In Loving Memory

In Loving Memory

A colleague reflects on the loss of an elegant educator, mother and friend.
By Linda Distad '71; photo by Rebecca Zenefski ’10

SUSAN JANET GOETZ, MY DEAR FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, was a faculty member in the Education Department at St. Kate’s for the past 15 years. She was a tenured, full professor — the highest designation for a University faculty member.

Susan authored two textbooks about girls in science. She was a Fulbright Scholar who studied in Africa and subsequently led student groups to Namibia and South Africa. Susan was the original program director for our online master of arts in education program and later for the initial licensure programs. She was a former principal and K–12 science teacher. She was a researcher who loved wolves and frogs.

And she was pretty. But you all know that.

Susan had a wonderful sense of humor and an infectious laugh. Once she got going, she shook from head to toe. She was a physical fitness nut, one of the original members of the Corps de Catherine running group on campus. She exercised regularly, ran marathons (often with her daughters) and was conscientious about what she ate.

Her most prized accomplishments were her five children — Laura, Rebecca, Andrea, Brian and John — and her five grandchildren. And her husband, Jay. Susan loved their time at the cabin up north, their home improvement projects and their travels together. She was proud that he is a volunteer fire fighter. She talked about chaotic, noisy, family-filled holidays, about summers with the grandchildren, book exchanges with her daughters. She loved having sons and a daughter who are teachers!

Here’s what I didn’t know about Susan until this past year: She was a warrior, a valiant, courageous, elegant, pragmatic, beautiful warrior. She amazed everyone with her determined, positive approach to her diagnosis. As a scientist, she clearly understood the data.

Susan Goetz, who died at 68, exemplified all that St. Kate’s represents — women leading and influencing, in ways big and small, noisy and quiet, professional and personal. We will miss her deeply, and are so grateful to have known her.

Editor's Note: Susan Goetz died on March 18. She was conferred professor emerita status posthumously at St. Kate's Graduate College Commencement on May 23.

Thanks and Farewell

This spring harked the retirement of 10 faculty members and nine staff at St. Catherine — with a collective 432 years of service. Traveling or spending more time with family will now top the list for most of the retirees.

  • Allys Swanson, professor emerita of exercise and sport science; 46 years “I will miss the spirit of St. Kate’s.”

  • Jacqueline O’Hara, CSJ, ’55, professor emerita of French; 41 years of service “I’m not really leaving, as I live over at Carondelet Village.”

  • James Ashley, professor emeritus of economics; 30 years (Learning a foreign language is on his to-do list)

  • Linda Distad ’71, professor emerita of education; 29 years “St. Kate’s has been a wonderful place to grow as a professional.”

  • Jim Newsome, associate professor of library and information science; 26 years (His new hobby: photography)

  • Martha Hardesty, professor emerita of MAOL; 24 years “I’ll miss the beauty of campus.”

  • Sheryl Buchholz, professional faculty member, ASL and Interpreting; 22 years “I really enjoyed being part of an excellent University.”

  • Helen Howell, assistant professor of education; 17 years “I will volunteer in my community.”

  • Roberta Hunt ’79, professor emerita of nursing; 15 years “I plan to join a book club.”

  • Hilda Kachmar, assistant professor of Spanish; 9 years (Genealogical research is on her to-do list)

>> SEE the full list of retirees at

Executive Editor
Amy Gage

Managing Editor
Pauline Oo MAOL Cert’14

Senior Writer
Andy Steiner

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Jessica Gallo Design

Alumnae Section Editor
Sara Berhow

Sharon Parker

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