John was born in St. Louis, Mo., to Samuel Bacon Gobble and Charlotte McFarland Gobble. He was raised by his strong and beloved mother, Charlotte “Arie,” in St. Louis and Short Hills, N.J. John graduated from Milburn High School in 1962, and The College of William & Mary in 1966. At William and Mary, he played football, was in the ROTC, and made lifelong friends as a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity. John married his high school sweetheart, Bonnie Draper, in 1966. The first of their three children, Eric, was born in Heidelberg, Germany, where John was stationed with the U.S. Army. John then served in Vietnam. As a Captain in the 1st Infantry Division, John was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal. Upon his return from Vietnam, John and Bonnie moved back to N.J., where daughters Abbie and Sarah (Sauce) were born, and John began his career as a stockbroker on Wall Street. In 1975, John and his family moved to Mathews County, Va., to follow his dream of living on a farm near the water and raising horses. During this time, John hung his own shingle as a financial advisor in Gloucester Courthouse. While raising his family in Virginia, John was an active member of the community. He enjoyed many happy times with friends and family as “Farmer John” on Meadowbrook Farm and boating the rivers of Mathews. John later lived in Gloucester Point, Virginia, where he met the close friends that introduced him to beautiful Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. In Ocean Isle Beach, John enjoyed the beauty and activity of the Intracoastal Waterway from his back porch.

In his retirement, John loved gardening, grilling, and spending time in the kitchen creating new recipes to share with friends. Cooking was John’s love language. Entertaining guests was his favorite pastime. John became known as “Gramps” to his seven grandchildren. Nothing made him happier than to have a home where his family could gather for fun, food and time at the beach. John loved animals and always had a faithful canine companion by his side. He was actively involved with several pet rescue organizations in North Carolina. Friends recently described John’s personality as “larger than life.” He will be remembered for his generous spirit, strong opinions, and his love for family. John is survived by his three children: Eric Gobble (Sarah), Abbie DiMatteo (Lex), Sarah Elliott (Stanley); and his seven grandchildren: Ben & Nate Gobble, Bryce & Josie DiMatteo, Graham, Davis & Abbie Stoker Elliott; and his sister, Susan Hill (Rich). Expressions of sympathy can be made in his honor to: Order of the White Jacket at The College of William & Mary, Paws-Ability in Ocean Isle Beach, or Wounded Warrior Project. The family plans to honor John’s memory at a later date. Links to donate are Paws-Ability: Wounded Warrior Project:

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