Judge Stephen S. Goss (Steve) of Albany, GA died Saturday, August 24, 2019 at his residence. Memorial services will be held Wednesday at 11:00 AM at Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church. Rev. Robert Greene, Rev. Eric Newman and Judge Herbert E. Phipps will officiate.
A native southwest Georgian, Steve grew up on the family farm in Sale City, Mitchell County, GA. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A., cum laude, majoring in Political Science. He was elected as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law with a J.D., cum laude, in 1986.
Before being appointed a Judge, Steve was a partner in the Albany law firms of Watson, Spence, Lowe and Chambless, LLP and Cannon, Meyer von Bremen and Goss, LLP and was a past president of the Dougherty Circuit Bar Association and a life fellow of the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia.
Judge Goss was appointed as judge of the Dougherty Circuit Juvenile Court and served from 1995-1999. He served as chairman of the Council of Juvenile Court Judges’s Permanency Planning committee dealing with issues involving children suffering deprivation and neglect. He was a member of the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Child Placement Project committee.
Judge Goss was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Superior Court of the Dougherty Judicial Circuit in 1999. He served as a Superior Court judge for nineteen years, having been elected five times. He was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to serve as a judge on the Court of Appeals of Georgia on August 1, 2018. He was president of the Council of Superior Court Judges of Georgia in 2008-2009 and he was the 2018 recipient of the Emory Findley award for career service to the Superior Courts of Georgia. Judge Goss was a fellow of the national Henry Toll leadership program of the Council of State Governments.
In 2002, Judge Goss founded the Dougherty Superior Court Mental Health/Substance Abuse treatment programs and since 2006, the Dougherty Superior Court program has served as one of four national Learning Sites for mental health courts as designated by the United States Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Council of State Governments. Judge Goss served as the chairman of the Council of Accountability Court Judges of Georgia in 2017-2018. He was the founding vice-chairman of its executive committee and the chairman of its education and training committee.
Judge Goss was very involved in continuing education for judges and court personnel. He has been an active faculty member of the National Judicial College since 2003. He was a member of the teaching faculty of the National Drug Court Institute and he was a senior consultant to the United States Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration GAINS Center for persons with co-occurring mental health and substance use issues. He had been a trainer in southwest Georgia for many years for Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for law enforcement officers dealing with persons struggling with behavioral health issues.
Judge Goss had served on numerous civic boards and community organizations in Albany. He was a member of Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church, a former trustee of the Dougherty County Public Library System, a longtime member of the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany, a past president of the Artesian City Sertoma Club, and a graduate of Leadership Albany. He was the 2001 recipient of the Man and Youth award from the Albany Boys and Girls Club and the Georgia CARE award for his work with youth in the court system. He received the Francis Brock award for consumer support from the Georgia Mental Health Consumers Network and twice been the recipient of the Ellen Raulerson award from the Albany Advocacy Resource Center for his work involving people with mental health and cognitive disabilities.
Survivors include his wife, Dee Collins Goss of Albany, GA, his children, Collins (Jay) Desselle of Atlanta, GA, Clark (Greg) Pearson of Bishop, GA, and Clint Goss (Alyssa Walters) of Atlanta, GA, a grandchild, Strickland Dee Pearson and a sister, Barbara (Jim) Hilliard, Warner Robins, GA.
The family will receive friends Wednesday from 9:30 AM until 11:00 AM at Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church.
Please omit flowers and those desiring may make memorial donations to Albany ARC, P O Box 71026, Albany, GA 31708 or The Boys and Girls Club of Albany, P.O. Box 1130, Albany, GA, 31702.