Former Mayor James Gosey, who helped bring new housing and a veterans memorial park to Forest Hill, but who also had vocal opponents, died at his home last week. He was 53.
The cause of his death had not been officially reported by late Wednesday.
Mr. Gosey served as mayor from 2003 until 2011.
Current Mayor Gerald Joubert said that he and Mr. Gosey went to school together and served together on the Forest Hill City Council for eight years. Joubert credited Mr. Gosey with having a vision for Forest Hill’s future.
Mr. Gosey worked to develop the Rose Crest Estates subdivision, which sat dormant for four years, but where houses are now under construction, Joubert said. By the end of the year, projections are that 100 houses will be sold.
“Without [Mr. Gosey], the dream of building Forest Hill into a community of promises would never have happened,” Joubert said.
Joubert said that he hoped the City Council would pass a resolution commending Mr. Gosey for his work in the community.
Brenda Scruggs, a longtime friend, asked people to remember the positive contributions that Mr. Gosey made to Forest Hill.
Scruggs, who helped with Mr. Gosey’s political campaigns, said that he worked hard to bring the Veterans Memorial Park to the city and he also initiated a project to purchase and renovate a Chase Bank building into City Hall.
Mr. Gosey also wanted to expand bus service to Forest Hill to help elderly and disabled residents, she said.
“James was a kind and generous person who loved the city of Forest Hill,” Scruggs said.
Mr. Gosey was born Dec. 17, 1962, in Newton, to L.C Gosey and Rozena Samuel Gosey. In 1981, he graduated from Kirbyville High School and went on to get a degree in electrical engineering from Prairie View A&M University.
In 1985 he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army and had risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel when he retired in 2014.
Cecelia Gosey said that her husband had been employed at Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and as a real estate investor with Rose Crest Estates.
At Great Commission Baptist Church, he was associate pastor and president of prison ministries, his wife said.
Mr. Gosey led Bible studies for inmates, counseled them as they were coming home and coordinated job fairs for veterans in the re-entry program.
Mr. Gosey’s time as mayor was marked by controversies. He was suspended for four months in 2010 after he was accused of ethics violations. And in July 2010, he and another council member were the subject of a recall petition drive. The council did not call a recall election.
In March 2011, Mr. Gosey and a former council member got into a fight at City Hall, and both were treated at hospitals for injuries.
On March 15, Gosey appeared before the council asking to have his name cleared.
In addition to his wife, survivors include children Sheldon Gosey, Brantley Gosey and Jazmine Gosey, and one granddaughter.
Visitation: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at Great Commission Baptist Church, 7700 McCart Ave. in Fort Worth.
Funeral: 11 a.m. Friday at the church