On November 30, 2023, Mariechen Joan Goff passed away unexpectedly surrounded by her
three children at McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah. She was finally reunited with her eternal
companion after a 35 year separation. She was born in Ogden on March 16, 1947, the oldest
child of Volney DeForges Nelson and Mary Joan Gabey. She was raised in South Ogden and
graduated from Bonneville High School in 1965 (BARF). After working at the old Hostess
Factory in downtown Ogden for several years, she accepted an invitation to live with her half-
sister LaVern and moved to the wilds of Anchorage, Alaska. There, a practical joke changed her
Mariechen’s brother-in-law wrote her name and phone number on a card and posted it at the
NCO Club at the nearby Elmendorf Air Force Base. A young tech sergeant by the name of
Melvin Goff saw the card and was intrigued. He called Mariechen and after dating for three
months, they married on Flag Day (June 14th), 1969. Life in the military wasn’t what Mariechen
necessarily enjoyed, but she patiently followed Melvin from Alaska to stops at Lubbock, Texas;
Clinton, Utah; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Saxmundham, East Suffolk, England; and finally
Glendale, Arizona. During this time the couple welcomed three children into their family–two
boys and a girl.
In 1983, after 22 years of service, Melvin retired from the Air Force, and the family moved to
Mesa, Arizona. Eventually the Goffs moved to Ogden, Utah to be closer to Mariechen’s mother
and in 1985, moved back to Clinton. Mariechen wanted to put down some permanent roots, and
there she raised her family. In July 1988, after a valiant three year battle with cancer, Melvin
passed away, and Mariechen then faithfully raised her family.
Mariechen never wanted to be a burden on anyone, and while she was fiercely independent,
she still helped those in need. She was a friend to many, but she shunned the spotlight. She
was frugal and innovative when it came to living within a budget. She made sure that her
children were never without the necessities of life. She always instilled in her children a sense of
self-worth and sought to bless their lives with the teachings of and service in the restored gospel
of Jesus Christ.
Mariechen loved reading, especially thrillers, and instilled a love of reading in her children. She
could read anything, and once she started a series, she dutifully read the entire thing,
regardless if she liked it or not. For years, she patronized used bookstores. She was a staple of
her local library, and she especially enjoyed the friendship of the staff of the Syracuse Branch.
Mariechen had many talents. She was an excellent cook, artist (she loved drawing), and created
masterpieces with cross stitch. Many of these creations were displayed in her home, and she
also gave away many pictures and crafted bibs to friends and family. Although she was
diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a young age, she soon developed other talents and spent
much of her spare time with her family. She lived for her children and grandchildren, and they in
return were so thankful to have her in their lives for so long.
Mariechen also loved serving in her church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After Melvin joined the church, they were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on September 14,
1973. Mariechen served in many callings in the church, including serving in Primary and Relief
Society presidencies, and as a visiting teacher. Her love of the restored Gospel, her Heavenly
Father, and her Savior left a lasting legacy that will never be forgotten.
She was preceded in death by her parents Dee and Joan, her husband Melvin, brother Kevin
Nelson, sister Carmen Atwood, and a grandson. Mariechen is survived by her children–Matt
(Chelsea) Goff, Dori (Devin) Jones, and Malachi (Lauren) Goff–twelve grandchildren, her half-
sister, and a brother and two sisters.
A celebration of her life will be held at the Clinton 7th Ward –1448 West 1800 North,
Clinton, Utah– on Thursday, December 7, 2023 at 11 am with a viewing the same morning at 10 am
with Bishop Matt Stuart presiding. Interment will be in the Ogden City Cemetery.
Services will be streamed live on the Russon Brothers Mortuary Facebook page and on this obituary page. The live stream will begin 10-15 minutes before the services and will be posted below.