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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Captain
Age: 39
Year of Death: 2022

James William Goudelock

At a very young age James wanted to do two things in life—drive a wrecker and be a firefighter. He accomplished both and was great at both. James joined the Fire Explorers program when he was 15 years old. Truth be known, he was probably driving a wrecker longer than that, even before he had a driver’s license.

James had a total of 24 years in the fire service protecting the citizens of this great county. James was married to Wendy, and together they have two kids, Lexi and Kayden. James loved his family and wanted to spend as much time with them as possible.

If you ever met James during his sickness, you would never know he had cancer. He did not let it show, and he did not want any favors. James had a heart of gold. We could all learn a lesson from him to never give up. In December 2020, James received the Firefighter of the Year award from our department. Again, in December 2021, James was recognized by our membership as the 2021 Co-Firefighter of the Year, because we did not have an Officer of the Year award at that time. That same year, James was awarded the 2021 Officer of the Year award and the Lifesaving Award through the Gaston County Firefighters Association. It was such an honor for James to be recognized by his peers as the County Firefighter of the Year and for his family to be present to see him receive this award.

James always had a smile on his face. No matter the situation, James tried to make the best out of everything he did. If you met James, you would understand the type of personality he had, because it is contagious. Even during troubling times, James continued to be a positive role model for our membership and everyone he was around.

In 2021, James was nominated for and received the Order of the Towman, a prestigious national award for tow truck operators who consistently go above and beyond during their duties.

James lived life to the fullest for 2 ½ years after being diagnosed with cancer. There were many times that he was at the fire station even though he may not have felt good; he was still there with the guys, serving his community. Losing James, even though we all knew it was coming, was a very hard one. James is missed by Wendy, Lexi, and Kayden; his parents, Rebecca and Steve; and his fire department family.

James William Goudelock faithfully served his community as a volunteer firefighter and tow truck operator for 24 years before his passing.

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