Claude David Goins, 97, of Huntingtown passed away peacefully in his sleep on
January 14, 2023 at Solomons Nursing Center. Born on March 12, 1925 in St. Charles,
Lee County, Virginia to the late Henry Clay Goins and Mattie Alice (Orick) Goins. He
was one of seven children who grew up in a small coal mining town. On March 3, 1943
Claude enlisted in the United States Navy. He completed his boot camp and basic
training at the USNTC Bainbridge, Maryland. After his training concluded he was
assigned to the USS Auk (AM-57). The USS Auk was a minesweeper warship designed
for the dangerous task of removing and detonating mines from minefields laid in the
water to prevent ships from passing.
Claude honorably served our Country on the USS Auk during World War II, participating
in “Operation Overlord” and “Operation Dragoon”. “Operation Overlord” was the
codename for the Battle of Normandy, June 6, 1944 (D-Day). The USS Auk came under
fire from enemy shore and coastal batteries intermittently during the war. The USS Auk
was awarded three battle stars for its contribution in World War II. Claude received the
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, European Theatre Operations Medal, American Area
Campaign Medal, and Victory Ribbon for his service.
After his return home from the war he settled in the Washington, DC area where he re-
entered civilian life. Claude worked his entire life and in multiple capacities; security,
electrical, mechanical, and plumbing. His most notable employers were; the Washington
DC Meat Packing Plant, the Department of the Navy/Ship Yard Torpedo Plant, the U.S.
Capitol, the State Department, and his last employer, Giant, where he retired as a
Claude met the love of his life, Mary Virginia Vaughan, prior to enlisting in the United
States Navy. They often attended church services, group events, and family gatherings
before he was deployed. They continued a long distance relationship through letters
while Claude was overseas. Upon his honorable discharge from the Navy they married
on March 14, 1946 and enjoyed over 64 years of marriage. Claude and Mary had five
children and devoted all of their free time to their family.
Claude enjoyed gardening, cutting his grass at a high rate of speed, tinkering with home
projects, walking his property, and talking about politics and religion. He read his bible
every day and watched televangelist frequently. He loved watching football and always
cheered for the Washington Redskins. Claude appreciated the wildlife that would visit
his property and would provide them with plenty of birdseed and bread crumbs. Claude
loved visits from his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and his great-great
granddaughter. You could always count on him grabbing an ink pen from his shirt
pocket and doodling a ship on the palm of their hand while they sat on his lap, and
when their parents weren’t looking.
Claude is survived by his children Ema Jean Garner (Vic), Joseph Goins (Linda), Dr.
John Goins (Sharon), daughter-in-law Julia Goins, grandchildren Wayne Whiting
(Kristin), Dr. Tammy King (Galen), Barbara Warner (Jeff), Jeffrey Goins, Eric Garner,
Heather Hammett (John), Christopher Goins (Lynette), Nicholas Goins (Brooke), Brian
Goins (Eva), Kimberly Heflin (Chad), Jason Goins (Amanda), Justin Goins (Tasha),
great-grandchildren Rachel Linthicum (Brandon), Jared Winn, Kathryn Winn, Connor
Whiting, Aaron Whiting, Myla King, Ian Hammett, Juliana Hammett, Alyssa Goins,
Sophia Goins, Brayden Goins, Katie Goins, William Goins, Nolan Goins, Damien
Trayvon, Donovan Trayvon, Savana Heflin, Samantha Goins, great-great
granddaughter Elise Linthicum, and sister Nanette Robertson.
Claude is preceded in death by his wife Mary Virginia, daughter Mary Ann Lucas, son-
in-law James Lucas, son Paul Goins, great-granddaughter Ivy King, siblings; Ray
Goins, Roy Goins, Guy Goins, Bonnie Malone, and Mary Staples.