Ernest I. “Buddy” Gossom, Jr., 93, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 24th in his home in Sunshine, Louisiana. Buddy was in his 70th year of marriage to his loving and caring wife, Maxine, who cared for him to his last day. He was born in New Orleans and lived most of his life there and in Metairie until he moved to Sunshine in 2001.  Buddy retired as a highly decorated Colonel in the U. S. Air National Guard after 42 total years of service. While serving in the Guard, he established and managed a successful business, Metropolitan Health Services, which had the best group of employees a person could hope for. His ever-impressive memory could recount with clarity his days of playing golf in the Army Air Corps while serving in Japan, harrowing times as a Douglas A-26 Invader pilot, and his work as Vice President of Gossom Motors in Metairie alongside his late brother Hamp. He and Maxine traveled the world and enjoyed every minute of watching children, grandchildren, and eventually great-grandchildren grow up in an ever-changing world. A lifelong sports fan, Buddy always had two large television sets, one atop the other, and both were usually showing sports games. He held season tickets for the New Orleans Saints for many seasons, including during the rough “Aint’s” years and never missed a game. He was also an active volunteer for the 122nd Restoration Squadron at Jackson Barracks Military Museum and board member for the Louisiana Retailers’ Association. He was proudly left-handed, believing the group to be superior to those with the right-handed affinity, he grew citrus trees and vegetables aplenty, and was extremely generous especially during Christmas time when he reveled in popping out surprise gifts and heartfelt cards for all the family members, big and small. Buddy is survived by Maxine Juan Gossom, daughter Gayle Soileau, son-in-law Ken Soileau, granddaughters Dominique Smith and Christine Beard, son-in-law Blake Smith, and great-grandchildren Alyse, Austin, and Elizabeth. We will all miss his sparkle and wit.

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