Jeanine (Jeanie) Della Hoppenrath Goff

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Jeanie Goff

Jeanie Goff was a spirited, hardworking, fun-loving, curious, and kind mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend. She was born to Russell and Lily Hoppenrath in Minneapolis, Minnesota on January 10, 1940 and bid us farewell in Kirkland, Washington on December 31, 2019. She took her last breath to Hey Jude by The Beatles.

Jeanie’s life was not typical. Over her 79 years, Jeanie was a single parent, a housewife, a union phone operator, a library assistant, a soccer mom, a travel agent and tour guide, an Avon lady, the wife of a spy, the partner of a preacher, the owner of and bead maker in a glass bead shop, a florist, a master gardener, a volunteer, a genealogist, and a mandolinist. Circumstances forced her to reinvent herself time and again—and she did so with an open mind and heart. Jeanie approached life with enthusiasm and, when asked whether she wanted to go or see or do something, always answered, “Yes.”

Jeanie said yes to experiencing new cultures by visiting many wonderful places in the world. She lived in Berlin and traveled to Asia, Turkey, Greece, the Caribbean, Central America, Africa, the Middle East, Norway, Spain, Portugal…and nearly every other European country. She had cherished stories and mementos from every trip she took.

She said yes to being surrounded by animals—beginning with the goats and chickens she kept as pets as a child and including many dogs and granddogs.

She said yes to good food and any competition on the Food Network—and proudly rooting on her daughter, Julie, through her culinary pursuits all the way to the Food Network herself.

She said yes to helping people track their roots as a genealogist. This family historian loved a good genealogical mystery as evidenced by her boxes and boxes…and boxes of documentation.

She said yes by taking up the mandolin at age 70 and attending bluegrass festivals all over the Pacific Northwest. This surprised no one who was close to her since Jeanie was a music lover from a young age. As a child, she spent hours listening to her father play the fiddle and took accordion and piano lessons. As an adult, she attended as many operas and classical music performances as she could. Plus, she never missed one of her son Jon’s shows, whether they were classy, crashy, clangy, or twangy. No matter the style, she’d usually show up in a fancy hat. Jeanie truly embodied the idea that it’s never too late to try something new.

Finally, Jeanie said yes to steadfastly loving her family. Jeanie is survived by her daughter, Julie; son, Jon; granddaughters, Kelly and Jessica; son-in-law, Vinny; grandson-in-law, Chad; brothers, Al and Tommy; brother-in-law, Mickey; sisters-in-law, Marilyn, Jenny, Kathy, and Kathy; cousins; and friends and additional relatives around the world. She loved and buried two men, her husband, John Goff, and her partner, David Jones.

Jeanie Goff was loved by everyone who knew her and is dearly missed. But we will strive to carry on her zest for life. To opportunities and experiences, from this day forward, in honor of Jeanie, the answer is…


Service details

January 10, 2020
2 pm
Reception to follow in the Parish Hall


Trinity Parish Church
609 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA  98104-1997

In lieu of gifts

The family asks that anyone who would like to contribute please donate to one of the following charities in lieu of flowers, food, or other gifts. Jeanie would love to know that she was continuing to help others after she was no longer able.

American Stroke Association

Donate by phone: 1-800-AHA-USA1

Donate online

Chicken Soup Brigade

Get more info: (206) 957-1686

Donate online

Note “For CSB” in the comments

Little Kids Rock

Get more info: (973) 746-8248

Donate online

7 Responses to “Jeanine (Jeanie) Della Hoppenrath Goff”

  • Susan Ash says:

    I am sad at the loss of Jeanie, and my sincere condolences to her family. I met Jeanie only once, when she and her son Jon visited Richmond, Virginia. What a delightful person! Through the years I have come to know Jeanie through the eyes of her dear sister-in-law Marilyn. And, therefore have come to be fond of Jeanie.
    She will be missed.

  • Charlotte Musler says:

    Hi, I’m Charlotte. I’m not related to Jeanie, but I am by choice. Jeanie was like a grandmother to me. She was so supportive, kind, and caring. Even when she was growing weaker, it felt like she always put the people around her first. I wish I had spent more time with her up until the end. I offer my deepest condolences to anyone lucky enough to know Jeanie. Jeanie was a great woman, and I know we will all miss her. Jeanie, I hope you can Rest In Peace now, and I hope you know I love you.

  • Sherry Michaelson says:

    On behalf of myself and the Highline High School Class of ’57’ I send sympathy to the family. Jeanie will be missed by many ‘Pirate’ classmates. Sincerely, Sherry Platt Michaelson

  • Tom Hoppenrath says:

    Family Rules: Say please and thank you, share don’t whine, kisses before bedtime, love one another, always tell the truth, say your prayers, do your chores, laugh, use kind words, try new things, always say I love you, keep your promises, treat others how you want to be treated.

    Growing up in the Russell/Lily Hoppenrath home came with a set of rules and expectations something like the above quote.

    I was almost 7 years younger than my sister Jeanine. I remember her spending time with me. Maybe she was caring for me but I thought we were playing together when we laid flat boards on stumps near the edge of our property. We piled rocks on the boards and called it our museum.

