Support Local Journalism

Ronald W. Goede April 3, 1934 - August 29, 2020 Ronald William Goede passed away peacefully at the age of 86, while under hospice care with his wife and family at home. We are heartbroken at losing him. Ron was born on April 3, 1934, in Columbus, Nebraska. His mother was from a German farming family in Hamilton County, Nebraska. His father, three uncles and grandfather were all German Lutheran ministers. The family spoke German and English at home. Ron's formative years instilled him with a love for language, wordplay, and nature; and his Lutheran upbringing endowed him with a moral philosophy and a deep respect for the rule of law. Ron must have been born to work with fisheries. At an early age he was raising aquarium fish and treating their diseases for himself and other people. He graduated from high school in Lincoln, then earned a B.Sc. from the University of Nebraska, majoring in Zoology and Botany. During this time, he served in the Air Force for nine years as an aircraft mechanic. This experience taught him a respect for preventive maintenance, which became part of his professional credo. In 1958, he was employed by the USFWS Office of River Basin Studies to conduct biological surveys on the Susitna River system in the territory of Alaska. Ron told of a time he became lost in a wilderness bog of cotton grass, which was nearly impossible to walk on. He resolved to focus on one small goal at a time and said this was the moment he chose to "take control of the trail!" In 1961, he earned a master's in Fisheries Biology from USU. His first job was at the Missouri Conservation Commission, where he eventually became the first hatchery biologist for the state, then Assistant Chief of Hatcheries. Eventually Ron built the first fish disease laboratory for Missouri. In 1966, Ron was recruited by the State of Utah as a Fish Pathologist/Nutritionist and director of the Experimental Hatchery in Logan, a job he did for 34 years. He was always grateful to his mentors in Missouri, who instilled in him concepts that would guide him to emphasize the health of the fisheries in Utah and the unification of methods for disease control. Ron taught fish disease as an adjunct at Utah State University for 12 years. He developed and published a system to quickly assess fish and watershed health, which he called the Fish Health Condition Profile (HCP). He worked with the Colorado River Wildlife Council to usher in the drainage or watershed concept of disease control. Later, the Great Lakes Commission, Eastern Seaboard states, and the Columbia River states followed suit. Ron served on the committee for 22 years. He saw his mission as one of stewardship of Utah's natural resources. When whirling disease appeared, Ron had an important political role in codifying a Fish Health Policy Board within the Utah Department of Agriculture, balancing the interests of stewardship and commodity. Ron was an active leader in the American Fisheries Society and received numerous awards from ofttimes disparate groups. He always said it was because of his family origins - intellectuals on his father's side and farmers on his mother's, coupled with his upbringing in an immigrant culture that allowed him to connect with different people. Ron enjoyed cooking, photography, books, and music. In 1979, he enlisted friends and founded the Bridger Folk Music Society because of his love of American traditional music. He loved the "old pickin' guitar" and the "high lonesome harmonies." He loved to take the tenor parts when singing with friends and family. He played guitar in several bands. In 1998 he met and married Lisa after she was recruited to play fiddle in the band "Entropy." He devoted himself to supporting her professional goals as a folklorist, and he quickly became a friend and mentor to her children and grandchildren, who adored him. Ron cultivated lifelong friendships and described them as being "like family to me." He was part of a group of fisheries biologists who met annually at Bear Lake and called themselves the "Mossbacks." They shared an amazing bond and common background, treasuring time together reminiscing, brainstorming solutions to current issues, and enjoying good food and drink. In recent years, Ron loved to gaze at the mountain top as seen from his house, where a lone juniper tree grows from a crevasse in the rock. Ron always noticed "beauty in austerity" and hung onto that singular beauty as an anchor as his health declined. Ron is best remembered for his smile, and always catching the eye of people to smile at wherever he went. He was gifted with a prodigious memory and a great sense of humor. He could never resist a good pun, and he delighted in making people laugh while performing a favorite tale or joke. Ron was preceded in death by his parents, Herman Martin Adolph Goede and Irene Laverne Happold, brother Gerald Goede, dear friends John Neuhold of Logan and Bob Wiley of Evanston. He is survived by his wife Lisa, her six children and 11 grandchildren, and his beloved dog Buddy. Ron appreciated the members of his brother's family in Missouri, and Lisa's family in California and Washington State, and a host of lifetime friends. Many thanks go to his hospice care givers at Community Nursing Services, and to the two nurses in the family, who provided him excellent care and stayed close by his side during the last week of his life. We appreciate the whole family, who listened to his every breath, talked to him, sang to him, held his hand and encouraged him to "take control of the trail" on his last earthly journey. A celebration of life will take place outdoors from 11:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 27, 2020, at 136 West 100 North in Logan. Masks are required and social distancing will be accommodated. Please RSVP to Lisa at 435-757-5420 or In lieu of flowers, friends may donate in Ron's memory to the Bridger Folk Music Society ( ), the Folklore Society of Utah (, or the Bear River Land Conservancy ( ).

Please be aware that Cache Valley Publishing does not endorse, and is not responsible for alleged employment offers in the comments.