LTC Eric Michael GouldthorpeJuly 1, 1974 ~ January 26, 2018 (age 43)
Army Lieutenant Colonel Eric Michael Gouldthorpe of Madison Heights, Virginia, passed away at home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on January 26, 2018 after a Warrior’s battle with glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer.
Born on July 1, 1974, in Lynchburg, Virginia, Eric graduated from Amherst County High School and enlisted in the US Army National Guard. He subsequently attended the University of Alabama-Birmingham where he was a member of the golf team and president of his chapter of the Theta Chi fraternity. In 1998, he graduated from UAB with a degree in Criminal Justice and completed the Officer Basic Course, commissioning as a US Army Second Lieutenant in the Transportation Corps. His first duty assignment was to Heidelberg, Germany. In 2000, First Lieutenant Gouldthorpe deployed to Skopje, Macedonia, to support the Kosovo Force mission. It was in Heidelberg that he met his future wife, the former Erin Marie Seeley.
In 2003, shortly after marrying Erin and moving to Fort Riley, Kansas, Eric deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the First Infantry Division. After returning to Kansas, he commanded Headquarters/Alpha Company, 101st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team. Although devoted to the responsibilities that came with service to their Duty First teammates, Eric and Erin made time to welcome their first son, Easton, now 11.
During his next assignment, in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Eric was the Military Assistant to the Director J-3/4 Operations and Readiness at the Defense Logistics Agency and the Aide De Camp for the Commanding General of the 3rd Sustainment Command.
It was in this assignment that he deployed to Iraq for the second time. During their time in Virginia the Gouldthorpe family grew again when Everett, now 10, was born. It was in his role as Dad to the boys where Eric’s very best qualities were most visible - loyalty, love of sports and his fun-loving nature.
He attended the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and earned a Masters of Science degree in Leadership Studies from Central Michigan University. He continued to demonstrate the hard-working, loyal manner that defined his professional career in his next assignment at Fort Bliss, Texas, as the 1st Armored Division, Division Transportation Officer. As a Brigade S4, he deployed his unit to Afghanistan in 2012. In 2013, the Gouldthorpe family moved to NATO Joint Forces Command, Brunssum, Netherlands, and he served as the Logistics/Fuels Operations Officer. He deployed to Afghanistan again to be the Fuels Officer for J4 International Security Assistance Force.
The awards and decorations that honor Eric’s 26 years of service include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal and Combat Action Badge.
For the Gouldthorpe family, each new assignment was an invitation to adventure - they traveled endlessly, relishing each opportunity to explore the world and savor good whiskey with dear friends. With his infectious and nearly constant smile, Eric gathered friends around the world. Laughter, humility, and constant movement radiated from him and remain his gift to all who were fortunate enough to know him. Happiness to Eric was coaching his sons and sharing with them his love of athletics. He treasured his time spent on the golf course “coaching” his friends and passing on his love of the game to all.
Besides Erin and their sons, Eric is survived by his parents William “Goldie” Gouldthorpe and Pamela (Purdy) Gouldthorpe; his sister, Kelly Gouldthorpe Poe and her husband Kevin, daughter Finley, and son Gage; his Aunt Lyn Reilly and her children Sean and Meghan, and their families; Uncles David, Robert and Wayne Gouldthorpe and Aunt Betty Jones and their families; and his in-laws Greg and Mary Lynn Seeley of Overland Park, Kansas. He was preceded in death by his uncle Tom Reilly.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00am on Friday, February 2, 2018 at the Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home, 1500 W. Braddock Rd. Alexandria, VA 22302. Visitation will follow in an adjoining room from 12:00-2:00pm. Eric’s final resting place will be Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Warrior Canine Connection at www.warriorcanineconnection.org or 14934 Schaeffer Road, Boyds, MD 20841.