William “Bill” Donald Goeken

William “Bill” Donald Goeken

March 13, 1954 – June 9, 2022

Bill was born in Omaha, NE to Benedict and Mirella (Zimmerer) Goeken, both of whom have since passed away. Bill is survived by his sisters, Carla Petrick-Martindale (Rick Martindale), Catherine Davis (Donald Davis), Linda Kanger (Lawrence Kanger) and Laura Hawkins (Kenneth Hawkins); brother, Brian Goeken (Cindy Goeken); several nieces, nephews, and numerous cousins.  Also survived by his longtime friend of 22 years, Dottie Braniff, her son John, and granddaughter, Claire. Bill and Dottie shared many adventures, and as Dottie says, “we always had each other’s back”.

Bill attended Our Lady of Lourdes grade school and graduated from Omaha South High School. He started working during high school and never stopped! He had numerous jobs with a wide variety of interests. His father, Ben, had a significant influence on his ability ‘to fix anything’. Bill could make it work, even if he had to improvise.  “Tinkerer” might be the word to describe Bill. He was that expert, pro, and specialist of many professions. Yes, a jack-of-all trades. He was a man of many diverse talents holding positions for companies all across the United States.

We all know that Bill had a passion for flying. He attained his PILOT license, and his treasured CESSNA while spending hours with his buddies at the South Omaha Airport.  He loved his nickname, “Sky King” that stayed with him the rest of his life.

Another one of his many interests besides the treasured airplane were his “classic’ cars. Who remembers his 1966 Chevelle SS, a 1971 Corvette, the Opal Manta, 1970 Dodge Challenger, 1969 Chevy Nova, a Pontiac Trans Am, the 1978 Ford Bronco, and even a 1957 Golden Hawk Studebaker?

Omaha may have been home base for Bill, but there were many other stops through his truck driving years to satisfy his desire to travel over the road. While he lived in Las Vegas surely Bill thought it just made sense to be a Keno dealer and Keno Room Manager at the Casinos. During his time living in Los Angeles, Bill worked at a TV Cable Station in charge of the Programming for the graveyard shift. When Bill moved to Maurice, Louisiana, he worked for Aero Service Inc.  At Areo he utilized his Commercial Pilot license and flew Charters.  And just for kicks he worked in the Gulf on an Oil Rig! Then came the use of his CDL license working for Werner Enterprises. Long road trips and lots of miles kept him busy. He even hauled BMWs for a New York Transport Company. Employment with W.S. Bunch Corporation of Omaha took him to many locations with their industrial coating process, sandblasting all types of structures from small water towers to bridges. Most recently he served as their Safety Director. As you can tell by this history, we are sharing here that he loved adventure. But he also liked “work.”  His neighbors, ‘South O’ neighbors’, would tell you he would do anything for them. Help with repairs, fix a problem, or whatever and whenever he was needed. He certainly was kind and helpful to everyone he encountered.

Most of us knew Bill as a man of few words. Bill may not have said it; but he deeply loved his family and friends, which he showed through his thoughtfulness.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Friday, June 24th with VISITATION from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by Prayer Service/Time for Sharing at 7pm.

To view a live broadcast of the Services, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.



  • Rejean and Paul Jaksich Posted June 19, 2022 7:18 am

    Carla, and the entire Goeken Family, So deeply sorry for your loss. We remember Bill , yes as a man of few words, but He always had smile and a nod when he greeted us. What a beautifully written tribute sharing his life.
    Love, Paul and Rejean

  • David and Sally Seymour Posted June 19, 2022 8:19 am

    We are so sorry for the loss of Bill. The Angels have taken Him home, so Ben can be together and tinker and h Mirella will be baking some goodies for them. I can remember the many times we visited when we were kids and the many Christmases we spent together. Bless Him and all of You. Our very best Dave Sally and family

  • Shirley Thiem Posted June 19, 2022 10:16 am

    To my cousins: Carla, Cathy, Brian Linda, and Laura, and all the family. My heart feels for you all, my prayers are with you all and hope the Lord can get you through this with all His blessings.

  • Don and Lottie Adams Posted June 20, 2022 6:05 am

    We didn’t know Bill personally but Brian would tell us girls at work about him at times. He lived a very rich and exciting life, even though it was cut short.
    May Gods blessings and our deepest condolences to all his families and friends be a comfort.

  • Jim & Ginny McElwain Posted June 24, 2022 9:11 am

    Thinking and praying for family and friends, especially today as you celebrate Bill’s life. Sounds like he was a good man with many talents.

  • Curtis Thessen Posted July 19, 2022 1:54 pm

    Sorry to hear about Bill passing. We worked together at Wolf’s Aero Services in the early 80s. I liked worked working with him. May God rest his soul and may His perpetual light shine upon him.

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