John C. Goetzman, 94, passed away on Monday, October 18, 2021, at Froedtert Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee. He was born on June 25, 1927, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was a proud graduate of Boys Technical High School and the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee. He served in the Army Air Force and trained as a flight engineer on multi-engine aircraft. He was based first at Keesler Field, Mississippi flying in B-17s in an air-sea rescue role and later in C-54 aircraft based at Hickham Field in Hawaii flying supply missions throughout the Pacific at the end of and after WWII.
John married Mary Ann Gengler on September 24, 1949. After graduating from MSOE in 1950 he was hired by the S. J. Casper Co. of Milwaukee designing commercial kitchens, eventually becoming its chief engineer. In 1977 he joined the Milwaukee Cheese Company retaining his position as chief engineer and being elected to its board of directors. Two years later, John and a new partner formed their own company, Commercial Sales, Ltd. representing food equipment manufacturers and serving clients throughout the upper Midwest. John became certified by the National Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers and was licensed to practice in all fifty states, the U.K. and Ireland. John and his partner sold the business to a competitor in 1992 and both retired.
He was deeply involved in the Milwaukee area Boy Scouts’ camping committees until 1971 when he was bit by the boating bug. He enjoyed sailing on Lake Michigan and joined the South Shore Yacht Club in 1973, getting involved in all aspects of the club and rising to the rank of commander in the United States Power Squadron’s Milwaukee squadron.
John was preceded in death by his parents, stepbrother Howard and stepsister Nancy.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, his son Michael (Lisa), daughter Patricia (Marc) Johnson, three grandchildren, Erica, Christopher and Nathan and one great grandchild, Finn.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the charity of your choice. A celebration of John’s life will be held in the future for his many good friends.
John never tired of sharing stories of his time in the military, boating, and his career as an engineer. His voice has been stilled, but his stories will linger in our minds and hearts forever