SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — It was a day of toil, and tears, for employees of Sanford Health Thursday. They took part in volunteer projects in Sioux Falls in memory of their one-time co-worker who died a year ago this week, from brain cancer. Jesse Goebel’s trademark “Hey Guy” greeting is still lifting spirits and benefiting the community.
The Sanford volunteers gathered in Falls Park to pick up trash with their heavy hearts motivating them to serve.
“He gave in so many ways to our community so for us to recognize him and remember Jesse and just do something to help the community we think is a good thing,” Sanford Photo-video Manager Don McLeer said.
Jesse Goebel was a photo and video specialist with the Sanford Marketing Department. Before that, he was a photojournalist with KELOLAND News.
“For me, he always said getting to know people, everybody has a story and everybody’s story is worth telling,” Jesse’s wife Jennifer Goebel said.
Jesse was also active in the community, including serving as a longtime volunteer mentor with Lutheran Social Services. He’s remembered for his ‘Hey Guy’ greeting that endeared him to friends and strangers, alike.
“It’s just about going out of your way to make people feel like they care and matter. So, you just say ‘hey guy,’ when you’re walking by and it just puts a smile on everybody’s face,” Jennifer Goebel said.
“It’s more than my wife and I raising a young man to do what he did for other people, it takes a community.” Jesse’s father Larry Goebel said.
Jesse’s Sanford family finds comfort in the community, a year after his death.
“That’s why we do our volunteer activities that we do this afternoon… I’ll try to keep this together,” Sanford Vice-President of Marketing Collette Manning said.
Jesse’s life has inspired so many people here at Sanford Health to give back to the community because the “Hey Guy” guy, would have wanted it that way.
“As time goes by, you just think that people are going to forget about your loved one. But this just keeps his memory alive, and I appreciate that,” Jennifer Goebel said.
Activities at Sanford Health included a picnic lunch as well as a proclamation from the mayor’s office designating Thursday as Jesse “Hey Guy” Goebel Day.