Carmen Rivas-Goetz

Carmen Rivas-Goetz, 80, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, while in the care of Hospice of Western Kentucky. She was born in San Salvador, El Salvador, on June 2, 1938, to the late Juan and Adela Ruth Quinónez. She had three doting brothers and a father whose position, equivalent to a congressman and later a Supreme Court justice in the U.S., made sure she was treated as the highlight of the family. She attended La Asuncion de Santa Ana Catholic boarding school.

Upon graduating she attended secretarial school, a custom to which most girls adhered in her generation and social group. She married shortly after and had two daughters. Having her oldest child pass away at the age of 5 and a marriage crumble prior to that, gave her a sense of compassion for others who faced difficult times. The experiences she had in life catapulted her to be self-sufficient. She co-owned a billboard advertising company, at a time when it was unheard of for a "lady" to work in El Salvador. She moved to the United States in 1969, tiring of the social implications that came from being divorced and a working woman. She took what she thought would be a temporary position, while getting established in the U.S., with one of the most prominent families in the country. The position, as a companion to the teenage children, had her and her young daughter travel to locations in ways one only dreams. She later remarried. Her new husband's job relocated them to Owensboro. She decided to enroll in beauty school in the Daviess County Vocational School to meet people, better her English and learn something new.

Upon graduation, she wanted to put her newly found skills to work. She started working at a boutique, The Sandpiper. When she realized that she was getting a sizeable clientele base of her own, she attended Tri-State Beauty College in Evansville and decided to open her own shop revolutionizing the salon business in Owensboro. Her shop became a force to be reckoned with setting the standard among industry professionals. It offered every salon amenity found in the major cities. When she became a widow, she wound down her business to a one-woman operation, yet her devotion to her clients of 40 years never wavered, neither did her zeal for continuing education having attended over 80 seminars.

Carmen was also well respected for her activity in and commitment to a multitude of organizations in the community. She was a devout member of St. Stephen Cathedral, a common thread that led her to her true soul mate, Tom Goetz. Marrying him gave Carmen a wonderful "bonus" family, complete with adult children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren.

Carmen is survived by her daughter, Carmen Dheming Heitz (Tom); and her grandchildren, Tommy Heitz from Florida and Robert Heitz from Indiana, all expressing eternal gratitude to the caring staff at Heartford House.

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to Heartford House c/o Hospice of Western Kentucky, 3419 Wathens Crossing, Owensboro, KY 42301.

The service will be 11:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Stephen Cathedral with a luncheon immediately afterward at the lower level of the church.

The family encourages friends to tell a "Carmen" story during the luncheon to heal the grieving hearts of the grandchildren.

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