Gary Goeschel Obituary

Gary Arthur Goeschel
Gary Arthur Goeschel

October 21, 1942 - December 14, 2020
Born in Detroit, Michigan
Resided in Franklin, Connecticut


Gary A. Goeschel, 78, of Franklin, CT, passed away on December 14, 2020 after a brief illness.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at the State Veterans Cemetery located at 317 Bow Lane, Middletown, CT 06457.

Gary was born in Detroit, MI on Oct 21, 1942. He graduated from L'Anse Creuse High School, both a football player and wrestler, then left Detroit to begin a Naval career that spanned 20 years, the Cuban crisis, and the Cold War. Somewhat unique, he served on both surface ships — including an Antarctic expedition — and submarines. He always said the most rewarding sea-duty post of his naval career was being appointed Chief of the Boat (COB) for the USS Billfish (SSN 676). He was incredibly proud to have been a submariner and to have learned from such experienced leaders over his career and serve with so many dedicated individuals. He became a member of the Holland Club having achieved 50 years of submarine qualification and was a member of the SubVets Club of Groton.

After his Navy retirement, Gary continued to support the Navy for over 30 years. As an Advanced Engineer/Scientist 1-Systems, Gary provided engineering support for programs that included Trident, Seawolf, and Virginia Class submarines, as well as the Littoral Combat Ship and the Joint High-Seed Vehicle. During those 30 years, Gary also slowly, diligently, and in his spare time, pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Math and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University in 1999.

Gary was known for his love of the Navy. The “sea stories” he told not only highlighted the responsibilities and danger he faced, but also his unerring sense of duty, and the many amusing scenarios in which a young sailor could find himself. He eventually chose to write these stories down and share them with a broader audience. His early navy memoir, "It’s Your Duty, 'This Ain’t No Shit'”, was proudly published in early 2020. In it, he shares the stories that didn’t make it into letters home. He put voice to the young sailor’s experience; a viewpoint not often found in military history books.

An avid woodworker, carpenter, and lover of architecture, Gary designed, built, and renovated several of the family’s homes and for years ran a contracting business on the side, honing his skills and bringing to life people’s visions. One of his favorite ways to spend time was in his workshop teaching his grandchildren how to use wood working tools to create things both practical and fun that would last for years to come.

On June 4, 1967, Gary married Janet and was blessed to spend 53 years with her.

Gary is survived by his beloved wife, Janet (Vaughan); his daughter, Debra Goeschel, and her spouse Mike Emler; daughter Lori King and granddaughter, Madeline King; son Gary Goeschel II and his wife Lori (Genova) and their three children, twins Anthony and Thomas, and daughter, Elizabeth; his brother, James Willis; niece Tracy (Goeschel) Chamberland and her spouse, Tony; Uncle, Calvin Goeschel; and myriad cousins, aunts, and uncles.

Gary is preceded in death by father, Norman Goeschel; brother Richard Goeschel who passed in August of 2020; aunt, Lorna Goeschel; and his mother, Shirley Goeschel Willis.

Whatever Gary faced, whether slicing through vast seas and plowing through storms to striving to provide the best opportunities for his children, he looked at it all as simply his duty. He was honored to live and love as he did. His family and friends wish him “Fair winds and following seas.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation ( ) which helps financially support high school or college children/stepchildren and spouses of members or former members of the submarine force seeking an Associate's or Baccalaureate degree or those working toward vocational/technical certification.





Graveside Service
Connecticut State Veteran Cemetery
Bow Lane
Middletown, CT US 06457
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
2:00 PM

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