberlin, OH, 44074.
Mr. Goul was laid to rest Friday.
Private services were provided by Laubenthal-Mercado Funeral Home in Elyria, (440) 322-4626. Online condolences to the family can be expressed at www.laubenthalmercado.com