Cornelia Elizabeth VanBalen Goff, 102, died peacefully at home on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. She was born in Coraopolis, PA on February 21, 1919. Her parents Johannes “John” and Elizabeth “Lisa” (Weisman) VanBalen immigrated from Amsterdam, Holland, and she and her siblings were first generation Americans. She married John P. Goff, MD on December 28, 1943 in their hometown. After WWII, she and John moved to Carbondale, IL where he was a physician at the Carbondale Clinic and Memorial (Doctors) Hospital. They built their home in 1952 where they raised their children Matthew and Carolyn.
Cornelia devoted her life to her husband, family, friends, and God. She was a faithful member of St Francis
Xavier Church and its Heritage Club and was a member of the Carbondale Garden Club. Cornelia was very
active throughout the years supporting her husband’s career, her church, and her children’s activities. She
was Boy Scout Den Mother to the boys in the neighborhood and was always taking care of others.
She is survived by her daughter Carolyn Goff (Cobden), two grandsons Jay (Kiera) Ford, Phoenix, AZ and
John Eric Goff (Shannon Hunter), Carbondale and their brothers, Brian Ford, Phoenix, AZ and Alex
Schmidgall, Carbondale. Daughter-in-law Paula Smith Goff (Keith) Feigenbaum, Great Grandchildren
Jayden Ford and Piper Ford; Chelsea Garrett and Wade Garrett; Liam Schmidgall. Special niece JoAnn
(Bob) Spiller, Penn Laird, VA and nephew Bill (Robin) Shortall, Poolesville, MD. Other nieces and
nephews are her brother Gerard’s children: Dick, Jan, Karen, DeeDee, Ron, and Gretchen.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her son, and her siblings; Gerard, Mary and Josephine; and
special friends Frances Meredith and Connie Reimbold.
Cornelia saw a lot of changes throughout her 102 years and always embraced life with her optimism and with wonder. She was a light of faith and hope for all who ever knew her.
Services will be held at St Francis Xavier Church, Monday, September 27 at 10:00 a.m. Visitation will be held Sunday, September 26 from 4-6 at Walker Funeral Home in Carbondale. In lieu of flowers,
please make donations to the church.
Walker Funeral Home of Southern Illinois entrusted with arrangements.