Through work and volunteerism, Cora Jean “Gigi” Goglio
quietly touched many lives over a lifetime in this small mining town.
Unbeknownst to them, there are a lot of southside residents living in homes and neighborhoods she helped develop while working with a local construction company.
And Goglio helped plenty of people in countless emergencies over the years as an emergency medical technician with the local ambulance service.
Over the years, Goglio was a banker, county employee, construction company manager, EMT, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She also baked mouth-watering pies, loved to travel, and was an avid golfer who took up the game late in life so she could play with husband Frank “Pups” Goglio
The daughter of a Union Pacific Railroad engineer who lived most of her life here, Goglio died recently at the age of 70 at her home in Star Valley
after a four-year battle with cancer. Sister Beverly Williams said she will be sorely missed.
“All in all, she had a very good life,” Williams said.
“She was a great sister, and we were very close,” Williams said. “She was a person that wasn't afraid to try something new. And she was a fighter who fought hard against her illness for a long time. We'll miss her a lot.”
Goglio was born in Rock Springs in 1935, one of two daughters of Vernon L. and Juanita M. Horton. Vernon Horton was from Kansas and came to Green River
in the 1920s to work on the railroad. Her mother worked at the old Tomahawk Drug Store in downtown Green River for many years.
Goglio attended school in Green River and graduated with the Lincoln High School class of 1953. After graduation, she worked for a short time at the county courthouse for then-Sweetwater County
Treasurer Ben Card. She married Pups Goglio in June 1955.
Goglio worked for the State Bank of Green River for a decade before joining Mountain West Construction, where she worked for some 15 years. During those years, the company built hundreds of homes now occupied by people on the south side of the city and numerous industrial projects in the area.
“This was back when the big boom came in and the trona mines were really going … The plants were building and had all sorts of construction and new housing projects going on,” Pups remembers.
“It was all union work back then, and every craft had their own union and their own business agents that she dealt with … There were ironworkers, pipefitters, electricians, carpenter's union, heavy equipment operators, and all the labor unions,” he said.
“She knew all those contractors and workers in town … She used to tell those business agents how to run those unions,” he said with a laugh. “She knew their rules in an out, and if they tried to pull anything on her, boy, she would jump right down on them.”
Goglio loved to golf and travel, he said. For their 50th wedding anniversary, she arranged a trip to Italy for the couple, which included a visit to the family namesake town of Goglio in northern Italy.
Williams said both sisters learned to cook from their mother, but Goglio has a special passion for baking.
“Cora Jean was really a better cook than I was, because that's what she really enjoyed doing,” Williams said. “She didn't mind trying new recipes, and she enjoyed cooking and entertaining friends.”
Williams said Goglio also loved to golf.
“She whipped me just about every time … Neither one of us learned to play golf until later in life after the kids were gone, but when we did get together to play, it was always a lot of fun,” she said.
Goglio was a member of the Eastern Star
Mystic Chapter No. 8 and a member of the Catholic Church. In addition to her husband and sister, she is survived by two sons, Vern
of Elk, Nev.
, and Kevin
of Green River
; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
She requested that there be no services and that her friends and family remember her in life, not death. Son Kevin said the family and friends plan to meet at her home in Star Valley
in July to remember and celebrate her life.