Whitinsville—Harold D. Gould, Jr., 86, passed peacefully from his earthly home to his eternal rest on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at St. Camillus Health Center in Whitinsville, where he had been a patient for the past few months, after a long and painful period of declining health. His wife of over 55 years, Jeanne, was able to be at his side during his final days.
Harold was born in Woonsocket, RI, on May 18, 1934, to the late Harold D. and Rena M. (Daigle) Gould of Blackstone, where he lived until moving to Whitinsville in 1971.
A graduate of Assumption Prep School and the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, he pursued his law degree at Harvard Law School where he was a member of the St. Thomas More Society, the Harvard Student Bar Association, the Bull & Bear Club and U.S. Army ROTC. While at Holy Cross and Harvard, he served as an enlisted man in the Infantry.
Upon graduation from law school, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Between his enlisted years, active duty, and service in the Active Reserves, he spent over 29 years in the Army, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. His Military Career included graduating from the Infantry Officer Basic Course, the Infantry Advanced Course, and the Infantry Officer Career Course, with Superior ratings; the Naval Amphibious School at Coronado in San Diego, where he was a distinguished student achieving top student status; the Industrial College of the Armed Forces as top student in his class; and the Command and General Staff as an honor student. Upon retiring from the U.S. Army Reserves, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for Outstanding Meritorious Service from 1976 to 1986.
After completing his active duty service, he returned home to pursue his legal career in Worcester, first with Vaughan, Esty, Crotty and Mason, then as a partner in Maher, McCann and Talcott, later Talcott, Gould and Cosgrove. He ended his practice as a sole practitioner in Uxbridge, for what he termed “semi-retirement”, which merely meant he could spend more time dedicated to community service and pro-bono work.
Harold deeply believed that every person has a duty to give back to their community and to provide volunteer service commensurate with their talents and abilities, and he practiced this belief with the same fervor and devotion that he brought to his law career and military commitment.
While living in Blackstone, he served on the Planning Board, the Finance Committee, the Board of Selectmen and as Town Moderator for 8 ½ years until moving to Whitinsville. He also served over 40 years as District Council for the Blackstone-Millville Regional School District and as Town Counsel for the Town of Millville.
During his years in Blackstone, he served as State Representative, representing the old 8th Worcester District, comprised of the towns of Blackstone, Millville, Mendon, Hopedale, Uxbridge, Northbridge, Douglas and Sutton.
After moving to Northbridge, he served on the Industrial Financing Committee, the Finance Committee, and his favorite position in Town Government, as Town Moderator for 45 years, bringing his total for Blackstone and Northbridge to 53 ½ years wielding a gavel.
Harold served as a Trustee of the Whitinsville Hospital, and when Whitinsville merged with Milford, continued to serve on the Milford Whitinsville Regional Hospital, later the Milford Regional Medical Center, Corporation and Board of Trustees for over 40 years, as Vice Chairman of the Board, Nominating Committee Chairman, Finance Chairman and the Building Committee for all of the expansion projects. He was a devoted member of the “Kitchen Cabinet”, the group of five who breakfasted once a week to shepherd the return of the Hospital to Community ownership. The Group then spearheaded the formation of Tri-County Medical Associates, for which he served as first President, to recruit a high level of physicians to Milford, then instituted the program for expansion to meet the growing needs of a hospital committed to excellence.
He loved being involved with building projects, whether it be the Hospital or new schools, and Jeanne used to say that his real career was construction, and law was just his hobby to fill the hours between meetings and sleeping.
Harold served on the Board of Directors for St. Camillus Health Center for over 25 years, which spanned the years between its mission as a Chronic Disease Hospital and its expansion to a Skilled Nursing Facility. Of course, he chaired the building committee and was instrumental in obtaining the D.O.N. which made the expansion possible.
His service of over 25 years on Tri-Valley Elder Services Board of Directors of course, culminated in a building project and expansion. He probably has a record for having his name on construction project plaques in Worcester County.
Harold also served as a Corporator and Trustee of the Whitinsville Social Library for over 25 years-another building expansion project!
Professional affiliations included membership in the Worcester County and Massachusetts Bar Associations, admission to practice before the State Supreme Judicial Court, the First Circuit and District of MA Federal Courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He was a member and former Director of the MA Moderator’s Association.
As a member of the Northbridge Historical Society, he enjoyed the lectures and the opportunity to delve into the history of his adopted home town. A real lover of music, he enjoyed decades of performances by the Worcester County Music Association and Boston performances of Broadway plays and musicals. Reading and watching the Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins rounded out his spare time.
He was devoted to his extended family and was the first to arrive and the last to leave family gatherings to celebrate holidays and milestone events.
Harold is survived by his wife, Jeanne, his brother Frank L. Gould (Felicity) of Vista, CA, his sister Nancy L. Bradley of Cumberland, RI, brothers-in-law Joseph Robbins (Bette), of Douglas and William Robbins (Paula) of Alabama, sister-in-law Marie Girard (Normand), 11 nephews, 13 nieces, 15 grandnephews, 15 grandnieces, 2 great grandnephews and 7 great grandnieces. Among the nephews and nieces, he really enjoyed the many visits and phone calls from the Gautreau kids-Robin, Ron and Robin, Sallie and Jimmie and Scott, who brightened his days with stories, jokes and just being there to listen to him reminiscing. And he loved the steady supply of dinners they brought from Oliva’s in Milford! And Jim and Pat always arrived with homemade soups.
In addition to his parents, Harold was predeceased by brothers-in-law Joseph Bradley, Earl E. Robbins, Jr., James M. Robbins and Oscar P. Gautreau; sisters-in-law Barbara A. Gautreau and Beatrice A. Robbins; nephew Kevin P. Robbins; and nieces Johnna Gould Bradley and Joellen Bradley Roberts.
Among the cherished awards he received through the years were the 1968 Award for service as Moderator, Selectman and dedicated service to the Town of Blackstone; 1969 Greater Worcester Jaycees Outstanding Young Man Award for outstanding leadership and contributions to the community; 1990 Award from BMR School District for outstanding legal expertise in guiding the Districts’ building projects; 1997 Order of St. Camillus for his selfless dedication and service in the Resurrection and Continuation of St. Camillus Nursing Home; 1999 Proclamation declaring May 4, 1999 as Harold D. Gould, Jr. Day in the Town of Northbridge for 25 years of service to the Town; 2006 Outstanding Board of Services Award from Tri-Valley, Inc.; 2018 Extraordinary Service Award for 45 years of service as Town Moderator in Northbridge; and Commendation from Milford Regional Hospital Corporation for his 40 years of service in many capacities as a Corporator and Trustee.
The family would like to thank the devoted and nurturing staff of St. Camillus Health Center for their kind and loving care for Harold when he was no longer able to be cared for at his cherished home these last few months of his life.
Calling Hours are Sunday, July 19, from 4-6PM, at the Carr Funeral Home, 24 Hill St., Whitinsville. Harold’s Funeral Mass is Monday, July 20, at 11AM, in St. Paul’s Church, Blackstone. Burial will follow in Blackstone Cemetery. Masks or face coverings are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Whitinsville Social Library, 17 Church St., Whitinsville, MA 01588.
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