Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - D. Jean Goettge's memorial
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D. Jean Goettge
Jan. 1, 1924-Dec. 31, 2019
Menlo Park, California

Jean Goettge, R.N., passed peacefully in her home on December 31, 2019. She was a resident of Menlo Park for more than 50 years. Jean was an only child born to Jack and Dorothy Goettge in Ellensburg, WA. Jean was a traveler. As a young woman she toured Europe for several months, starting and ending on cruise ships in New York. Well into her 80s, Jean thought nothing of packing her dog into her PT Cruiser and driving to Ellensburg. Early in her career Jean worked as a nurse in Washington, New York, District of Colombia, Virginia and Florida before taking a position at San Francisco General Hospital. About ten years later she accepted a position at the Veteran's Hospital in Palo Alto, where she worked for many years until her retirement over 30 years ago. Jean knew there was more to healing than medicine. She was known for bringing her dog to work, feeding the feral cats, baking delicious treats, and playing games with patients during quiet times. Jean was an avid bridge player and bowler who looked forward to seeing her friends every week. She was a dedicated letter writer who nurtured long distance friendships. Her sometimes gruff exterior belied a thoughtful, helpful person who noticed and cared for others, swept their driveways, watched their houses and pets, and generally kept track of comings and goings. We called her “the Mayor.” Jean was a fixture in the neighborhood walking her big, gentle dogs and talking with folks she met along the way. Close neighbors and friends benefited from her baked treats and knitted gifts. Most of all, we enjoyed her generous heart, sharp wit, quick one-liners and sweatshirts bearing snappy (sometimes irreverent) messages and cartoons. She especially enjoyed celebrating her unique New Year’s Day birthday. Jean used her life to care for others. She was dedicated, strong, humble and generous. She was funny and fun, refusing to take herself or anything else too seriously. She loved animals. Although Jean would probably brush off the thought, she made the world a better place.

Tags: veteran

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Memorial service
Friends are invited to celebrate Jean’s life on Sunday, February 23, 2:00pm-5:00pm, at 379 Hedge Road, Menlo Park. For more information, call Maureen or Mike Clark at 650.325.5081.
Make a donation
Donations in Jean’s name may be made to the Salvation Army or your favorite pet rescue.

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