Civil liberties advocate Sid Goetz dies at 94

06/26/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Sid Goetz, a former president of the South Pinellas County Chapter of Americans United For Separation of Church and State, died Monday at age 94.

Goetz had enjoyed a successful career as an attorney in Long Island, New York before retiring to Florida in 1981. He taught at Stetson Law School and St. Petersburg Juinor College, and was active in various civil liberties organizations in Pinellas County. In 1993, he helped found the Thomas Jefferson Society.

Ray Arsenault, a history professor at USF-St. Petersburg, and a longtime ACLU activist in Pinellas County, called Sid Goetz "an forgettable character" who was a mainstay in the local civil liberties community for decades.

Tom Foley is the Chapter Chair of the Pinellas Chapter of the ACLU. He called Sid Goetz a giant among giants and recounted how Goetz catapulted into Pinellas County life upon moving here from Long Island.

There will be a memorial service for Sid Goetz this Saturday at the Universal Unitarian Fellowship on Central Avenue at 3 p.m.

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