Nature 17
Official Obituary of

Mary Ruth Goeckner

November 6, 1930 ~ July 7, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old

Mary Goeckner Obituary

Mary Ruth Goeckner, 92, a long-time resident of Macomb residing for over 50 years at 340 S. Randolph, and later at Wesley Retirement Community died at 3:17 a.m. Friday, July 7, 2023 at Arbor Terrace in Knoxville,, Tennessee.
She was born in Miller Beach, Gary, IN on November 6, 1930 to Ralph H. and Dorothy Alice (Hopkins) Barnard. She married Norbert A. Goeckner of Chicago on June 19, 1954.  They moved to Macomb in 1961, and she lived there until late 2022.
She is survived by six sons, Gregory (Shirley Schumacher) of La Canada, CA; Fritz (Tracy Bell) of San Diego, CA; Daniel (Mary) of West Chicago, IL; Matthew (Tina Wald) of Plano, TX; Hans (Juanita Potsic) of Oak Park, IL, and Bruce (Anne Lanasa) of Antioch, IL; one daughter, Gretchen Goeckner Edwards (Scott Moore) of Knoxville, TN; sixteen grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; her brother David (Jan) Barnard of Quincy, IL; and her sister Nancy Priest of Rantoul, IL. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Norbert; her parents, Ralph and Dorothy Barnard; her brothers Bruce, Roger and Jim Barnard, her sister Sara (Sally) Fetters, her infant son, Mark Goeckner, and her infant brother.
She attended the University of Illinois of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree for teaching high school biology in 1954. She enjoyed knowing about many trees, wildflowers and birds and had a lifelong interest in reading and learning about family history. She took a woodworking class and made two baby cradles for grandchildren and a bookshelf.
Mary and Norbert traveled extensively with their growing family. Typically, they camped as they explored our country, visiting many states along the way, and one time, camped for an entire summer. Mary and Norbert also traveled in Europe. Mary readily and happily relocated for a summer or a year with Norbert when he had a sabbatical from WIU. They lived in Oberaegeri, Switzerland; Richland, WA; Laramie, WY; Knoxville, TN; Oak Ridge, TN; Urbana, IL (twice); Aachen, Germany; and Vancouver, B.C., Canada (twice). After Norbert's death, she continued to travel and visited Belgium, Israel, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, and England. She loved exploring the world and seeing its wonders, never having expected to see so much of it. 
Her family was extremely important to her. She worked hard to stay in touch with her children as they grew up and left home. When they went to college, she made regular Saturday morning phone calls to all her children who lived away from home, much to Norbert's chagrin. However, she said it was cheaper to make a phone call than to travel to see them. She also regularly reached out to her extended family keeping in touch with her brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews. They were special and dear relationships for her.  As her family grew, she delighted in grandchildren and great-grandchildren, traveling around the country to see them and to attend their events.
She had many lifelong friends with whom she enjoyed time together. She had dinners out, took trips, wrote, and visited with them over the years. She always delighted in spending time with and hearing from them. 
Mary Goeckner joined the Catholic Church when she married Norbert and was a devout Catholic. She was an active member of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Macomb, participating in many activities there. From 1978 - 1980, she was the Coordinator for Religious Education at St. Paul's Church.
Services are at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22, 2023 at St. Paul's Catholic Church with the Father Adam Stimpson and her son Deacon Hans Goeckner officiating. The rosary will be said at 1 p.m. prior to the Mass. Burial will be at St. Paul's Catholic Cemetery in Macomb. All are invited back to the Newman Center (1401 West University Drive) immediately following the grave side service on Saturday at St. Paul's Cemetery for a reception to celebrate Mary's life.
Visitation will be at the Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 21, 2023 with a Christian Wake service at 4:30  p.m. 
Memorials may be made to St. Paul's School or Church in Macomb or for research with the American Diabetes Association.
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