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Alice Gould, Fr. James Gould’s mother, dies at age 90

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Alice Marie Gould, the mother of Father James Gould, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church in Purcellville, died at age 90 Nov. 22 from a non-COVID-19-related condition.

She was born Feb. 1, 1931 in Chicago, one of 11 children of Roy J. and Alice (McGonigal) Day. She attended St. Rita Catholic School and Visitation High School. She earned her nursing diploma to become a registered nurse through Little Company of Mary Hospital in Chicago and later worked at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Hospital. She met James Gould, who was just finishing medical school at Loyola University of Chicago, at a party. On their second date, he proposed. They married in 1953, and while he was in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and acquiring specialty training in gastroenterology, they lived in Chicago, Boston, Memphis, Aniston, Ala., Jackson, Miss., Seattle and Alexandria, before settling in Des Moines, Iowa. Of their nine children, all but two were born in different states.

A devout Catholic, Gould loved life and lived simply and beautifully. She encouraged the individual talents of her children and grandchildren. She made friends with everyone she met. And in restaurants and church, she frequently stopped to tell young families what gorgeous children they had.

Gould went back to school in the 1980s to complete her bachelor’s in nursing through the College of St. Francis, then returned to nursing full-time at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. She excelled at nursing because she was like a “mom” to her patients. Once she diagnosed a patient who had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which she recognized after reading about it in a medical journal. She informed the doctor, who asked her to call in a rare diseases specialist, who confirmed the diagnosis. The specialist told the patient, “Your nurse has made a very astute diagnosis.”

Gould was an avid reader and collected used books. On family vacations, she would stop at St. Vincent De Paul thrift stores and other second-hand stores to look for books on history, philosophy, literature and the Catholic faith. A few years ago, she donated the bulk of her collection to the St. Gregory the Great Seminary in the Lincoln, Neb., diocese.

She was kind, generous and thoughtful toward others. Just a few weeks ago, she made an Italian Cream Cake for a wake, gave away a winter coat to a friend and on a blustery day, made the postal carrier hot chocolate — with marshmallows. She lived for coffee and donuts after Mass at St. Augustin’s and chocolate sodas at Bauder’s.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 2007 and survived by her nine children: Jean M. O’Brien (Patrick) of Denver, Colo.; Father James R. Gould of Purcellville; Maj. Patrick F. Gould (Molly) of Middleton, Wis.; Marie Therese Nolan (Patrick) of Beltsville, Md.; Catherine P. Gould of Dallas; Maureen Dillenburg (Michael) of Lemont, Ill.; Michael S. Gould (Addy) of West Des Moines; Callista Gould of West Des Moines; and Mary J. Yowell (Philip) of Dallas. She had 21 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister, Mary Hansen of Palos Park, Ill., and a brother, Roy (Pat) Day, of Chicago.

Visitation will be Nov. 26 4–8 p.m., with a Rosary at 7:30 p.m. at Brooks Funeral Care, 7975 University in Clive. A Mass of Christian burial will be offered by Father Gould Nov. 27 at 11 a.m. at St. Augustin’s Catholic Church, 545 42nd St., Des Moines.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Mich.; the Benedictine Sisters of the Abbey of St. Walburga in Virginia Dale, Colo.; or the Poor Clares in Alexandria.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021