Jackson Warren Goss
Jackson Warren Goss was born on October 20, 1923, in Lamar, Missouri. He was born in a historic site in memory of President Harry Truman.
My Parents, Clinton C. and Mary Ellen Goss moved to Paola, KS in 1933. Our family included my brother, Clinton Mynatt Goss and my sister, Martha JoAnna Goss. Our move to Paola was the result of my Father being made manager of the new Kroger Grocery store on the north side of the square.
Over the years, my Father worked for several grocery stores in Paola and his last business in Paola was Clint’s Market, located on the street, north of the entrance to the Ursuline Academy
I graduated from Paola High School in the class of 1941.
After graduation, I moved to Nevada, MO to work for the A&P grocery. That is where I met my wife, Anne, whom I married in 1946 upon returning from WW II. We have been partners for 64 years, as of January 23, 2010.
With the beginning of WW II, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, I enlisted in the Army on July 23, 1942 at age 18. Over the next ten months, I was sent to several communication schools and was trained as a control tower operator. My control tower training was used in North Africa to develop the first air-ground communication system.
During this period, I was selected to attend Officer’s Candidate School at The Infantry School, located at Ft. Benning, Georgia. I graduated from The Infantry School in May, 1943 as a Second Lieutenant. I was one of the youngest Second Lieutenants to be commissioned, at age 19, from The Infantry School.
After being commissioned, I was assigned to Camp Wolters, Texas to train new recruits in basic training. A few months later, I returned to Ft. Benning, GA to attend Officer’s Communication School. After graduation from Officer’s Communication School, I was assigned to the 42d Infantry Division, known as the Rainbow Division. I was assigned, a short time later, to the 99th Infantry Division which was in the process of being shipped to England. From there, we landed in France, then to Belgium and we were in the Hofen/Monschau, Germany area when the Battle of the Bulge hit us with the first German attack. At that time, I was a rifle platoon leader with Love Company. One of the men in my platoon, at that time, wrote a book, titled “Infantry Soldier” by George W. Neill, This book describes the experiences of our platoon during this period. George Neill’s book is now required reading in all courses taught about WW II. Our battalion held the Hofen/Monschau area and never gave up one inch of ground during the Battle of the Bulge. For this action, we were presented with the Presidential Unit Citation.
While we were still in the Hofen/Monschau area, I was promoted to First Lieutenant and became the battalion communications Officer, serving on the staff of Col. Butler, who was the commanding officer of the 3rd Bn.–395th Regiment- 99th Infantry Division, also known as the Checkerboard Division.
In addition to The Battle of the Bulge, our battalion participated in the Ruhr Pocket campaign, we helped capture the Remagen Bridge, which gave us passage across the Rhine River, and we were the first unit across the Danube River toward the end of combat in 1945. I remained in the occupation forces in Germany and was transferred to the Big Red One-the 15t Infantry Division. I was assigned to the security of the War Crimes Commission in Nuremberg, Germany and to other occupation duties.
I returned home in January, 1946 as a Captain, Infantry. I had been awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge, French Fourre de Guerre, Belgian Fourre de Guente and the Presidential Unit Commendation badge.
I went to work for The Kansas City Star in March, 1946, in the national advertising department.
The Star moved us to their Chicago office and later to their New York office. While in New York, among my many assignments, I developed relations with the financial community in New ,York and Boston. I became very interested in a new approach to individual investing, called “mutual funds”. As a result, I was offered a position with The George Putnam Funds of Boston. I became President of Putnam Fund Distributors and a partner of The Putnam Management Company.
While at! Putnam, I was given a leave of absence to attend the Advanced Management Program at ‘the Harvard Business School. I was one of the very few permitted to attend this program, having not graduated from college.
‘When The Putnam Funds were sold to Marsh McLennan Co., I resigned and became President of Investor Mortgage Insurance Co . I helped build this in to a $6 billion insurance operation which was eventually sold to Tiger International. At that time, I joined an investment management organization in Boston and we managed over $1.6 billion for institutional investors.
I decided to retire in 1989 and we moved to Florida. Very quickly, I became bored with retirement and went back to the investment management business, working only for our family and no outside accounts. I still continue to operate a full scale investment business. In addition, my wife and I operate a charitable foundation, which we fund entirely by our contributions.
The primary focus of The Foundation is to provide help for the elderly who try to survive on fixed incomes that are never adequate to cover their basic needs. We currently provide food, on a daily basis, for over 200 seniors living in this area of Florida.
Growing up in Paola, Kansas provided an environment that measured your character and integrity on a daily basis, inasmuch as you were known by most of the people in the area. I always worked two or three jobs, at the same time, so I never had much spare time. I played in the High School band, participated in some sports and was selected to attend the Sunflower Boys State.
Our family doctor in Paola was a member of the Army Medical Reserve. He talked me into attending the Citizens Military Training Camp at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas for a month of military training during the summer in 1938 and 1939. When I enlisted in the army in 1942, I quickly adapted to the environment as the result of my training.
The training, discipline and responsibility the army provided, prepared me for the opportunities that developed after I left the service in 1946. While in combat, at a very young age, you were forced to grow up in a hurry when you have the total responsibility for the many lives under your command.
The most important lesson I learned from my experiences in the army, particularly in combat and later in many business situations, was to immediately evaluate the “individual person with whom you had to interact on a daily basis. In most situations, your life and personal success depended on that individual.
I quickly learned that the low key and “quiet” individual was the one upon whom you could depend under most circumstances. The big personality with all the wit and charm, never measured up to the “quiet” one. I strongly believe that “Actions Speak Louder than Words”.