Ret. Chief Edward Goff Jr. passes

November 1, 2021

Edward Henson “Chief” Goff Jr., 81, husband of Carolyn Vernell Cox Goff, passed away on Saturday, October 30th, 2021 at Prisma Health Cottingham Hospice House. 

“Chief” was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and was the son of the late Edward Henson Goff Sr. and Valmarie Bailey Goff. “Chief’ retired from the Columbia Fire Department in 1987, after 25 years of service. Mr. Goff accepted a position as chief of the Richland County Fire Department for several years and also held a position at the South Carolina Fire Academy for many years. Mr. Goff retired and moved from the Columbia area to Oconee County and continued to work for the South Carolina Fire Academy for many years while living in Oconee County. Mr. Goff was the founder of the Keowee Key Fire Department where he served as fire chief. He was known for organizing the Keowee Key Fire Department along with Mark Lee, Steven Lomas, Sam Simmons and Brandon Shirley. “Chief” retired from the Keowee Key Fire Department in 2009. Upon retirement “Chief” enjoyed spending time on his mountain in the Tamassee area with his special wife, Carolyn Goff. “Chief” was a member of Cheohee Baptist Church where he had served as a deacon in the past and was known as being a loving father and friend to all. 

“Chief” is survived by beloved wife Carolyn Vernell Cox Goff of 62 years; his sons, Bradley H. Goff and wife Tammy of Tamassee, Jason E. Goff and wife Gerlie of Columbia; three grandchildren, Jessica Darragh (Ryan) of Tamassee, Bryan Goff and Adam Goff; two great grandchildren, Bradley Darragh and Laken Darragh; daughter in law, Vickki Goff of Columbia.  

In addition to his parents, Mr. Goff was preceded in death by his son, Bryan “Gregory” Goff; and a brother, Johnny Goff. 

"As for me, Chief Goff was a really good man," said Rick Dunn, retired assistant chief of professional services at Columbia Fire Department and current Training Content Manager at the Association. "At the beginning of my career at Columbia, he would stop by the station and check on us and would always speak to each and every one of us. As a rookie firefighter, he made me feel welcomed and part of the team. Always had encouraging words and during difficult time, provided very pointed advise. When he retired and moved to the upstate, I missed him and having his influence around."

Ret. Clarendon County Fire Chief Carter Jones and current Special Projects Coordinator for SCSFA spoke highly of Chief Goff's leadership.

"I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing Chief Goff from the early 70s when I worked with the State Fire Marshal’s Office and later when he taught for the Fire Academy," said Jones. "Ed was an effective leader as well as instructor. He knew his stuff, he was competent and could deliver, and he had character. I was always impressed with his Christian witness and example. He loved his family, his firefighters, and especially his Lord."

A graveside service will be held 1 p.m., Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021 at Heritage Memorial Gardens with honors provided by the Fireman Honor Guard.

If your department would like to participate in the funeral procession, we ask all apparatus to be at Sandifer Funeral Home in Westminster no later than 11:30 a.m. (Actually park at Bills Lucky Strike across the street)

The family is at their respective homes. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Chief’s memory can be made to Cheohee Baptist Church, PO Box 4, Tamassee, SC 29786. Condolences may be expressed online by visiting

Back to Firewire