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James F. Gooden Jr

Cranston, R.I.


James F. Gooden Jr. had quite a laugh, a big, booming roar that erupted often from behind the counter at the Hi-Lo Supermarket in Swansea, where Gooden worked as a deli manager, and cascaded across the large, 10-aisle store.

"My office is on the other side from where he worked, and I would always hear him laughing," Hi-Lo store manager Paul Gagnon said. "It was hard to miss because he was a loud, funny guy. He was very outgoing and very personable."

Gooden, 37, was originally from Providence and lived in Cranston with his wife, Lori. In a statement relayed through family friend Richard Raspallo, she said, "Jim was a loving husband who enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved his family and we miss him very, very much."

Gooden went to the Great White concert with co-worker Andrew Paskowski, 28, who, according to Gagnon, is recovering at Rhode Island Hospital with second-degree burns on his face and hands.

Gooden had scheduled to go to work later than usual last Friday because he and Paskowski, a close friend, anticipated staying out late for the concert.

"He went to shows all the time," said Gagnon, who has placed a small collection box for Gooden's family -- the couple were raising two of Lori's children -- at the front of the store. "He and Andy went out together quite a lot."

Tina Garafalo, the front manager at Hi-Lo, said Gooden's sharp sense of humor and gregarious personality lightened the mood in the supermarket and helped make the busy store an enjoyable place to work.

"He always seemed like he was happy," she said. "He was always out there trying to put somebody else in a better mood."