Bert M. Goe


Obituary for Bert M. Goe
August 7, 1922 to July 7, 2014


Sue, Wrenn, Lorraine, Diane (1987)Bert M. Goe, almost 92 years, passed away with family present. Bert was in the caring hands of VA Hospital Dementia Unit at American Lake, Tacoma, WA. According to, “Mr. Goe’s schedule” he spent the last 2 ½ years of his life supervising the VA facility construction punch list as an attentive and conscientious resident. The VA Care Center provided a peaceful and safe setting for veterans who sacrificially served our country. Bert felt surrounded by a slice of Heaven where he appreciated the staff, the beauty of American Lake, surrounded by a forest of trees, birds, and a memory garden to walk & explore. The deer welcomed his arrival from his window view and each day he anticipated the visiting family of deer who lived in the lakeside forest.

Bert M. Goe was born August 7th, 1922 at home, in Potawatomi, Kansas to Bert and Ophia Goe. He was predeceased by his Bert M Goe 1939 (17) solobrothers; Eldon, Wrenn, Perry, Harry, George, and sister Vera. His determination and zeal for life gave him the fight he neded when he contracted Polio as a child. He was inspired by Charles A. Lindbergh who visited his hospital room while a Polio patient. He was given a soapstone bust of Lindbergh which years later he presented to Lindbergh High School in East Renton. Even at this young age his childhood scrapbook included model airplane designs, flight history, and his drawings of airplanes.This early interest led to building & flying model airplanes. He graduated from Franklin HS, Seattle where he developed his love of basketball at 6’4”.

In 1942 he enlisted in the United States Navy earning rank as AMM1 (Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class) with his first career in aviation. He traveled to North Africa on the USS Ranger, aircraft carrier. He was a natural mechanical genius where he worked on F6F Hellcats and Coursairs during WW2 and followed his passion with airplanes throughout his life. He was honorably discharged from USN in 1945, after an airplane propeller accident nearly severed his dominant left arm and injured his back. Bert M Goe 1942 (20) color

He married Helen Richardson in 1945, immediately after his Navy discharge, and began his family with the birth of Susan & Wrenn, then divorced. He began his plumbing apprenticeship in 1946, and brother George (and Peggy) cared for Susan & Wrenn until his marriage to Louise Lavender Harriott 1952, and grew his family by adding Lorraine and Diane. Bert and Louise raised four children with a controlling firm hand, and he divorced again in 1977, Louise passed away in 2006. As a family man for nearly 30 years he taught strong work ethic, loyalty, and persistence. He gave his mechanically intuitive traits to his son and grandsons and shared his passionate heart for others, the outdoors, building, teaching, and creativity with his daughters. In 1978 he married Isabelle Lavender who passed in 2008. He outlived his three wives and companion, Helen Louise Chodykin! Subsequently, a special lady friend Suzie Kwong enjoyed time with him.

As a hobby, he designed, built and flew model and RC airplanes, boats and racing, kite building. His boat interest, overlapped into his enthusiasm and love of hydroplane racing. Attending the hydroplane races included many friends and family spending the weekend on the shores of Lake Washington. The Gold Cup/Seafair race course was the annual event and community gathering close to where he grew up in the Rainier Valley off of Genesee Street. His highlight for every Seattle summer since boat racing began, were the Blue Angels Airshow. The roar of jet engines will forever remind us of Bert.

Bert was a Local 32 Plumber and recognized in 2011 with a 65 year membership pin. Many projects during this time included plumbing specialty medical gases for several area hospitals. He was a loyal and tenured Plumbing Superintendent for Botting Mechanical and McKinstry Mechanical during his plumbing career. He worked at various U of W Medical centers, the Seattle VA Hospital, Group Health Cooperative and others in both the public and private sectors of construction. He talked about the water and fire suppression systems he plumbed for painting Boeing airplanes. He was excited to be involved with the construction of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair Space Needle plumbing challenges and the International Fountain. The International Fountain was a first in synchronizing the colored lighting and water fountain pressures, all timed to music. He was fascinated by new systems and design as a plumbing superintendent implemented the initial operation of the Metro Sewage & Water Treatment System on Lake Washington. Before he developed the 2 ½ acre field next door and subdivided the property, the neighborhood kids and nephews played softball every day after school, until his familiar two finger whistle would send everyone home for dinner. Thunderbird Paint Company was another business venture he began with partners.

