William R. Goff died on Monday, April 10, 2023, at Westridge Specialty Care in Knoxville, Iowa. A private graveside service, for family only, will be held at Graceland Cemetery at a later date. Memorials may be given to Knoxville Rotary Club and Knoxville Heritage Foundation.
Bill was born on January 21, 1931, in Chariton, Iowa, the son of S.B. Goff and Myrtle Ellen Garrett Goff. His family lived in Dallas, Iowa. Bill attended Knoxville Public Schools and graduated in 1948. Following graduation, he enrolled at Simpson College and graduated with a B.A. degree in 1952. Music was always a part of Bill’s life, playing with the Everett Hayes dance band in high school and the Simpson College band and choir while at Simpson.
On December 23, 1951, he married his high school sweetheart, Mary Margaret Osborn during his senior year in college. They had two children, Steven and Tracy. Bill was very proud of his children, Steven an attorney and Tracy a teacher. Immediately following college, Bill served two years in the Army during the Korean conflict, where he was a member of the 10th Division Band. Bill returned in 1954 and joined his father and his father’s business partner, J.V. Nash, in business as a NAPA jobber. In 1965, he and his brother Tom purchased the business and expanded it to include four NAPA Auto Parts stores, Knoxville, Albia, Chariton, and Carlisle.
Bill was always civic minded and served as president of the Knoxville School Board and president of the Knoxville Industrial Board. He particularly enjoyed his longtime membership in the Knoxville Rotary Club and his work for the Rotary Student Exchange Program, serving as District 600 chairman for 20 years. Bill served as president of the club and was a Paul Harris Fellow. Bill was a faithful member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines.
Bill loved fishing in Canada, starting in 1945 with his father and continuing for 65 years. He loved to fish with his son and good friends, Graham, Dave and Marv.
Bill and Mary loved to travel and visited Europe on three occasions, which included the Scandinavian countries. He and Mary also traveled to New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii and Mexico at various times. Many of these trips included visits with former Rotary exchange students. Bill retired in 1991 and moved to Des Moines in 1996. He and Mary spent their winters at their home in Florida.
Those left to cherish his memory include his children, Steven Goff and his wife, Betsy, of River Falls, Wisconsin, and Tracy Coon and her husband, Stephen, of Knoxville, Iowa; grandchildren, Meghan Lindberg and her husband, Ryan, of St. Paul, Minnesota, Eleanor Stratton and her husband, Gerad, of River Falls, Wisconsin, Craig Coon of Norwalk, Iowa, and Meredith Coon of Des Moines, Iowa; also great grandchildren, Lenore Stratton and Michael Stratton.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents, S.B. Goff and Myrtle Goff; his wife of 69 years, Mary Goff; brother, Tom Goff; and one sister, who died in infancy.