Elizabeth Thomas Goehring "Betty"


Elizabeth Thomas Goehring

Parker-Rhoden Funeral Home

Elizabeth Thomas Goehring, known by all as "Betty", age 79, entered into eternal rest at Colleton Medical Center on February 18, 2020 in Walterboro, SC surrounded by her three “precious cherubs.” Her endless energy and enthusiasm earned her the nickname of the "Energizer Bunny" which held true until the end. While slight in stature, her strength and determination have made her a force to be reckoned with throughout her life. She was always quick to love, laugh and joke with family and friends and her steadfast love of the Lord and belief in His plan has never wavered.

Born February 15, 1941 in Walterboro, SC, she was the daughter of James Irving Thomas and Gladys Lee Thomas.  Betty graduated from Walterboro High School in 1959 and then received her bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. She spent her early career teaching high school in Charlotte and Charleston before moving into advertising and public relations.

Her two biggest passions were education and music. Betty found her way back to teaching in the 1980s and spent 26 years at Colleton Preparatory Academy in Walterboro.  In addition to teaching English and Psychology, she served as the guidance counselor and headmaster during her tenure. She continued her own educational journey completing her Master of Education from The Citadel at age 55. With her license in professional counseling, she had a career counseling private practice and also spent five years as a counselor and instructor at the University of South Carolina at Salkehatchie before retiring in 2016. She inspired countless students to identify and pursue their own passions. In her final days, it was a blessing for her to be surrounded by many of her former students who now work at Colleton Medical Center.

Betty was also an accomplished musician.  She began playing the piano when she was five years old, learning to read music and then play by ear.  She began violin lessons at eight and was quickly recognized for her giftedness.  She became a member of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra at age 12.  She later taught herself to play the guitar. She was always ready and willing to pick up any of these instruments and play for groups large and small. When she wasn’t playing music, she listened to all genres and especially loved shagging to beach music.

Surviving are her three children: Amy Goehring Gurley and her husband David of Charlotte, NC, Richard Allen Goehring, III and his wife Dee of Charleston, SC and Allison Lee Goehring-Houck of Atlanta, GA.  There are seven grandchildren: David Thomas Gurley, Annabella Grace Goehring, Jacqueline Elizabeth Goehring, Avery Elizabeth Gurley, Thomas Asher Goehring-Houck, Finley Bland Goehring-Houck and Beatrice Argoe Goehring.  She has a brother William E. (Billy) Thomas and his wife JoAnne, a sister-in-law Joyce C. Thomas, and niece and nephews Debra Thomas, Will Thomas and Bryan Thomas.  She has an “adopted daughter” Margaret Tabor Carter of Walterboro, as well as the father of her children Richard Allen Goehring, Jr. and his wife Mandy, and his mother Annabelle Rumph Jenkins. She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, James Irving Thomas, Jr. and Robert Lee Thomas.

We will remember all the joy and happiness that she brought into our lives with a Celebration of Life service on Friday morning, February 21, 2020 at 10:00 at Parker-Rhoden Funeral Home, 117 Paul Street in Walterboro.  The family will receive friends immediately following the service.  For those who wish, donations in her honor may be made to Colleton Preparatory Academy, St. Jude’s Church, The American Lung Association, or The American Heart Association.


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