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Rolando Valencia Goco

April 10, 1928 April 28, 2019
Rolando Valencia Goco
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Obituary for Rolando Valencia Goco

Dr. Rolando “Doc” Valencia Goco, a retired physician and beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died April 28, 2019 at his Tucker, Georgia home. He was 91.

Dr. Goco had medical practices in South and Northeast Baltimore as well as in Laurel, Maryland, and was employed by the Government of the District of Columbia for more than 30 years until his retirement in 1995. He also worked at various hospitals in the Baltimore region, including Church Home and Hospital, South Baltimore Hospital (now Harbor Hospital), and the Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital (now Laurel Regional Hospital).
He was born to Lorenzo Lorenzo Goco and Estrella Porras Valencia on April 10, 1928, and raised in the Philippines. The third of five sons, Rolando was a teenager during the Japanese occupation of that nation during World War II and learned to fish and farm to sustain himself and his family. Those skills became a passion in his later life as he became an avid gardener and recreational fisherman.

After the war, Dr. Goco attended the University of the Philippines, where he was on the honor roll, and earned a bachelor's degree in 1950 and a medical degree in 1955.
In 1955, he arrived in Baltimore to do a medical internship at Church Home and Hospital and continued there with his medical residency, which he completed in 1959. It was at Church Home and Hospital that he met a nurse named Mary Louise Humes. Their courtship proved the adage, and the doctor and nurse fell in love and married.
Due to the State of Maryland’s segregation laws at that time, Rolando and Mary were married on July 2, 1960, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. They moved to Laurel, first to the Maryland City neighborhood in 1964 and then to the Montpelier community in 1969, where they raised two daughters and five sons.

The green thumb he developed in wartime did not fade and he continued gardening throughout his life. For many years, Dr. Goco maintained an acre garden plot on one of his patients’ farms near Ft. Meade, where he planted a variety of vegetables for his family’s consumption and as gifts for neighbors and friends. He also built a greenhouse at his home where he grew exotic plants and seedlings for his vegetable garden. Throughout his life, Dr. Goco also continued to fish, the other skill he learned during the war, and taught his children to fish and crab from an early age, although none of them ever approached his mastery of the craft.

Doc was a man of few words, but he made the ones he used count – always quick with a quip or wise advice based on his unique background. He was at his happiest when his family was gathered on holidays, on beach vacations in North Carolina and Delaware, and at his daughter’s weekend home on Lake Hartwell, Georgia. Their accomplishments were his greatest source of pride and the reason his smile shone most frequently and brightest during those events.

Dr. Goco enjoyed returning to the Philippines to visit relatives and to introduce his children to it customs, history, and natural beauty. Dr. Goco survived the passing of his four brothers: Rudolfo Goco, Dr. Augusto Goco, and Dr. Lorenzo Goco Jr., all of whom lived in the Philippines, and his brother Dr. Romulo Goco, who had also moved to Baltimore.
He is survived by his wife of fifty-nine years, Mary Louise Goco, of Tucker, GA; two daughters , Dr. Patricia Kelly, of Tucker, GA; and Linda Peletski, of Clarksville, MD; five sons, Dr. Paulino Edwardo Goco, of Murfreesboro, TN; Lorenzo Vernon Goco, of Arlington, VA; Rolando Nicholas Goco, of Arlington, VA; Norman Joseph Goco, of Carrboro, NC; and John Ramon Goco, of Columbia, MD; eighteen grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the American Heart Association or a charity of your choice.

A service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, May 10 at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 3773 Chamblee Tucker Road, Atlanta, Georgia. Following the services at the church, there will be an open house celebration at the Kelly residence.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Rolando Valencia Goco, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Memorial Service




11:00 AM 5/10/2019 11:00:00 AM
Holy Cross Catholic Church

3773 Chamblee Tucker Rd
Chamblee, GA 30341

Holy Cross Catholic Church
3773 Chamblee Tucker Rd Chamblee 30341 GA
United States

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