Carol S. Gooden

MENDOTA – Carol Sue Gooden, 85, of Mendota, passed away peacefully, Monday, May 15, 2023, in her home surrounded by family.

A private family service will be held at a later date and burial will be at Rosemond Grove Cemetery in Pana, Ill. Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota assisted the family.

Carol was born Dec. 28, 1937, in Bulpitt, Ill., to William and Hattie (Walton) Hatfield.

She is survived by her husband, Don Gooden of Mendota; her daughter, Jan Hamilton of Murphysboro; two grandchildren, Trace (Melissa LaHaye) Gooden and Teague Elizabeth Gooden, both of Federal Way, Wash.; her great-grandson, Scottie Charles Gooden; her sister, Becky Rowley of Pana; her brother, Gary Joe (Mary) Hatfield of Festus, Mo.; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her son Scott Gooden in 2005; her brother William Hatfield II; her daughter-in-law Michelle Gooden; and her beloved dog Tara.

Carol first attended Taylorville High School and then Pana High School where she graduated in 1955. She married her true love Don Gooden on Dec. 25, 1955, in Pana. They enjoyed 67 years of marriage. They first resided in Carbondale, where Don was completing his bachelor’s degree at Southern Illinois University. During these years, Carol was employed by General Telephone as a switchboard operator.

In 1957, Carol and Don moved to Mendota where he began his teaching career. Carol worked at Conkey's for a few years, also as a switchboard operator. They had two children together. Carol devoted her life to her beloved family. She diligently attended various activities and achievements of her children and then her grandchildren. In 1972 Carol began working at Goslin's Drug Store. She became a pharmacy tech and enjoyed many years of employment.

When Don and Carol retired, they spent many winters enjoying the Florida sunshine along with their beloved black Labrador Tara. The most special part of her retirement years was being a grandma. She cherished every second they had together. She recently got to meet her great-grandson Scottie and that made her life complete. Carol also enjoyed gardening, knitting, doing volunteer services and being with family and friends. She will be greatly missed by all those who knew her.

Memorials may be directed to Mendota Area Christian Food Pantry. A very special thank you to her caregivers: Nicole, Carley, Sherry, granddaughter Teague and OSF Hospice of Mendota. Online condolences may be left at