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Steven Chris Gough of Carbondale

  • Steven Chris Gough

    Steven Chris Gough

updated: 11/16/2020 7:49 AM

On Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, Steven Chris Gough, 62, died from complications of renal cell carcinoma.

Steve was born in Hope, Ark., and graduated from Monticello High School, Ark. He studied at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and later received his B.S. in forestry at the University of Arkansas, Monticello. He received his M.S. in forestry at the University of Missouri, Columbia and worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation before launching his business.

A scientist, environmentalist, inventor and designer, Steve's life's work was fluvial geomorphology: the study of the interaction between the earth and water in river systems. Steve was a visionary and entrepreneur. Early in his career, he received several prestigious awards for his restoration work in St. Louis. After moving to Carbondale, he perfected one of his previous designs of a hands-on dynamic river model, known as Emriver. He expanded his company, Little River Research and Design (LRRD), to build these models in Carbondale. These models are in universities, schools, NPO's and government agencies, fulfilling a legacy that he intended: to teach river behavior and science to people of all ages the world over. He was immensely grateful to the team of incredible people, who were more like a family than employees. They have kept LRRD successfully running during his illness.

Steve is survived by his wife, Katherine Poulos of Carbondale; his brother, Greg Gough, and sister-in-law Alicia of Conway, Ark.; his two nephews, Noble and Geoffrey Gough; and his Champaign family, the Allston-Yeagles, Harold and Nancy, and their sons Langston and Marshall.

He was preceded in death by his mother Greta Gough-Lyon and father Charles Gough.

Steve was a big-hearted, generous person to friends, strangers and many beloved pets. His talent for design and generosity guided him to donate his work to NPO's and good causes. He amused himself and others with his expansive creativity, whether it was making music, food, humorous videos or sharing stories from his mischievous youth. People have wondered how he pulled off numerous pranks without ever getting caught. Those who knew him well knew it was because of  his remarkable intelligence, ability to plan well and sheer luck! He was well loved and will be missed.

A private green burial service was held Nov. 6 at Oakland Cemetery in Carbondale.

In lieu of flowers, make a memorial donation to Green Earth Inc. in Carbondale ( to honor his memory.