Robert Kent Goolsby

October 5, 2021

Charlotte – Robert Kent Goolsby, 77, passed away on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. Born in Lynchburg, VA to the late Robert “Bill” Beverly and Beulah (Winebarger) Goolsby, Kent graduated from Boonsboro High School in Boonsboro, VA and went on to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Virginia State University obtaining a degree in Architecture and a master’s degree in Urban Planning. 

Kent served in the US Army rising to the rank of Lieutenant. During his time in the Army, Kent served as an officer in the prestigious Old Guard tied to the White House and Arlington Cemetery. He later served as platoon leader in Vietnam, earning numerous medals, including both a Bronze Star and a Silver Star. The Silver Star, the Army’s third highest honor, was awarded to Kent in 1969 for distinguishing himself by advancing under heavy enemy fire to take out a sniper position with a well-placed grenade. For those who knew Kent, this would come as no surprise.

Returning from Vietnam in 1969 was no picnic, but over the years Kent took great pride in his service and reconnected with many Vietnam veterans from the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry in which he served. Kent’s admiration for the military lives on through the monument he designed for The Korean War Memorial in Mint Hill which was the first memorial in North Carolina devoted solely to Korean War veterans.

In 1972, Kent moved to Charlotte, NC to pursue a job in architecture where met his wife Patricia (Pat). Married on October 6, 1973, they would have celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary this year.

During Kent’s career as an architect, he worked at several firms in the Charlotte area, serving as a principal at J.N. Pease Architecture before starting his own firm. He loved being an architect and continued to practice until his death.

Throughout his life, Kent found his greatest joy in family and the many friendships he nurtured over the years. He was enormously proud of his two daughters who grew up to embody the same kindness, courage and can-do spirit that defined Kent. Kent always loved sharing his knowledge and inspiring curiosity in the next generation. In his mind, this was a “job well done”.  Affectionately known as “Grand dude”, Kent loved spending time with his grandchildren going to the beach, taking flashlight walks at night, swinging in the hammock, and any other silly things he or they could think of.

Kent loved traveling throughout the world, as well as enjoying his many trips back to his hometown of Lynchburg, VA where he stayed connected to family and many lifelong friends. No matter what or where, Kent was always up for the next adventure.

Described by his friends as the quintessential southern gentlemen, Kent was kind, thoughtful and eager to help people however he could. He was a man of service. No matter what needed to be done, occasions to be celebrated, Kent always showed up. He was a man of many talents — a true Renaissance man. Whatever Kent didn’t know how to do, he learned how to do. It is almost impossible to sum up a life so well lived. Kent is leaving a big, big hole and will be missed incredibly by his family and the many friends that loved him.

A member of Boonsboro Methodist Church, throughout his childhood, while in Charlotte, Kent attended Trinity Presbyterian Church for many years where he was an elder. He also frequented Forest Hills Church and others wherever a good sermon took him.

Kent leaves behind his wife, Patricia (Pat) Haley Goolsby; daughters, Erin Cassell and her husband, Robert (London, UK) and Lauren Freeman and her husband, Nick (Charlotte, NC); grandchildren, Evelyn Cassell, Dexter Cassell, Harper Cassell, and newest grandchild Lucas Kent Freeman born October 6, 2021.  Also surviving are his brother, Reginald “Reggie” Goolsby and his wife, Patsy; nephews, Clint Goolsby and his wife, Amy, Jason Goolsby and his wife, Lisa; niece, Wendy Jamerson and her husband, Greg all of Lynchburg, Virginia, as well as numerous great nieces and nephews all of whom he cherished greatly.

A memorial service will be planned for Kent later this year for family and friends, Covid precautions permitting.

Kent will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined.

Memorials may be offered in memory of Kent to Community Home Care & Hospice, 156 Corporate Blvd., Indian Trail, NC 28079 or Boonsboro Methodist Church at 6205 Boonsboro Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC; 28204 (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at

Share your memories & condolences


  • James & Beth Barnes

    I have been meeting with 1/8 Infantry guys since it started about 6 years ago. I was a medic in '67-'68 Company D. Lt Newman started with a Recon meeting I believe about one year before. Then Lt. Newman and I contacted Kent. He has come to reunion each year thereafter. I played golf with him until the last meeting. He will be missed at our reunion next year.

  • jeffrey Brown

    Was with him in Viet Nam. Got to know him in Townsend Tn.Proud to be his friend.

  • Marty O'Donnell

    I served with Kent in Vietnam with the 1st/8th 4th ID. Words cannot express how badly I felt when I heard of his passing, He was a good soldier, friend and just a nice guy. I really enjoyed riding in his " tank " and playing golf with him at our military reunions in Tennessee. It won't be the same without him there, but he will always be remembered.

  • Edward L Ramsey

    Kent and I met at the D Co 1st 8th 4th Inf reunions in Townsend TN. He was an instantly an 'old friend' though we had not met until those reunions. His humorous and inspirational e-mail posts were always uplifting. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends! Eddie Ramsey

  • Carole and Marshall Shipp

    So sorry of this news. His pain gone is the blessing. I thought of you all frequently. I still remember Pat and Kent making our apartment look so great when they knew we had company coming. I guess I thank God I am now 81 and still in great shape(well not shape of body), otherwise Okay. Please know our thoughts are with you. you were great friends. Much love and blessings, Carole and Marshall Shipp

  • Kathy Lloyd

    Condolences on the loss of this wonderful man. Prayers for solace for the family.

  • Kaye Sweeney Lipscomb

    My contact with Kent was brief, as I only
    attended Boonsboro one year, but the word I would have used to describe him would be “ kind”… a rare commodity. Thank you for his obituary and sharing his well lived life with me. My sincere condolences for your loss .

  • Steve and Mary Newman

    Kent was a very special guy. We always enjoyed being with him at the 4th Division 1st/8th reunion in Townsend. We are so glad we got to see him one more time this past May.
    He will be missed.

  • Michelle Transou

    Lauren and Nick and your entire family, my heartfelt condolences at the loss of your father. What an amazing individual you had in him and what a rich, lovely life he lived. This is a beautiful tribute to all that he cherished and the people he served. His legacy is deeply rooted in you and your children and this will always be a part of you to carry forward. With great sympathy and deepest respects, -Michelle

  • Pattie S Blair

    The world is a little less kind, a little less brave, without Kent's special soul among us. There must be life after death for there can be no greater reason for the passing of his beautiful soul than to help us all again. Every painting I make reflects his smile back to me along with his encouragement. He is a relative to be sure, but he is a man I would have called friend even without a blood connection, Anyone would welcome him into their life and home and he will be sorely missed. I grieve for his family as their loss can be only be measured in a small part by mine. My condolences to your lovely wife and family. Your pain is now over and I'm so grateful we could talk recently.

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