Gooding, Frank Jr.

Frank Gooding passed away peacefully on June 8, 2024, while in the care of AccentCare Hospice Center at Christiana Care Hospital. Born in Delaware to the late Frank and Dorothy (Hall) Gooding, he was a graduate of John Dickinson High School. Frank’s innate adventurous spirit and genuine inquisitive nature led him to a thirty-five-year career at DuPont’s Experimental Station in addition to a long list of personal adventures experienced on land and water. Known for his tenacious, creative mind he was always inventing or improving every-day things ranging from a motorized bird feeder to replacing worn-out no longer manufactured parts with eagle-eye precision at the lathe.

Since his childhood, Frank could tirelessly watch old black & white cowboy movies in addition to re-reading favored historical and western novels throughout the remainder of his life. Stories of the “good guys” doing the right thing were centric to the virtues that guided his life. Larger-than-life characters and their deeds filled hours of his reading and the memorizing of words written or lyrics sung describing the heroic soldiers, sailors, cowboys and explorers often forgotten in time. Drawn to the water in his childhood years while growing up near the Christina River on Churchman’s Road Frank’s fascination with adventure was rekindled when he crewed on the Kalmar Nyckel, the Tall Ship of Delaware. Fiercely independent he realized he preferred to command his own sailboat, a 28’ Islander which he charted and sailed the Chesapeake Bay for days at a time without his feet ever touching ground.

Frank had a passion for motorcycles and he could often be found in his garage wrenching his prized 1970 Triumph Tiger 650. Purchased in sad condition with boxes of spare parts wrapped in dated newspaper he resurrected the iconic single-carb bike which he meticulously maintained over the years. Frank found peace on the open roads where his riding was known to be effortlessly fluid and unparalleled. He treasured the moments he shared with fellow motorcycle enthusiasts, many of whom quickly became friends and eventually like family

A loving father, Frank is survived by his daughter, Emily R. Messick (Ryan) and his trusted friend and longtime companion, Doreen (Dee) Fernandez Fell. A memorial service will be held on Monday, July 8, 2024, starting 12:00 p.m. at McCrery & Harra Funeral Home, 3710 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE 19808. Visitation will begin at 11:00 a.m. The service will be livestreamed here:

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in the name of Frank W. Gooding, Jr. to Tunnel to Towers ( or Faithful Friends, Inc., Greenville, DE (

Guest Book


email access

by 2fish