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Posted: February 13, 2011 12:30 a.m.

Ex-Covington councilwoman Goss dies

Many of Covington's hair dressers and beauticians owe their start to Bertha Goss, the longtime owner of Bertha's Beauty Lounge who dedicated her life to training and inspiring young people.

Goss died Thursday night at the age of 87. She had been on dialysis and suffered from kidney and liver problems, son Curtis Goss said Friday.

She was one of Covington's first black business owners and her deceased husband Henry Goss was one of Newton County's first black sheriff's deputies.

"She was a strong woman and was willing to help anybody. She did a lot of things for a lot of the ladies who wanted to go into the hair business," Curtis said. "She showed me if you’re willing you can do anything you want to do. You have to stay strong no matter what… she was a fighter."

Goss also was a Covington city councilwoman for 12 years from 1994 to 2005. Curtis said his mother joined the council to make a difference in her community, and was an advocate for her home neighborhood of Nelson Heights.

Goss also volunteered with environmental awareness organization Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful, worked with the Newton County Democratic Party and was very active in her church, New Beginning Full Gospel Ministries in Oxford, said close friend Jeanette Perry.

"She was a loving, caring person who wanted to make sure that young people were successful. She actually was a great entrepreneur, a go-getter," Perry said. "She was very outspoken. You didn’t have to think she (meant) something, you would know (because) she said it. She was a people person; she loved people."

Goss was born in Atlanta in 1923 and moved to Covington around 1967, where she found a permanent home.

"She was a living witness that touched a lot of people’s lives," Curtis said. "I’m just thankful for my momma and the way she’s encouraged me. It’s been a hard road and the road is going to be harder. I’ll just keep pushing; that’s really a product of what my momma inspired in me."

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