Nelsen Williamsburg


Karl R. Goller

May 19, 1930June 5, 2021

Karl Richard Goller, 91, of Williamsburg, VA, previously of Bethesda, MD, passed away June 5, 2021. His beloved wife of 63 years, Welene, preceded him in death.

Karl was born May 19, 1930, in Union City, New Jersey to German immigrants and sent to kindergarten not knowing a word of English. He attended public schools through high school. He was a strong student and devoted member of the Boy Scout community, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in record time. In 1952, after he graduated with honors from Stevens Institute of Technology as a mechanical engineer, he worked in the Student Engineering Training Program of Babcock & Wilcox. He was drafted into the Army in 1953 and served in the Army Corps of Engineers’ newly established Atomic Energy Organization. After he was honorably discharged in 1955, he attended the federal government’s new Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology in Oak Ridge, Tennessee where he met the love of his life, Welene Worthington. They married in December 1956. Karl earned his Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering at MIT in 1958 and then worked for General Nuclear Engineering Company in Florida. In 1963 he began a career of public service, committing his energies and expertise to the federal government’s Atomic Energy Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He licensed and regulated nuclear power plants for 26 years to protect the public and insure its supply of energy. He and his family lived for those years in Bethesda, Maryland.

Quietly committed to simple joys and the scouting motto “Be Prepared,” Karl was a builder. When he was growing up, his victory garden was legendary. He continued planting vegetable gardens and meticulously landscaped and improved the family’s Bethesda home for 45 years. He could fix anything. He made extraordinary wooden toys, first for his daughters and then for his grandson. He loved to fish and he taught his girls to ski. In retirement, he and Welene visited national parks and traveled the world. They moved to Windsor Meade in Williamsburg, VA in May 2019. He is survived by his sister Marilyn J. Goller, daughters Karlene Goller (Jim Newton) and Leslie A. Goller, Leslie’s son, Karl’s grandson, Wesley W. Dillingham (Andrea), great-grandchildren Lilah W. and Bennett W. Dillingham, and nephews Hall (Worth) V. Worthington IV (Angela) and Montgomery (Monty) W. Worthington (Julie), and great-nephew John D. Worthington.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Karl R. Goller

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Chi Iweze

June 13, 2021

May his beautiful soul rest in perfect peace. He left behind a wonderful family with wonderful hearts especially that of his daughters. Rest in peace, Sir.
Love from Anthony & Chi Iweze, Los Angeles, CA.