Gary Wayne Goosman, 69: Adoptee met his siblings 13 years ago

Gary Goosman knew he was adopted from a Midwest orphanage, but it was only 13 years ago that the Roswell resident, then a married father of three, tried to locate his birth family. He had his birth certificate, his birth parents' names and copies of state records about his open adoption.

The retired business executive was able to locate a sister, Janis Watson of Wichita, Kan., who had been trying to find him, too. Her discovery led to two other siblings he'd never known.

"He is the spitting image of my dad and they say he and I look alike," Mrs. Watson said. "We all feel like we have known each other for life. We put a lot  into these 13 years, but it was too short, of course."

On Saturday, Gary Wayne Goosman died from complications of prostate cancer at his home. He was 69. A memorial service will be held at 10:55 a.m. on Saturday at Church of the Savior in Roswell. Byars Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Cumming is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Goosman was born to teenage parents in Wichita. His adoptive parents never hid how he'd become a member of their family, said Darlene Goosman his wife of 48 years.

"I have a wonderful scrapbook that his mother kept everything in," she said. "He certainly felt blessed to have his family, and I think that is one reason it took him so long to try to find his birth parents."

In 1972, Mr. Goosman earned a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Arkansas. He went to work right out of college for the Cabot Corp., and spent more than 30 years with the company in purchasing, facilities and procurement management.

In 1978, the family moved to Atlanta after stops in Franklin, La., and Pampa, Texas. They settled in north Fulton, where the family attended Roswell United Methodist Church.

For fun, Mr. Goosman built birdhouses. He enjoyed the outdoors and liked to hunt and fish. Before his death, he rode his Harley with Eric, a military son stationed in Biloxi, Miss., at the time.

Mr. Goosman considered himself fortunate to have had three children who grew up to be responsible adults. When it came to his birth family, though, gaps existed. At 56, he wanted answers.

"Everybody had the same answer for him: Do what he felt best," his wife said. "I was a little apprehensive because some people don't want a relationship in situations like that, but Janis was looking at the same time he was."

In 1991, Mrs. Watson's father was terminally ill when he told her she had a brother.

"I thought I could put it together fairly quickly, but I had the wrong birthday," Mrs. Watson said. "[Gary] put it together in about three days, but the Internet helped him tremendously."

Aside from Mrs. Watson, Mr. Goosman had another sister and brother -- Penny McNulty of Nashville, Ark., and Bob Kohout, a Texas man who died earlier this year.

Ironically, all of this came to light 13 years ago on April 17, the same day Mr. Goosman passed.

"They called it their anniversary," his wife said. "This has been an awesome story for us."

Additional survivors include two sons, David Goosman of Atlanta and Eric Goosman of Anchorage, Alaska; a daughter, Kristy Hughes of Rockmart, and six grandchildren.