Mary Elizabeth Goff
May 2, 1950 – August 2, 2018
Mary Elizabeth Goff, 68, of Bryan passed away on Thursday, August 2, 2018, at Matlock Place Health & Rehabilitation with family by her side. Family will receive guests during the visitation on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 from 10 to 11 A.M. at Hillier Funeral Home of Bryan. A celebration of life will be at 11 A.M. at Hillier Funeral Home, 2301 E. 29th Street. Interment will follow in Memorial Cemetery of College Station.
Mary was born on May 2, 1950, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Robert and Estelle (Sheppard) Swanton. She was the first of three other siblings, that would look up to her and that she would remain very close to, throughout her entire life. She held a successful 33 year teaching career, of which, 27 of those years was devoted to teaching First Grade for the Bryan Independent School District. She inspired many students and other fellow teachers’ lives that she came across. She retired from Fannin Elementary School in 2007.
Highlights of Mary’s career include, “Teacher of the Year” award for the 2006-2007 school year, and prior to that her classroom was chosen to be visited by then Texas Governor, George W. Bush. Everyone that Mary came in contact with could see how passionate she was about her teaching and how much she wanted to share Christ’s love with others. She was a very active member at College Station Baptist Church, where she continued to teach. Mary taught Sunday school and later led their Children’s Chapel, and any year she could participate in Vacation Bible School, she helped teach there as well.
Mary achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University in 1973 and several teaching certificates in the states of Michigan, Louisiana, and finally Texas where she spent most of her career. Mary was also a Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society member from Eastern Michigan University. Prior to this she graduated from Archbishop Chappelle High School in Metairie, Louisiana.
Aside from her teaching career, and time spent being active with church, Mary was heavily involved with her family. She was married in 1969 and later gave birth to two children. Being an educator, Mary had every summer off and would spend time with her children as much as she could. This ranged from taking them to swimming lessons, summer camp, to getting ice cream or snow cones, along with numerous other activities. She not only was active with the family she was raising, but also made time to continue to go back home to visit her mother, siblings and other relatives, she grew up with as a child, in the New Orleans Area. Her involvement with family continued even more when she first became a grandmother in 2001, and increased with every “new” grandchild, thereafter. Mary was the epitome of a fantastic grandmother.
Even though spending time with her family (near and far away) was one of her most favorite past times, she also enjoyed reading, watching movies, listen to music, and watching TV. Friday and Saturday nights were her big TV time, in the era of the “prime time soap operas” such as ‘Dallas’, ‘Falcon Crest’, ‘Knots Landing’, and ‘Dynasty’. Mary didn’t like to watch sports on TV, but did enjoy playing volleyball and going swimming, especially when it involved her kids. She was a very active person, as was always moving around doing something. Either cleaning her house, running errands, going shopping, helping out her family or others; she hardly ever sat still, and oddly enough was never into exercising. She was rarely seen laying around or sitting down. She even mowed her lawn before her son figured out she would pay him to do it!
Mary was a devout Christian and dedicated her life to basically three things, her Savior Jesus Christ, her family, and her career. She lived her life trying to serve God with her activity in her church, her family that she would do anything and everything for, and the countless hours she would spend in her classroom or at home preparing to do her best as an educator. Her love for teaching not only inspired both of her sisters to follow in her career path, but her daughter as well. She was a supportive, loving wife, a consistent, nurturing mother, a hard-working teacher, a caring and thoughtful sister, and a truly nice and helping friend to everyone that came into her life.
Sadly, Mary was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, and battled it courageously with her family by her side for over 10 years. It was a disease that she did not deserve, that robbed her of growing old gracefully, and took Mary from us far too soon.
She was preceded in death by her father, mother, Sister Ellen Kirchhoff, and her beloved husband of more than 39 years, Zane.
Survivors include son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Jennifer Goff; daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Victor Sauceda; grandchildren, Melody, Carter, Abby, and Estella; sister and brother-in-law; Betty and Bob Frechette, brother; Robert Swanton; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.