Gary Arnold Goetze


Gary Arnold Goetze, 78, of Mt. Clare, passed away peacefully into the arms of the Lord at 2:22 a.m. on Saturday, April 14, 2018, in the comfort of his home with loving family by his side.

He blessed this Earth when he was born in Highland Park, Michigan, on Feb. 24, 1940, a son of the late Arnold Meldrum Goetze and Verna Rosella Rueger Goetze.

On Aug. 26, 1961, he married Mary Mildred “Millie” Anderson, who will dearly miss her loving husband, best friend and loyal confidante after 56 years of marriage.

His faithful, devoted spirit will be carried on by his three children: Pauline Katharine Sweyko and husband, Stephen, of Fort Scott, Kansas, Karen Lynne Bohren and husband, Steven, of Big Rapids, Michigan, and Kirsten Erika Lichtner of Pasadena, Maryland; six grandchildren who will dearly miss their granddad: Lena Sweyko-Kuhlman of Lawrence, Kansas; Benjamin Sweyko of Fort Scott, Kansas, Rebekah Sweyko of Fort Scott, Kansas, Geoffrey Bohren of Portage, Michigan, Andrew Bohren of The Colony, Texas, and Alexandra Lichtner of Pasadena, Maryland; two siblings: Barbara Jean Goetze of Delavan, Wisconsin, and Duane Arthur Goetze and wife, Christine, of Lancaster, Ohio; four nieces and two nephews; and his beloved border collie, Mitzi, who was always by his side.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one infant son.

Gary enjoyed a successful career as a savvy business owner in the wholesale auto parts industry for over 23 years. He and Millie owned Eight Bells Farm and provided produce and eggs to various farmers markets and Garden Market in Philippi. He was a charter member of the Tygart Valley Grower’s Association.

He had extensive knowledge of West Virginia Civil War history and enjoyed participating in Civil War re-enactments, portraying Sen. John Carlisle, the first senator of Restored Virginia. He was a member of the Blue and Gold Choir, and he sang bass in numerous community and church choirs over the years.

He also expressed his creativity through crafting wood furniture, birdhouses and looms, weaving as a member of the Jackson’s Mill Fiber Arts Guild, and dancing with the Centennial Squares Dance Club. As an outdoor enthusiast, he enjoyed hunting and fishing and had a special place in his heart for time spent at his friend’s lodge.

Most importantly, his life was built on a strong foundation of faith and he was a member of several Lutheran churches in Minnesota, New York, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and West Virginia. He was currently an active member, elder and worship assistant at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Clarksburg, a mission congregation of St. John’s in The Cove, Accident, Maryland. He was working to establish them as an independent congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Friends and family will gather at St. John’s Lutheran Church at 123 Meigs Ave. in Clarksburg from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Funeral services will follow at 1 p.m., with the Rev. James A. Oester officiating. A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery on Spesutia Road near Aberdeen, Maryland, with the Revs. James A. Oester and Blaise Sedney officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the congregation c/o St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1065 Cove Rd, Accident, MD 21520.

The Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service at 144 Hackers Creek Road in Jane Lew is honored and privileged to serve the family of Gary Arnold Goetze.

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