Elizabeth “Moe” (Morey) Goetz, Ph.D.

Elizabeth “Moe” (Morey) Goetz, Ph.D., passed away peacefully on November 2, 2012 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas, where she recently had been admitted after fracturing her hip in a fall. She was 85 years old.

Born in Mansfield, Ohio on August 1, 1927, Moe’s father was a physician, and her mother was a nurse. Her brother preceded her in death. Shortly after graduating from Grinnell College in 1950, Moe worked for a law firm in Chicago, Illinois, where she met her husband, Raymond Goetz. In 1967, Ray and Moe moved to Lawrence when Ray was hired as a professor at the KU School of Law.

After her youngest child reached school age, Moe earned two degrees from KU: a Master’s degree with honors in Child Development in 1970 and a Ph.D. in Developmental and Child Psychology in 1977. She had a distinguished academic career in KU’s Department of Child Development, becoming an Assistant Professor in 1974, Associate Professor in 1978 and Professor in 1985. She served as the Director of the Edna A. Hill Child Development Laboratory from 1978 to 1987. She authored scores of publications, primarily on creativity in children and preschool literacy, and edited two books on early childhood education. She became Professor Emerita in 1992.

Ray and Moe were well known in the Lawrence community for their support of the arts and wonderful hospitality, often opening their art-filled home to students, faculty and friends for parties and events.

Moe is survived by two daughters, Sibyl Wescoe (David) of La Jolla, California and Victoria Goetz (Ted Coffey) of Lawrence; three sons, Thomas Goetz of Lawrence, Steven Goetz of Portland, Oregon and Morey Goetz (Lisa Hess) of Austin, Texas; and six grandchildren, Maxwell, Benjamin, Zachary and Zoe Wescoe, and Scott and Kelly Goetz. Raymond, Moe’s husband of 49 years, died in 2000. Their son, Ray, died in 2001.

All services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Moe’s name to the Douglas County Visiting Nurses, sent in care of the funeral home, P.O. Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Messages & Condolences

From abner berzon...

my deepest condolences to the Goetz family.
My very fond memories of Moe Goetz leaves me sad, after all these years.


From Sarah Jane Russell...

Dear Moe,

This letter of thanks is long over-due. Yes, I know I thanked you personally many times for your support through the years but there is something about the written word. There were so many days during my grad school days that I leaned on you for affirmation that “this” was all worth it and I would understand the value as I aged. I loved those days, Moe. I also loved the early (very) mornings we would greet each on at the grocery store (Dillons on Mass). You understood I was making the trip each morning as a ritual to begin my day – and you we as well. The smile and “HELLO SARAH JANE” was magnificent and again, you affirmed my day. The day you acknowledged my accomplishments in the community I sat in my car and cried. All happy tears, Moe…all happy. Now you are at peace and your life is being affirmed in many, many ways. There is no last sentence, Moe. Just a magnificent “hello”. Love, Sarah Jane

From Don Rorabaugh...

Dear Goetz Family
Being a close childhood friend of Morey, the youngest of the Goetz children, I spent numberous hours at the Goetz residence. His mother, Moe, was always kind, considerant and generous. She made sure we were safe and happy at all times. I have fond memories of that time of my life. May she rest in peace.

From Matt Price...

Dear Tom,

I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and your family, and I send you my heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your mother.

Matt Price
Houston, Texas

From Brenda Kirk...

I learned so much from Moe, the sweetest dearest woman I have ever know. Vicki, Tom and Sybil, thank you for sharing her with me. I was blessed to be a part of the last year and a half of her life and I will carry her in my heart always.

From Gary Smith & Janet Cinelli...

Our thoughts are with you all. To read the obit, to be reminded of the art and hospitality and Moe’s personality therein, was to conjure up many memories in many people’s mind’s eyes, and a few fugitive tears…

From Margie and George Coggins...

Goetz Family,
I feel so lucky to have known your mom – when I first met her in the 1970’s, she was such a positive force for many of us as young moms and women with careers. I loved introducing her to my book club in her later years and they loved knowing her.

We will be thinking of all of you as you celebrate her life.
Margie Coggins

From Zoe...

I love you moe. I will miss you

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