Rural By Choice - Meet the Goeckel Family

Please meet the Goeckel family, Jeremy, Abigail, and their sons Carson and Landon.

This family story began in Manhattan where Jeremy and Abigail met while attending K-State. Jeremy and Abigail graduated, married, and started their careers in the
Topeka, Kansas area. Westar Energy allowed Jeremy to transfer to the Wichita office in 2012 and so the plan to move to South Haven was set in motion. Jeremy recently changed jobs and is employed by Spirit as a senior engineer in the electrical utility department. Abigail works in Ark City doing physical therapy at Presbyterian Manor.

Jeremy and Abigail’s primary reason for moving back to rural America, South Haven, is their children. They wanted Carson and Landon to be close to their grandparents and be a major part of their lives. They are very fortunate to have Abigail’s parents, Tom and Sarah Yunker, who reside in Caldwell, to watch the boys when they were small and now after school. The boys have quality time with their grandparents instead of daycare. The Goeckel’s also stated they wanted their children to have the same opportunities and experiences they had growing up.

Jeremy is also from a small town, Hanover, where he was raised on a dairy farm. It is important to them to be a part of a community where people care about one another, kids can go for a bike ride or to the playground, without the worry that someone is going to harm them. Quality education is another reason to make the move to rural America. Jeremy and Abigail want their sons to attend a school where the teachers care, and they are less likely to experience significant peer pressure to do drugs, and can participate in extracurricular activities. Jeremy and Abigail both played a variety of sports in school and want their boys to be able to have the same opportunity. They also noted they want their boys to be able to ride on tractors, combines, grain trucks, and experience the excitement of harvest. Later on they look forward to Carson and Landon working for farmers, which will teach them a good work ethic, dedication, and commitment, which is something they believe is lacking in larger towns. Jeremy and Abigail feel small towns operate at a much slower pace, everyone knows your name, it’s easy to get involved, with no crowds or traffic, (Jeremy hates stop lights). They also added they have space to themselves, a strong sense of belonging, community traditions, knowing your neighbors, and knowing we have someone we can call on if needed.

Rural America has strong ties with a sense of belonging, community traditions, knowing your neighbor, hard work ethics, and that is what it is all about, not only to the Goeckel family but, to all who have experienced it.

Article was a team effort of Jeremy & Abigail Goeckel and Kim Reilly

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