William J. Goff Sr.

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William J. Goff Sr., 97

William J. Goff Sr., age 97, of West Lafayette, Indiana died Monday, July 28, 2014, at Green Tree Assisted Living in West Lafayette, Indiana. Born February 14, 1917 near Danville, Indiana, he was the son of Vesta Viva Robbins and William Jeff Goff.

A 1935 graduate of Battle Ground High School, Battle Ground, Indiana, Bill Goff earned his teaching credentials from Central Normal College, Danville, Indiana and later obtained a MA at Butler University, Indianapolis in 1960. A true Indiana Hoosier, he taught and coached in Indiana schools his entire career. Prior to World War II he worked in Darlington and North Salem and after the war, North Central H.S. and Westlane JHS, Indianapolis. Bill coached basketball, baseball, wrestling, track and golf and completed his career as Athletic Director at Westlane JHS.

Bill Goff was rarely idle. During his long teaching career he supplemented his income with summer work. As an independent contractor, he built quality custom homes on the north side of Indianapolis and in the Westfield and Carmel areas. He also taught Driver's Education. Most summers were filled with plenty of jobs but whenever he could find time, he played golf.

Beginning in 1942, Bill served his country honorably, by enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps. His goal of becoming a pilot soon ended when it was determined he was color-blind. Bill often said failing his flying physical was what saved his life in WWII. Instead of flying, he specialized in aircraft maintenance. He completed officer training at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant before serving on airfields throughout England. He and his squadron saw duty in Normandy, the Ardennes, Rhineland and other Central Europe theaters They were often assigned to retrieve the US and British gliders (huge motorless aircraft that silently carried troops and large equipment into battle areas). In 1945, Bill retired from active duty with the rank of Captain and remained in the Reserves until 1950.

Bill was a "can do" and a "sooner-the-better" type guy. He was a fine builder, gardener, coach, and a crossword puzzle fanatic. Bill maintained high standards for himself as well as the jobs and tasks that came his way. His overdrive attitude meant everything was done expediently. That same attitude took him to one of his favorite destinations . . . Fairbanks, Alaska, home of his stepdaughter Judy's family. His legacy of building projects and friends remain solid in Alaska.

His great love, late wife Ethel M. (Tommi) Wilson Goff, died in 1993. Tommi and Bill lived for many years in Bradenton, FL at Windmill Manor Retirement Village. Bill was frequently saluted as "the mayor" or "the-go-to-guy" for the latest issues and projects in the retirement park. Those dear Florida neighbors and friends have missed Bill since November 2010 when at age 93, he chose to return to West Lafayette, Indiana.

Bill made his home with stepdaughter Dawn Copas and her husband Stan for two years before moving to Green Tree Assisted Living in West Lafayette. During the past four years, Bill and his dearly loved companion cat, Smokey, had the best of care. The whole family of Bill Goff is most appreciative and deeply-grateful to Dawn and Stan and the staff at Green Tree for his wonderful care.

Surviving family members of Bill Goff include his son, William J. Goff Jr. (wife Cheryl) of Acworth, GA, and stepchildren: Dawn Wilson Copas (husband Stan) of West Lafayette; Devon Wilson Neise, Bloomington, IL; Larry Wilson (wife Priscilla), Seymour, IN: Steve Wilson, Mukilteo, WA; Judy Kiefer Mendenhall (husband Wendell) Shiffler, Fairbanks AK; Kiefer (wife Mary) Mendenhall, Aspen, CO; and Pam Ferrell, Houston, TX. He is also survived by 21 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren as well as 6 nieces and nephews and their children.

Bill was preceded in death by his sister Jeane Goff Smith and husband Bob "B" Smith of West Lafayette and his sister Rosemary (Bobby) Goff Sale of Danville, IN as well as wives Betty Jean Jones Goff and Laura Pauline (Peggy) Kiefer Goff.

Bill's ashes will be transported to Florida to rest near Tommi's.

There will be private services for immediate family only. Condolences may be mailed to: Dawn and Stan Copas, 1814 N. 500 W., West Lafayette, IN 47906

Published in the Journal & Courier from July 30 to July 31, 2014
William J. Goff
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Feeney-Hornak Shadeland Mortuary
1307 North Shadeland Ave | Indianapolis, IN 46219 | (317) 353-6101
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