John David Goettelman passed away at the age of 79 on March 6, 2023 after a short illness. He was born to Ruth (Acker) and Royal Goettelman on December 27, 1943 in Sturgeon Bay. John was named after his great grandfather John Goettelmann who was a pioneer in the development of Sawyer Wisconsin, now known as the west side of Sturgeon Bay. After graduating high school in 1962 he joined the United States Air Force. His last year of military service was in Southeast Asia and he retired from the air force in 1970. John’s passion for golf was legendary. He won the junior JC golf championship at age 14. He also won the Cherryland Open, The Wisconsin State Senior Championship and the Idlewild Senior Championship. In 2018 he shot his age, 75 at Idlewild Golf Course. John had been a cancer survivor since 2013. In 1965 John married Peggy O’boyle and had one son named Christopher John Goettelman and later in 1978 John married Emily Murphy. He was proud to remain friends with both of them throughout the rest of his life. In 1991 John married Victoria Knipfer Mathias in Las Vegas, NV. He considered their marriage his biggest Vegas win. John loved helping Vicki raise her 3 children and grandchildren. Together John & Vicki owned and operated the Pudgy Seagull Restaurant in downtown Sturgeon Bay for 20 years. During the early years of the Pudgy, John raced stock cars with his pit crew and caterer, Vicki, by his side.
John is survived by his wife Vicki of 32 years and her children; Paul E. Mathias III (Pem); Jennifer Mathias Nellis and Kelly Mathias Boudwin (Mark) and his son Christopher. Eight grandchildren - Cooper; Reece; Kinsey; and Sydney Nellis, Jack & Max Boudwin; Ryan & Robyn Goettelman. Brother Dirk (Christine) Goettelman. Inlaws - Cynthia Knipfer Goettelman; Chris & Connie Larsen; Jim & Cathy Knipfer; Tom & Ellen Knipfer; Edie Norenberg; Paul Knipfer. Along with numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Ruth & Royal; brother Bill; and inlaws Dennis & Helen Knipfer. John had a unique and creative way of using the English language. He will be deeply missed.
At John’s request there will be no memorial service. The family wished to extend their heartfelt thank you to the staff of the Sturgeon Bay Health Services for their excellent care of John in the last few weeks of his life. Arrangements provided by Simply Cremations