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1949 Deborah 2024

Deborah J. Goethals

October 17, 1949 — February 4, 2024

In loving memory of Deborah J. Goethals, 74, of Reading, Kansas, who passed away Sunday, February 4, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio, after recently moving to Ohio to be near her only child.

Deborah was born on October 17, 1949, in Emporia to Frederick and Millicent (Murphy) Arndt.

She spent her formative years in Olpe/Madison and proudly graduated from Madison High School. It was fate that led her to James Goethals, whom she met at a pool in Emporia, and together they embarked on a journey of love, recently culminating in 50 years of cherished marriage.

Residing primarily in Kansas, and the Springfield, Missouri area, Deborah and James shared a beautiful life together, having one daughter, Trina.

Deborah's spirit was a unique blend of sass, independence, sensitivity, and endless generosity. Her selfless nature knew no bounds, as she freely gave anything to anyone, including of herself, without expectation of anything in return.

A devout Catholic, who spent most of her working years supervising housekeeping at Second Baptist Church, she relied heavily on her faith to guide her through life.

St. Pio, a Saint she often turned to during trying times was someone from whom she sought guidance. When told not to worry, because that is what St. Pio would say, she quipped back, “Of course Saint Pio is not going to be worried, he is already in heaven.”

Like her brothers and sisters, she had the signature Arndt wit and work ethic. She loved quips and banter, which stood out when watching her with her siblings who had their own quick language, for which you could only hope to keep up. She worked hard every day, not knowing the meaning of a sick day, until she was able to enjoy retirement at the age of 62. Retirement brought her well-deserved moments of relaxation, long walks in the neighborhood, travels with Jim, and drinking Jeremy's pineapple cocktails; memories that will forever be cherished.

True to her nature, Deborah lived life on her own terms until her final breath, epitomizing the spirit of her favorite song, Elvis's iconic song, "I Did It My Way." She leaves behind a legacy of being a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend, including much love, laughter, and unwavering determination.

Deborah is reunited in heaven with her parents, Frederick and Millicent Arndt, her brothers Michael, Bradley, Frederick, and Rodger Arndt, and her faithful canine companion, Lovey. She is survived by her devoted husband, James Goethals, her beloved daughter Trina Goethals (Jeremy Heck), her brother Myles Arndt (Janell), sisters Kjestine Crook (Jim), Francene Mitchell (Danny), Nikula Smith (Don), Alberta Cato, numerous loving nieces and nephews, and her cherished dog Zoey, now under Trina's care.

The family would like to thank the Sanctuary at Tuttle Crossing, and Capital City Hospice for their care and compassion.

A celebration of Deborah's remarkable life will be held later this year in Kansas, where family and loved ones will gather to honor her memory and legacy.


To send flowers to the family in memory of Deborah J. Goethals, please visit our flower store.


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