Martha Virginia (Prindle) Goetz, 77, died Sunday at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville after a brief illness.
Martha was born in Island, Ky., in 1940 to Jacob Charlie Prindle and Mary Stiff Prindle. She was one of seven children. Martha’s father worked in coal mines and a distillery to care for their family, and her mother grew vegetables in the garden. She graduated from Daviess County High School in 1958, the Owensboro School for Practical Nursing in 1963 and the post graduate nursing program at Baylor University in 1964. She married the love of her life, William E. Goetz, in 1973. They celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary this summer. They have two children, Kristina and Ryan.
Martha worked as a nurse for 40 years in a profession she loved, caring for the sick and dying, often the most vulnerable in the community. But the jobs she loved most of all were being “Mom” and “Mimi.” There have never been grandchildren more loved than hers. Martha was a mother to many others, too. She loved more fiercely than anyone we’ve ever known. If she loved you, you never doubted it because she had a special way of helping people realize their own gifts and to make them feel like they belonged.
Martha loved black licorice and tolerated with rolled eyes the cherry pie story our family told for 20 years at her expense. She never left the house without full makeup, her signature red lipstick and Giorgio perfume. Manners were a must, and she would not abide a lie.
Martha gave the best gifts, and no one could outdo her legendary status at Christmas, not even Santa. She had a beautiful singing voice and once sang ‘Oh, Holy Night’ on the radio when she was 16. She was a tremendous cook who made the best green beans and hash brown casserole anyone ever tasted. If you were away from your own family at the holidays and found yourself at our table, she rustled up a recipe for your favorite dish, too, just so you’d feel at home. She was a voracious reader and could devour a two-inch thick mystery novel in an afternoon. Her laugh was loud and distinct, and she loved to do it.
Martha was proud to tell people she became a Catholic when she was 21 years old. She was married at St. Stephen Cathedral and was a member there when she died. She was dedicated to Right to Life of Owensboro and cherished the time she spent in devotion to the Blessed Sacrament at the Carmel Home.
Anything good we’ve ever done or been was because of her. We’ve lost our anchor, but we’re not unmoored. The love she gave us will always be our safe harbor and our home.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters Dorothy Fulkerson and Betty Anderson; and her brother James Prindle. She is survived by her husband Bill Goetz; her son Ryan Goetz (Tabitha); her daughter, Kristina Goetz (Michael Rabkin); four grandchildren, Krysten, Emilee, William and Jacob; her sisters Charlotte Rafferty (Everett); Marilyn Rishel (Ted); and Jane Young; as well as many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday with prayers at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at noon Thursday at St. Stephen Cathedral. Entombment with be at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials may be made in Martha’s honor to Right to Life of Owensboro or to the Carmel Home.