Martin Leo Goetsch
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Martin Leo Goetsch, age 67, and resident of San Dimas, California, died on Friday, August 31, 2012 at Citrus Valley Hospice in Covina, California after a long and heroic battle with a series of medical challenges. Martin was born on February 5th, 1945 in Altadena to Roland and Thelma Goetsch of Glendora, California.
Roland Goetsch was an Entomologist working for the Glendora Cooperative Fumigating Company during the height of the area's citrus industry. In 1953, Martin moved with his family to a 10-acre ranch at 5908 Hellman Avenue in Alta Loma and called families like the Tolstoys neighbors. The Goetsch's bred horses and a young Martin could often be found exploring the nearby foothills on his horse, looking for various adventures.
Martin attended Upland High school. After graduating, Martin worked for the U.S. Forest Service while attending classes at Fresno City College. Always yearning for more adventure, Martin volunteered for the Peace Corps and spent two years surveying and building bridges in Tanzania, Africa. Upon his return to the U.S., Martin enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley and graduated in 1970. He then enlisted to be a pilot for the U.S. Air force. Martin completed Air Force flight training and was assigned as a Forward Air Controller, piloting O-2 aircraft out of Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas. During Martin's four years in Austin, his twin children, Robert and Kerri were born. In 1974, Martin left the Air Force and joined the Air National Guard in Ontario, California, and moved his family back to Upland, California.
Martin graduated from the University of La Verne, College of Law in 1981. From 1981 to 1992 Martin spent his time practicing law in various capacities, including at TRW in San Bernardino and in private practice as an Associate at Althouse and Bamber in Upland. In 1993, Martin decided to pursue a position on the bench and found himself appointed as Commissioner at Pomona Municipal Court and later elevated to Los Angeles Superior Court, Pomona, where he presided until his retirement in 2011.
Martin married his current wife, Marlene, in 1988. They lived in Diamond Bar and then San Dimas, where he resided until his death. Martin was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2005, and successfully battled the disease while under the care of doctors at City of Hope Hospital in Duarte. Martin's quest for adventure never ended. He loved to spend his free time four-wheeling in his jeep, boating, or shooting with his kids and grandkids, mostly in the local mountains that he called home for most of his life.
Martin is survived by his wife Marlene; his son Robert; his daughter Kerri and her husband Russell; his step-son Christopher Ohman and his wife Kristy; and his five grandchildren, Travis, Austin, Gavin, Cole, and Sophie. Martin was predeceased by his parents and his brother, George Roland Goetsch of North Dakota.
Services for Martin Goetsch will be held at the chapel of Grove Community Church, located at 19900 Grove Community Dr, Riverside, CA 92508 at 10 am, Tuesday, September 11, 2012. Interment and Military Honors will take place at Riverside National Cemetery located at 22495 Van Buren Blvd, Riverside, CA 92518 at 12:15 pm. A reception will be held afterward, details to be provided.
Funeral services are being arranged by Custer Christiansen Mortuary, 124 S. Citrus Ave, Covina, CA 91723. Custer Christiansen can be reached at (626)331-8231. The family requests that donations be made in lieu of flowers to City of Hope, located at 1500 East Duarte Rd, Duarte, CA 91010 or www.cityofhope.org.
Published in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin on Sept. 9, 2012