Michael Donald Goetz — a respected police brother to hundreds, a mentor to many, and a friend to all — died Sunday, May 23, 2021, surrounded by his family.
Michael was born Oct. 17, 1950, in Moscow and grew up on the family farm in Viola, which was homestead in 1879. Michael enjoyed hunting and fishing trips with his father, Donald Goetz, and brother Daniel Goetz, who both preceded him in passing.
He attended Moscow schools and excelled in football. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and spent time serving with the 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines in Vietnam. He attained the rank of sergeant. While still 19 years old, he was honorably discharged in 1971. He attended Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston and obtained an associate degree in criminal justice. Shortly after, Michael joined the Latah County Sheriff’s Department in 1973 and was elected and served as sheriff for two terms in 1976 and 1980. In 1981, he joined the Tacoma (Washington) Police Department where he served in vice, narcotics, special investigations and the SWAT team. He retired in 2005 after 24 years with the department. Once retired, he continued to serve the community of Tacoma, teaching drivers training at the 911 Driving School for five years. In 2011, Michael returned to the family farm in Viola.
Michael is survived by his daughters, Rachel Goetz, Kellie Standing Warrior (Goetz) and Kendra Goetz; son Beau Goetz; and granddaughters Amber, Ashlie, Cassidy and Sydney. Michael will be remembered for his teasing jokes, his entertaining stories, and his devotion to protect and serve both his country and his community.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate Michael’s life at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 8, 2021 at Short’s Funeral Chapel, with a celebration of life following at the Viola Community Center. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Viola Community Center, American Legion Post 6, Moscow, or Cure P.S.P.