Obituary of Mark Goff
Mark Osborne Goff was born May 20, 1954 in San Antonio, Texas to Harry and Jennie Goff. He passed away peacefully on September 6, 2019 in Coushatta following a long illness.
Mark had a successful career in the hospital and medical administration. His next adventure was the purchase of the former Woolworth’s on Texas St. At first he just wanted to keep a beautiful building in the middle of downtown from becoming a parking lot. He had resources. Big dreams were within his grasp. In the sprawling four-story building there was an intact lunch counter and kitchen. Soon his daughter Jamie was cooking and serving food for downtowners. They changed the name to Hayride Diner and it became popular for burgers and cheese fries. Jamie operated it successfully from 2001 until her untimely death in a car wreck in 2007.
As with any old building, Mark dealt with the vast, leaking roof, the antiquated electrical system and the cavernous space of 516 Texas St. He parked his collection of Harley-Davidson cruisers in the front window. He began assembling a sound system. The quest for the amplification that suited the difficult room was endless. Hiring managers, bookers and maintenance personnel became a steady job. There was a café, a bar and concert hall; at times he used rooms upstairs.
Mark saw that young musicians of the region needed an all-ages venue. Non-musicians needed a haven from the old-fashioned club scene. His space, named 516 Soundstage, became a youth center. From 1997 to 2012 Mark's building was a magnet for creative, rebellious youth and artists. For some time it was home to the punks. It was also a center for heavy metal devotees. "We judged no one," he said with pride. He was known as a gruff manager but a fellow full of heart. A ton of allies gathered around him to help keep Soundstage rolling.
After 2012 his illness prevented him from re-opening. He knew, though, that it was a mecca for original music and for the teens. In 2016 when Heliopolis.la published a collection of remembrances from two-score fans he was reminded of the impact he and his team had on a generation of youths. When he read those affectionate, detailed remarks he sat down and wept.
He was preceded in death by his dad, Harry Alfred Goff; mom, Jennie Lee Osborne Goff, daughter, Jamie Marie Goff. He is survived by his sisters Jeanice Marie Goff Hilger and Brenda Lee Goff Reese; grandsons, Timothy James Goff and William Osborne Goff; his close friends, Phyliss Cornish, Christy Carreno and Caroline Carreno, the late Blue Lee-Martin, Dan Garner, Bobby Black, Alan Dyson, Charli Gentry, Larry Sanchez, Walter Letig, Emily Scott Douget and a host of generous people.
A Memorial Service will be at 10:30 AM on September 26, 2019 at Minicine, 846 Texas Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71101.