PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — He said being a baseball and an art teacher was a rare combination.
Doug Goessman was indeed a rare combination. The former Richwoods High School baseball coach and art instructor died Sunday night at the University Chicago Medical Center.
In August, Goessman was diagnosed with amyloidosis, a rare disease that attacked his liver. His son Shea posted on Facebook his father died “of liver failure as a result of his very recent multiple myeloma cancer diagnosis.”
Goessman was 51. He is survived by four children: Shea, 22, Addison, 14, Ada, 10, and Cade, 6, according to Shea Goessman’s post.
Goessman was the baseball coach at Richwoods for nine years and co-founded the Illinois Steel summer baseball program seven years ago. He was an art teacher at Richwoods for 12 years and rented an art studio at the Contemporary Art Center in downtown Peoria since 2004.
“Baseball dominates my life because I do it year round,” Goessman said in an April interview with WMBD. “But (art) is the other thing I do year round.”
In his Facebook post, Shea Goessman: “He fought bravely to the end and will be missed by all those who knew and loved him. His family would like to thank all of his friends, students, players, and colleagues for all of their prayers and support, showing Doug that he was not fighting this battle alone.”
Richwoods students, faculty and staff had rallied around the popular coach in the past month. Players for his Illinois Steel team wore his initials and number 9 on their equipment.
“We are saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our Richwoods family, Doug Goessman. In his 14 years at Richwoods High School as a visual arts teacher and baseball coach, he positively influenced countless students in the classroom and on the baseball diamond. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time,” Richwoods principal Carly Emken said in a statement.
Memorial services are pending.