Obituary | John "Jack" W. Goebel

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Obituary | John “Jack” W. Goebel

Head shot of John Goebel
John "Jack" Goebel

John “Jack” W. Goebel, 87, a 43-year University of Nebraska–Lincoln professor and administrator, died July 16.

Goebel was born Aug. 28, 1930, in Bloomfield, Nebraska. He grew up in communities around the United States, including Poughkeepsie, New York; Hartford, Connecticut; Washington, D.C.; Kerrville, Texas; and Sioux City, Iowa. He served in the Army at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.

He received a Juris Doctorate in 1954 from Creighton University and a Master of Arts in accounting in 1968 from the University of Nebraska. He became a member of the Nebraska and Iowa bar associations in 1954. He was also a member of the American Bar Association.

Goebel began his teaching career at NU in 1959, attaining the rank of professor of accounting and business law in 1976. He assumed duties as chair of accounting in February 1977 after serving one year as acting director of the Department of Management. He also served as director of the College of Business’ Executive MBA Program and coordinator of the business law area.

In administrative roles, Goebel served primarily as vice chancellor for business and finance from 1981 to 1990 and 1993 to 1995. He was also associate chancellor in 1990-91; interim chancellor from 1991-92; dean of the College of Business Administration from 1995-98; and vice president for business and finance for the University of Nebraska system from 1998-99.

Campus projects Goebel provided leadership on include construction of Cook Pavilion, Sapp Recreation Facility and the Lied Center for Performing Arts. He also helped guide additions to the old College of Business Administration Building (now Louise Pound Hall) and Nebraska Union, as well as renovations to Campus Recreation and Memorial Stadium.

"I would say that, when I look back at all the different roles Jack played, beginning in the classroom, he had this kind of versatility that is totally unique," said Kim Phelps, associate vice chancellor for business and finance who worked with and was hired by Goebel. "He really could relate to anybody and be comfortable in a room, be it filled with undergraduates or legislators."

For his dedicated and exceptional service to the university, Goebel received the Louise Pound-George Howard Distinguished Career Service Award in 2002. The honor is the university’s highest for individuals who, during their Nebraska career, have made an exceptional contribution to the institution through teaching, research, public service, administration, or a combination of these factors.

“I will simply state at the outset that I truly believe that Jack Goebel best meets the combination of a distinguished career in teaching, public service and administration more so than anyone in the entire history of the university,” wrote Fred Luthans, distinguished professor emeritus of management, wrote in the Pound-George award nomination for Goebel. “I would back this statement by asking who else in the history of UNL has been chair of two different departments, dean of a major college, vice chancellor, associate chancellor and chancellor.”

Goebel’s research interests included strict liability, the social audit, legal liability of the accountant, and accounting issues in academic management. He was active in Nebraska’s Faculty Senate, serving on the executive committee. He also was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Beta Alpha Psi honorary organizations.

He was an avid skier, fisherman and enjoyed traveling.

Goebel is survived by his wife of 65 years, Noreen; children, Curt and Michelle Goebel of Columbus, Nebraska; Mary Kay and Bob Lundholm of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Beth and Garry Jones of Fort Worth, Texas; John Goebel and Debra Hererra of Tucson, Arizona; and Norah Goebel of Overland Park, Kansas; brother, Jim and Mary Goebel of Sioux City, Iowa; sister, Patricia C. Goebel of Omaha; 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Rosary service is 7 p.m. July 18 at St. Michaels Catholic Church, 9101 S. 78th St., Lincoln. Services are 9:30 a.m. July 19 at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ Catholic Church, 3500 Sheridan Boulevard.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to the People’s City Mission or St. Michael’s School scholarship fund.

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