Robert Charles Goetze, who owned an auto and truck leasing business and had earlier been an owner of his family's meat-packing business, died of cancer Friday at his home in Cape Haze, Fla. The former Towson and Oxford resident was 83.
Mr. Goetze was born in Baltimore and raised in the Lakeside section of Ednor Gardens. He was a 1942 graduate of McDonogh School and went to the University of Pennsylvania, where his studies were interrupted by service in the Navy. An ensign, he served in the South Pacific from 1944 to 1946 as a radio and communications officer, and he participated in several battles, family members said.
After the war, he earned a degree at the Wharton School of Business and remained active in his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta.
He became general manager and vice president of sales and marketing for the old Albert F. Goetze Meat Packing Co., a business founded by his father that once employed about 1,000 people. The plant, at Belair Road and Sinclair Lane, closed in the mid-1970s.
He then became president of Sinclair Auto & Truck Fleet Leasing Co., which initially used commercial vehicles from the meat-packing business. He expanded the company, which is now in Cockeysville, and remained president until a daughter succeeded him.
Mr. Goetze was a founding member of Maryland Presbyterian Church on Providence Road. He was the congregation's initial ruling elder, and he headed many church committees.
He sat on the boards of the American Meat Institute, Susquehanna University and the old Bittenbender tool firm in Scranton, Pa.
He was active in the Optimist Club and chaired several committees for the Salvation Army and the Baltimore Junior Chamber of Commerce. He was honored by an Israel Bonds committee.
He enjoyed sailing, downhill and cross-country skiing, and kite flying. He also painted in watercolors.
He owned homes in Oxford on the Eastern Shore and in Ontario, Canada.
Plans for a private memorial service were incomplete.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, the former Marian Engle; two sons, Robert C. Goetze Jr. of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and David Anderson Goetze of Port Townsend, Wash.; two daughters, Marilyn G. Manahan of Rotonda West, Fla., and Susan L. Goetze of Towson; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.