Jacinta "Jay" Goerger


Jacinta “Jay” Goerger, 72, of Fargo, passed away in her home on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, surrounded by family and under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Jay was born in Breckenridge, MN, January 31, 1949, to Nick and Laura (Mueller) Goerger. In 1954, Jay’s family moved from Mantador, ND to Fargo. She attended St. Anthony’s and Nativity grade schools, graduating from Shanley High School in 1967.
In 1970, Jay moved with her parents to Prescott, Arizona. She worked as an assistant horse trainer and groom at Prescott Downs Racetrack. In the evenings she had a job at the “El Gringo” lounge as a folk singer. Growing homesick, Jay moved back to Fargo and began singing in night clubs around the FM area. She became a member of the “Dunkirks”, a popular band of the time, performing at the Lamplite and Gaslite lounges for several years. She later went back to her folk music roots and traveled from Alabama to Ontario as a solo artist. When she grew tired of traveling, Jay went back to school at NDSU and MSUM during the day and worked as a night supervisor for Monarch Photo, working in the film processing industry for 15 years. Jay finished out her working days before retirement at Bethany on University holding different positions until retiring as Assistant Director of Community Life.
In the seventies, Jay was a founding member of the Rape Crisis Center, the Fargo Commission on the Status of Women and A Center for Women. Jay was also a member of Business and Professional Women’s Club, Hot Line, American Federation of Musicians, and National Organization of Women. In 1979, she was nominated for North Dakota Outstanding Woman of the Year.

Jay had many interests, but horses, music, and the Boston Red Sox were at the top of her list! She also loved classic cars, vintage aircraft, rock collecting, hiking, and gardening.
Jay is survived by her partner of 42 years Deb Hill, sisters Mary Anna Althoff, Wahpeton, ND; Marge Sassian, Branford, CT; Germaine Martinson, Wyoming, MN; brothers Tim (Jean) Goerger, Omaha, NE; Brian Goerger, Mesa AZ; numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews, and her fur babies Myah and Molly, aka the “M&M” girls.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Rod and Larry, nephews Jason and Rick, sister-in-law Arla, brothers-in-law Sal, Oskar, and Forbes.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Jay worked for us for many years at Downtown Photo. She was a great employee, and the customers loved her too. Our sincere condolences to Deb and to Jay’s family.

  2. Worked with Jay at Bethany Homes. She was great to work with and she was wonderful with the residents. So sorry to hear of her passing. My love and prayers to her family.

  3. I also worked with Jay at Kevin and Ruth’s Downtown Photo. She was a great coworker sharing how to do things and always a laugh.
    Prayers to family and friends

  4. I am so sorry to hear of Jay’s passing. She always had a warm smile and was so kind. Thinking of you, Deb, during this difficult time. Prayers for you and the entire family that you may find comfort in the many good memories that Jay brought into your life.

  5. Jay was very a very special person! She was so very kind, caring and talented. She was one of my mother’s favorite Bethany staff persons to visit with during her residency there. Also, I especially enjoyed seeing and visiting with Jay and Deb at Bethany and at my Studio Crawl event. Jay was a smiling, laughing, and animal loving person. I will miss her presence.

  6. Deb, we are so sorry for your loss. Jay was such a special lady. Cherish the memories you made together and hold them close to your heart for that will pull you through in the days ahead. We are here for you, and you see Tim often enough just pull his ear and he will let me know what needed.

    We will continue to lift you and your family in prayer. Blessings,
    Tim & Cathy

  7. I worked with Jay at Bethany for many years… she was such a talented musician! Her music brought joy to MANY people’s lives! Ken and I fondly remember listening to her with the Dunkirks in the early 1970s. She was terrific! At Bethany, Jay was a warm and caring part of the team. I am sad to learn of her illness and death. Sympathy to Deb and family…

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about Jay’s passing. My mother was a resident of Bethany and Jay was her favorite person. They shared the love of music. Jay was also one of my favorite people at Bethany, she felt like family to me. I will always remember her for her guitar playing, her music and her kindness to my mother. She will be missed by many people. My sympathy to Deb and Jay’s family.

  9. I have so many wonderful memories working with Jay at Bethany. Anytime I hear Simon and Garfunkel, I always think of Jay. I’m so sorry to hear that she has passed. Deb, you are in my thoughts.

  10. Jay was a classmate of mine at Shanley and I remember her as being one of the nicest girls in the class. She was always friendly and funny! She was at a gathering of classmates a few years ago and I enjoyed visiting with her. May she rest in eternal peace.

  11. Deb and family, you have my deepest sympathy. I did not know Jay well, but met several times over the years….I believe you both knew my late husband, Dale. When he and were dating, we danced to her music several times in early ’70s.I remember always knowing her as “Jamie.” A beautiful young girl with amazing blond hair, lovely and warm and what a voice!!
    Dale spoke highly of both of you. I’m so sorry……Pam Hahn Larson.

  12. Deb I’m so sorry about Jay. My thoughts prayers and peace to you and the rest of Jay’s family. She was a wonderful person with a beautiful smile and will be missed by so many.

  13. Oh Deb and family, my condolences to you all. Jay was such a wonderful person. I worked with her years ago and loved to hear her play and her talent with making everyone happy. She also would come to eventide while my dad was there and blessed them also. She was an angel on earth and now in heaven. Deb I hope you feel the love of others during this time.

  14. Jay was one of my very favorite Aunts. She was such a happy upbeat person and so much fun to be around. She was kind and always made a person feel special. I will miss her more than words can say. She will never be forgotten.


  15. Jay was a ‘one of a kind’. I met her in the early 1970s in Fargo and we became friends. She always sang my now husband’s favorite song of the time (Someday Soon, Judy Collins)when we visited the lounge she played at in Fargo. We were fortunate to have many visits and hang out days with her. And then in June 1972 she sang at our wedding in Rugby ND which was an amazing gift. She was a treasured friend. Deb we are so sorry for your loss and want you to know that while we lost touch over the years, she was so often in our conversations as we remembered our time in Fargo when she was a very present figure in our lives. We were fortunate to have called her a friend.

    Peg and Dave Johnson

  16. Jay, Mike Olsen and I had many great times practiceing for our gigs as well as performing. She was a great lady and will be missed even though I haven’t been in Fargo very often I still would think of her as well as Mike when I get my guitar out.
    Greg Blaufuss

  17. I’m several months late in posting my comment because I just found Jay’s obituary today. I lost track of her for many decades until now when sadly, I came across her obituary. I met her in the late 60’s and we clicked. I remember her as “Jamie”. She was a bright light and an extremely talented musician! Rest in peace sweet lady.

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