Dr. John Stewart Goetcheus died on November 19, 2011 at the age of 73 in Boca Grande, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
He grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and graduated from Fairmount High School as valedictorian of his class. An Eagle Scout, he earned the God and Country Award. He attended DePauw University where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.
Knowing he wanted to be a physician, he was a chemistry major and upon graduation attended Western Reserve School of Medicine and stayed at University Hospitals of Cleveland for his internship and first year of surgical residency before being called for military duty. As a captain in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Goetcheus served as chief of Air Force Clinics at Edward AFB in California.
He completed his orthopaedic residency at Yale University and in 1970 John and a partner recognized the need for specialty medical care in the Shoreline area of Connecticut. They constructed the Wildwood Medical Center in Essex, Conn. and attracted specialty practices to serve the area and practice at Middlesex Memorial Hospital.
The admissions from the Shoreline area became a major factor in the continuing success of Middlesex Hospital. John remained in private practice and on the clinical faculty at Yale until his retirement in 2000.In Essex, John served on the Regional School Board, was a founder of the Connecticut River Museum, a member of the Rotary, and enjoyed sailing his yawl on Long Island Sound.
Professionally, he was a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and was active in the Eastern Orthopaedic Association serving on the board of directors in different capacities, including six years as treasurer.
After returning to Boca Grande, he and his wife, Jan, continued their active lives in the community. John served as the chair of the Development Committee charged with raising money and building the new Boca Grande United Methodist Church and was treasurer for five years while on the board of directors of the Friends of the Boca Grande Community Center.
Music was always a passion in his life. In high school John played the French horn, at DePauw he studied voice and sang with the “Collegians,” and he sang in church choirs in Essex and Boca Grande, performed in theatrical productions and was a member of the “Barbershop Chorus.”
John is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jan; his children, Amy Kamb and her husband, John, of Woodstock, Vt., Greg and his wife, Alexis, of Atlanta; grandchildren, Elizabeth and Jack Kamb and his sister, Mary Ann Goetcheus, of Dayton, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to DePauw University, 300 Seminary St., Greencastle IN 46135, or the Friends of Boca Grande Community Center.A musical celebration of his life is planned for a later date.
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