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Barbara Goetz Windom

1934 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Barbara Goetz Windom Obituary
September 14, 1934 - May 27, 2017 Barbara Goetz Windom, a breeder of championship Peruvian Paso horses and accomplished equestrienne, passed away unexpectedly in Duncan, OK. She was the daughter of Edith Mayer Goetz and Hollywood film producer William Goetz; and the granddaughter of MGM founder and studio head Louis B. Mayer. At the encouragement of her parents and grandfather, both owners of champion thoroughbreds, Barbara was put atop a horse at the age of one, her family hoping it would prove a distraction from the Hollywood spotlight. She took jumping lessons alongside Elizabeth Taylor when the young actress was preparing for "National Velvet" and it led to a lifelong equine passion. She was in her eighth decade of riding when she took ill at a competition in Oklahoma, and passed away shortly afterwards; surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues who shared her passion for her beloved Peruvian horses. Barbara lived the first part of her life in Los Angeles where she raised three daughters by herself while having a very successful 30+ year career as an interior designer; she was highly respected in the Los Angeles Interiors community. But the call of the horses was never far away. In 1989 she moved to New Mexico with her longtime partner, the poet Victor di Suvero, and soon after, purchased the historic ranch (La Villita), La Estancia Alegre (LEA). While in Los Angeles she read an article about the Peruvian horse, and was inspired, clipping the story and keeping it for future reference. Her real estate agent happened to have a sister who owned Peruvian horses; Barbara rode one for the first time in NM and fell in love with the rare South American breed that was practically extinct in the United States. Barbara helped preserve the equine history of Peru by firmly establishing the Paso in America and strengthening the bloodlines - turning LEA into one of the premier Paso breeding and training operations in the country. Over the years, LEA won thousands of awards and championships. Her legacy will be remembered, always. Barbara is survived by daughters Maggie Clare (Gary), Debora Clare (Ron), Rachel Windom Stengel (Todd), and granddaughters Julia Stengel and Catherine Stengel. She is also survived by her beloved niece Victoria Shepherd Bleeden, and nephews Scott Shepherd and Tony Shepherd. Sister Judith Goetz Shepherd predeceased her. In the early 1960s Barbara was married to the late actor William Windom; they had one daughter together, Rachel. Barbara's family extended to those who worked with her for over two decades at her ranch in Northern New Mexico. She will be missed deeply by a wide circle of friends and colleagues who shared her passion for her horses, and were enriched by her generosity and the beauty she created everywhere. A tribute Fiesta is planned for a future date. In lieu of flowers, contributions would be gratefully accepted in her honor to sponsor classes for her June horse show in Las Vegas, the Gold Rush Classic, or her beloved charities in New Mexico; Assistance Dogs of the West, or the Española Animal Shelter. Barbara enriched the lives of so many.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 12 to June 18, 2017
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