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,
"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
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."