William I. Goewey, Navy commander, teacher

January 2, 2013

William I. Goewey, 87, a retired Navy commander and veteran of three wars who became a part-time teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, died Dec. 13 at his home in Falls Church.

A spokeswoman for the Virginia medical examiner’s office in Fairfax County said that Cmdr. Goewey died of blunt-force trauma to the head and that he also had hypertensive cardiovascular disease. The death was ruled an accident, she said. He fell at his home, his family said.

Cmdr. Goewey served in the Navy in the Atlantic during World War II. During the Korean War, his assignments included the cruiser USS Worcester in support of the Inchon landing. He later escorted actress Elizabeth Taylor on a tour of the ship, his family said.

Cmdr. Goewey’s subsequent assignments included command of the destroyer USS English and head of the communications requirements branch in the office of the chief of naval operations. He was also a veteran of the Vietnam War.

His final active-duty assignment, in 1973, was at the Pentagon. He then worked as an engineer for defense contractors, including Potomac Research, before launching a 20-year part-time teaching career in the mid-1980s.

William Irving Goewey was born in Schenectady, N.Y. He graduated in 1949 from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and later received a master’s degree in communication from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

He was a vestryman and senior warden at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Arlington County.

His wife, Lois Smith, whom he married in 1956, died in 1992.

Survivors include three children, Catherine Dalton of Lynchburg and Susan Goewey and David Goewey, both of Vienna; a brother; a sister; and seven grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein