He was born Aug. 6, 1949 in Flint to Virgil and Irene (Gaul) Goetzinger. On May 18, 1974 in Grand Rapids he married the love of his life and best friend, Mara Pastenieks.
Donald graduated from Alma High School and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Olivet College. Donald proudly served his country in the United States Army by volunteering for the draft in 1968. After attending basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky and Fort Polk, Louisiana, he was sent to the DMZ in South Korea for 14 months. He was a Life Member of the VFW, Post 1454 in Alma, Michigan and a member of The American Legion, Charles A. Conklin Post 28 in Grand Haven, Michigan.
Donald enjoyed all of the activities the four seasons of Michigan had to offer, including camping, hunting, fishing, skiing and the beautiful Lake Michigan beaches. He was an avid Michigan State fan, often attending football and basketball events with his family. Most of all, Donald enjoyed spending time with his family, who are rejoicing in being able to see so much of who he was live on through his four grandchildren who loved him deeply.
Donald will be remembered for his quiet strength and gentle spirit. He will be missed for his jokes, his hugs, his wise advice, and his calm presence.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Mara; two daughters, Jamie (Matt) Madden, and Kelly Goetzinger; four grandchildren: Molly, Melanie, Hadley, and Conor; mother, Irene Goetzinger; sisters, Diane (Jorge) Pena, Judy (Randy) Zamarron; brothers, Gary (Debbie) Goetzinger, Joseph (Linda) Goetzinger; sister-in-law, Monica Goetzinger; and countless family and friends that will miss him dearly. He was preceded in death by his father, Virgil Goetzinger; and brother, Al Goetzinger.
In keeping with his wishes, there will be a military burial at Fort Custer National Cemetery in the spring.
Memorial contributions in memory of Donald may be sent to Shriners Hospital for Children – Chicago, Development Office, 2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60707. Please sign the family’s online guestbook at www.sytsemafh.com.