Bert provided for his family through years of a fluctuating economy. Favorite memories for his kids included the wooden roller coaster mounted to roller skates and the track he built to ride, days were spent building and climbing the hill to ride down. Another, was catching wild rabbits with nets he made with weighted hula hoops. The older boys climbed on the bumpers of the 1958 VW bug where spot lights were rigged to scare the rabbits in knee high grass. He was a beekeeper, spun honey, had a garden and canned or froze anything. He hunted & fished salmon while loving the open waters with his record catch of a “44 ½ lbs.” salmon. He collected rocks on numerous rock hounding camping trips, clam digging at the beach, precious gem stones, enjoyed the precision and perfection of fine jewelry making, woodworking, welding and crafting with his hands. His creativity and mechanical mind inspired many inventions and projects in his home, work, community and volunteering as a Firefighter. Bert was ready to jump in and problem solve any task. Kids eyes would light up when he offered Lifesaver candy, perform a spontaneous magic trick from up his sleeve, and the initiation parlor games at family gatherings where he enjoyed being the center of attention. He folded a squadron of tiny origami airplanes, caught huge horseflies, attaching fine thread with glue to the fly tiny airplane. The flies took off from the drafting table runway becoming airborne and towing the tiny airplanes. His booming voice and loud laughter could get anyone’s attention while telling fishin’ stories and carrying out practical jokes, usually with believable exaggeration. We will miss the times he reached out to others when a helping hand was needed.

By June 2014 his body began wearing out and his mind fading, his work was complete here. He could finally be released from responsibility. As the youngest child of seven, and a polioGrandpaBert2014 w Kala survivor, he taught himself to walk again. He never gave up his dream to be a ball player, soldier, husband, provider, father, homebuilder, contractor, superintendent, craftsman, mentor, grandfather, gardener, artisit, friend, fisherman, hunter, and winemaker. He loved the “board game” and playing cribbage into his 90’s. He will be remembered as a humble man, doing the best he could with the tools in his box he had or created, living life to the fullest. He admitted his mistakes to his family and moved on in his life. He wouldn’t talk religion, and not until the end of his life could he accept God’s love and forgiveness. His caregivers shared the love of Jesus to understand God was in control of his destiny not him. He knew then to accept Jesus Christ into his heart, as his personal “Lord and Savior”.

Bert M. Goe is survived by four children; Susan (Ken) Finney, Wrenn Goe Sr., Lorraine (Chuck) Clegern, and Diane (Mike) Kauffman, nine grandchildren; Marlin & Brian Cornelius, Wrenn Jr. (Trish) McCoy, Amy Clegern, Will (Nichole) Clegern, Larissa & Salma Clegern, April (Matt) Jenks & Allie Kauffman, 12 great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandsons.

The military internment service will be at Tahoma National Cemetery lining up promptly at 2:30 pm on Friday, 8600 SE 240th St, Kent, WA 98042 • (425) 413-9614. Expect traffic on Friday afternoon, September 12th 2014. Following the ceremony, an open house will be held at Diane and Mike Kauffman’s home off of the May Valley Rd. in Issaquah. Please join us to celebrate Bert’s life and family. We will meet after the service and go directly to Diane & Mike’s. If you are going to the house directly, please meet us there about 5:00 pm at 2040 SE 136th Street Issaquah, WA 98027.

2 Responses to “Bert M. Goe”

  • Gail and Carl Cloud says:

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family during this difficult time.

  • RJ Urvina says:

    My brother Tony and lived across the street from both Goe families throughout our teen years. One special memory was his help in building a kayak. I’m am sorry for your loss and will remember the Goe family with a smile. God Bless

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