David J. Goerz, a Palo Alto resident, died of cancer at the age of 79 on Sept. 25 in Palo Alto.
He was born in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 25, 1934, to Magdalena and David J. Goerz, Sr.
He graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in physics. He also received a Master's in applied physics from Stanford University and worked there as a research assistant, research associate and a member of the Academic Council. He also headed several departments in the development of the Stanford Linear Accelerator.
He went on to found Vactite, Inc., a manufacturer of ultra-high vacuum systems for the testing of space components and the production of semi conductors. He also worked as an instructor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UC Berkeley, teaching ultra-high vacuum technology.
His career continued forward when he joined the Bechtel Corporation,where he spent 25 years, eventually rising to the position of vice president. He held senior management positions in marketing, business development, research, financing and management of major programs, many with operations worldwide.
In 1992 he formed Goerz & Associates, Inc., a technical and management consulting firm providing services to industrial and utility companies.
In 2010, he founded another company, then called Fuelina, Inc. and now, Fuelina Technologies LLC, to develop and manufacture alternative fuels. He served as chief executive officer and president.
He also held seven patents and has five pending patents, both U.S. and international.
He enjoyed the family's homes and garden as well as traveling for business and pleasure with his wife, Mary Elizabeth Larsen Goerz, who he married in the Stanford Chapel on Jan. 26, 1962.
He also served as a trustee, deacon and elder at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years; their three children, David J. Goerz, III (Kristin), Karen Elizabeth Goerz Preston (Michael), Julie Anne Goerz Hayes (Jerry) and seven grandchildren: Lauren and Ashlynn Goerz, Danny and Steven Preston, Savannah, Madelyn, and Olivia Hayes. He was predeceased by his parents and two grandchildren, Jason and Jennifer.
In lieu of flowers friends may donate to the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, the Hoover Institution, at Stanford University or Pathways Hospice in Sunnyvale.