Walter T. Goeke, 81, Brownstown, former Lancaster City police chief, avid outdoorsman

By on August 19, 2015

Chief Walter T. Goeke (ret.), 81, of Brownstown, passed away Aug. 13, 2015, in The Reading Hospital and Medical Center.

His wife, Marie A. (Meyer) Goeke, survives. They were married 57 years on June 21. Born in Lancaster, he was the son of the late George B. and Anna R. (Jackson) Goeke.

Walter was a graduate of J.P. McCaskey High School, Lancaster, Class of 1952. He also attended classes at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster. After working at Hamilton Watch and RCA, he joined the Lancaster City Police Force in 1956 and served for 38 years retiring in 1994. During much of his career, he worked in the detective division. In 1962, he was promoted to detective lieutenant. He was promoted to captain of detectives in 1973 and also served as patrol captain starting in 1980. Walter ascended to the rank of chief of police and served in that position from 1986 to 1994.

During his career, he attended many schools and seminars. Some highlights include that he attended the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville in Kentucky in 1970 and the FBI National Academy’s 89th session in 1972. During his tenure with the police, he received a number of awards, including being named police officer of the year in 1960. While a member of the department’s pistol team, he served as its captain and received a number of awards for marksmanship.

Throughout his life Walter had been involved in many organizations. He had been a member of FOP Red Rose Lodge 16 and had served as its treasurer for 14 years. Some of his other memberships included the Lancaster County Chiefs of Police Association and several other chiefs of police associations; board of directors of the Lancaster County Chapter of the American Red Cross; advisory board to the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General; Lancaster Elks Lodge #134; Slumbering Groundhog Lodge; Strasburg Sportsman’s Club; and the Royal Order of Rabbits. In his capacity with the Lancaster City Police Department, he had been involved in many other advisory positions and organizations.

Walter had a zest for life and loved spending time with family and friends. He was particularly proud of his grandchildren. As an avid outdoorsman, he had enjoyed hunting, fishing, and boating. He also like to bowl and golf and had a great love of animals. Anyone who knew Walter knew that he loved to tell stories and was always up for a good laugh.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children: Linda G., wife of John Bradley Hoy, Douglassville; Carol A., wife of Craig A. McClenaghan, Brownstown; and Theodore W., husband of Lisa (Kulp) Goeke, Akron. Other survivors include four grandchildren: Grace and Sarah McClenaghan; Erin Hoy; and Grant Goeke. A brother: Jackson B. Goeke, husband of Debra Goeke, Mount Joy; a sister-in-law: Doris Goeke, Lebanon; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sister: Evelyn Richwine, and her husband Paul; his brothers: F. Richard Goeke and Ronald Goeke; and his brother-in-law: Charles E. Meyer.

Services were held Aug. 18 at Charles Snyder Funeral Home, Lititz, with Pastor Mark Thiboldeaux officiating.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to either the American Red Cross, 430 W. Orange St., Lancaster, PA 17603 or the American Heart Association, 610 Community Way, Lancaster, PA 17603.

To place a condolence online, visit Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home and Crematory, Lititz, handled the arrangements.

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