    Another time we were riding in the car in the Kent Valley. I couldn’t say Mt. Rainier so she just told me to call it Mt. Reindeer. That worked, it helps to have an older sister.

    One day we were mad at one another (breaking those family rules). I was closing the door and she was pushing and the cat was not as fast as it should have been. We ended up with a short tailed cat.

    We went on a family summer vacation to Olympic Hot Springs, back when they had a pool filled by the hot springs. There was a resort there. Jeanine brought her phonograph and her records. She was not happy when she burned up her AC phonograph because she plugged into a DC outlet.

    January 12, 2019 she posted the following on Facebook:
    Best Birthday Ever! First lunch with my bro’s Al, Tom and their sweet wives at the Tin Room in Burien, then 2nd lunch at Matt’s Hot Dogs (yum) and very nostalgic drive over the Viaduct (we all feel quite badly about it on several levels) back to my house where Jon and Julie cooked a wonderful dinner – Jon made David’s signature broccoli pasta (so David was with us too) Julie a wonderful (and I do mean wonderful salad) and my Auntie Clara’s signature cake (white cake, lemon filling and whipped cream and coconut frosting (So Auntie Clara was with us too) A perfectly wonderful 79th birthday. Thx guys!!!!

    In March Jeanine had a stroke. At first it looked like she could beat it, but it was not meant to be. Al and I visited at Harbor View, Kirkland, and Issaquah. It was a long goodbye. We wish the outcome could have been different.

    Miss you forever, Love you forever – Brother Tom.

  • Eleanor L. Puckett says:

    Jeanine and I were best friends in high school. As so often happens after graduation we went our separate ways to find ourselves (with careers and families) in that big wide world.
    MANY years later after Jeanie had, in fact, travel most of Europe, she found me in Ohio. (I didn’t even know that I was lost.) We rekindled our friendship then.
    I flew out to Seattle and we visited our childhood haunts, explored the Olympic peninsula (where she was living at that time), made a trip to Victoria, BC, and even attended our 50th Highline High School reunion. (We had no idea who all of those old people were!)
    Later she came to visit me in Ohio. We made a memorable genealogy trip to the hills and hollows of Kentucky.
    Her late husband’s family legend indicated that an old ancestor (Jon’s grandfather or great grandfather?) had killed a man by cutting his throat and then he escaped to Texas where he changed his name to Goff. A local historian confirmed this fact, but then assured us not to worry”. A country doctor had sewed that victim’s head back on and he “lived happily ever after.” She stated this as the absolute truth!
    While in Kentucky Jeanine bought Jon and expensive handmade musical instrument from the actual craftsman. (Perhaps Jon remembers the year that this happened, because I do not.) We also discovered and enjoyed a live bluegrass/country musical in an old barn.
    Time spent with Jeanie was always a fun, eventful experience. I could hardly wait to see what was going to happen next. I will really miss her letters and messages!
    Just to celebrate her life, I made a big batch of granola from a recipe she gave me so very long ago. She’s gone, but certainly not ever forgotten!

  • Gro Egeli says:

    Today is January 10, it should have been Jeanies birthday. Instead it is her funeral.
    The first time I meet Jeanie was in 1979, she was married to my cousin John. At that time they lived in Berlin. They drove from Berlin to our little village in Norway. I will never forget that, it was so exciting to meet the family from US. We have had contacts by letters, so we know about each others. We get close friends at once. She was a person with lots of humour, wisdom and full of histories. This meeting was the start of our friendship. She was back in Norway twice and we went to Port Angeles and Seattle. I am so glad we get to know each other well, and kept in contact after. When we find Facebook it was much easier, messages, comments and notes about our life. Today my thoughts goes to her family for the last farewell. I will think of Jeanie with respect, for an amazing friend! She will never been forgotten.

  • Kathleen Michaelson says:

    Julie and Jon,
    Wanted you and your families to know what a beautiful service you provided for your Mother. I know she was looking on and was very happy with the event. The picture slide show, music, and food were all fantastic.
    Attending made me appreciate Jeanine’s ability to bring people together. She organized the annual cousin reunions. The first one was at Saltwater State Park which included the Berg cousins and children. Jeanine, Al, Tom, Wally, Howard, and Carol continued to organize annual events, a cabin at Ocean Shores, camping at Ocean City Campground, lunch at a restaurant, and currently a lunch at Tom’s house. In 2018 Jeanine and Frankie Rae (Frank’s daughter) wrote a beautiful book about the 12 Berg cousins (Frankie Rae has become an appreciated regular at our annual gatherings). It is through Jeannine’s efforts that I have had the pleasure to know and understand the history of Tom’s family.
    I enjoyed visiting with the five remaining cousins (Howard, Al, Tom, Wally, Carol) at the service. It was great to have the children of Al, Tom, Frank, Bill, and Carol able to attend and help us celebrate the life of Jeanine. It was wonderful to meet Carol’s daughter and husband, see Julie’s children again, and finally meet Jon’s Molly and family.
    Now that the service is complete, the hearts are heavy with sorrow. Missing Jeanine will never go away but the weight of sorrow will become lighter as the years pass.
    Hugs, Kathy Michaelson (Tom’s wife).

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