Bill Goering was a true gentleman both on and off the fencing piste. As his many saber opponents can testify, he gave most generously of his cuts while receiving very few in return. He was a very polite, kindly man who seldom displayed anger, much preferring to win over his friends, his opponents, and the occasional errant fencing official with a knowing smile and a logical argument. Bill was also a perfectionist who believed in precise technique and strict adherence to the rules. He was a natural leader with strong opinions who was willing to offer advice to a beginning student as well as to AFLA and USAF presidents.
Bill was one of fencing’s renaissance men who gave generously of himself to the sport that he loved, making important contributions as a volunteer far beyond the field of active competition. His impact was felt at all levels of fencing from serving as USFA vice president and interim executive director to his membership on many national committees, including chairing the Fencing Officials Commission, in addition to being an international competitor, he was also an international referee and a referee instructor.
Bill was born July 16, 1932 in LaPorte, Indiana, to William Augustus Goering and Elise Louise Hauck. He attended Yale University, graduating in 1954 with a Master of Engineering degree. As a freshman student at Yale, Bill learned to fence and was made Captain of the Yale Bulldog Sabre Team in 1954. It was the beginning of a lifelong passion for a challenging sport.
He was recruited by Ford Motor Company in 1956 and Bill enjoyed a career spanning 35 years retiring as the Manager of the Michigan Proving Grounds. In Michigan, he fenced at the Salle de Tuscan in Detroit where he met his future wife, Monica Reimann. In 1963 Bill took 1st place in the Michigan State Championships and Monica took 2nd place in Women’s Foil. He was Michigan State Champion 6 times. He married Monica on August 11, 1962 in Farmington, Michigan and had one daughter, Leslie Goering.
Bill was a member of Alpha Chi Sigma, a professional chemistry fraternity and in 1990 was recognized for his outstanding accomplishments in his field by ASM International, the society for materials scientists and engineers.
His enthusiasm for the sport of fencing led him to compete or officiate in tournaments across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and South America for more than 50 years.
Bill was a relative latecomer to veteran fencing, undoubtedly because with his skill level he was still able to compete successfully in the open ranks long after most other veteran-age fencers need to find a more leveled playing field. When he was already in his mid-sixties, Bill accomplished the unheard of in modern times achievement of winning an NAC saber crown at such an advanced fencing age. The advent of a Veteran World Championship in 1998 drew him into active veteran competition and he qualified for the U.S. Veteran World Team every year that he competed.
Excerpts taken from American Fencing (Summer 2005) titled
"William Goering (1932-2005): A Final Salute to a Gentleman Fencer" By Bob Block
Pan Am Dress Uniform