Boats 08

William "Bill" H. Gould

February 11, 1925 ~ December 24, 2020 (age 95)


William “Bill” Harold Gould.  Beloved great-grandfather, grandfather, father, uncle, husband, son, grandson, and great-grandson of Cincinnati, Ohio passed away peacefully at his home, age 95, on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2020.  William, or 'Bill Gould' was born to the late Rev. William Drum Gould and Evelyn Davenport Gould on February 11th, 1925 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was also known to family as Harold. He was also a: Navy veteran. World traveler. Skipper of boats. Musician. Vocalist. Pilot. Radiotelephone Operator. Carpenter. Artist. Stone mason.  

        Born to a Methodist minister and his wife, Bill spent his first years in the Boston, Massachusetts area while his father was a pastor.  Later, his father decided to get a PhD, in History and World Religions, and spent the rest of his life teaching Philosophy and Religion.  The family moved during the depression to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, where they lived for several years and his father taught at Iowa Wesleyan. Bill started 2nd grade when he was 4. The family traveled in the summers, and this theme would continue for Bill's entire life.  When he was 11 years old, the family embarked on the "Reliance", and sailed around the world. This love of travel and boating would be repeated through all kinds of variations and vacations over the next 84 years.  

          When Bill met and fell in love with his first wife, Beti Barton, they would often take boating trips.  As Bill and Beti had their four boys, Stan, Norm, John, and David, each summer was adventure filled as they all piled in the family vehicle, and ventured across the country to see the glories of the National Parks, and enjoy boating adventures.  Some years they were in powerboats, other years it was sailboats, another year a cruise ship, another kayaks, and canoes, another a houseboat. In 1967 they dodged tornadoes coming home from Alaska in Minneapolis, Minnesota!   In 1968, Bill and Beti, along with sons Stan and Norm, safely rode out a waterspout in the vicinity of the Bahamas, while the younger boys were below deck. In 1964, they traveled along the East Coast to hike up and down all the lighthouses along the coast.  One year, they went up to the Gaspe Peninsula in Canada, and enjoyed the rock formations, as well as visiting Newfoundland, and Labrador.  Bill hiked up and down the Grand Canyon with the family in a day.  The American Spirit of traveling and seeing the 'purple mountain majesty' was alive and well in Bill and Beti Gould's family.  Other years, the family traveled up to see the glories of Alaska, had smoked salmon prepared by the indigenous people, and panned for gold.  Each year was filled with dreams during the cold winter months, and the summers were spent making the dreams come alive. The best part, of course, was that the whole family was together again for those trips, and bonds and memories were made that will last generations.

        Bill also enjoyed working with his hands tremendously, as did his first wife Beti.  They built all kinds of fossil filled stone work around their property.  Sometimes they created stone sidewalks, other times, retaining walls for the gardens, and the last one was a backyard patio. 

        Bill also enjoyed working on building the camping gear.  He tailored the insides of various trucks to house the family of six on their adventures.  One year, he led the family to build a two person wooden kayak inside the house.  The hardest part was getting it out!  But we did it, and it had many adventures over many years.

         Pets. Bill loved pets and greatly enjoyed the family dog Thistle, cats Cloudy and Stripitty, and his last cat, Princess, who liked to sleep on his lap.

         Tools!  Bill Gould had a lifetime fascination with looking for new tools, and trying out the latest gadgets/widgets/inventions.

          Classical Music.  You could not think of Bill Gould without remembering his love of classical music that he shared with his family. Every day.  It began when he was a youth, and studied the French Horn.  It continued in college, when he and his first wife Beti sang in the church youth choir.  It continued as an adult when he performed in the Cincinnati May Festival Choir in Music Hall for two years.

Sadly, Beti died in 1977 after battling cancer for 3 years.  He kept on working, alone now that his wife and children were grown and gone from the home.  Yet, God works in wonderful ways, and Bill was blessed yet again with an incredible wife.  Several years after Beti died, Bill met, then married Doris Orbom.  Doris was born in China to missionaries. Her family had been pastors just like Bill's Dad was.  Doris also loved to travel, and they shared many traveling and boating adventures. Bill and Doris traveled the Orient Express from Moscow to Beijing, seeing all kinds of local musicians and dancers amaze and awe their audiences. They even traveled to the South Pole to see the penguins, and on a different trip up north in Canada, they got to see a 'celebration' of polar bears trying to get into the special sightseeing bus.  The buses were specially designed, so all were safe, but it was very fun to see the polar bears up close as they tried to poke their heads in the windows! But let’s go back to 1936 to include more aspects of Bill’s life.

           Bill had just gotten back from the world cruise with his parents in 1936, and soon the family moved back East to Carlisle, Pennsylvania for his father to accept a teaching position at Dickinson College.   1937, he started high school in Carlisle, PA, then graduated at 15 in 1940.  Member of fraternity Alpha Chi Rho at Dickinson College, and academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated with his B.S.  at age 18 in 1943 from Dickinson College in the middle of WWII. 

           However, during these uncertain times, he met his future wife Beti Barton. They fell in love at a Boston church, and while they both worked at MIT in Boston, MA. He was then working at MIT as a chemist during WWII.  The MIT team Bill was on was tasked with creating rubber like substitutes since the Japanese had taken all the rubber producing facilities.  He said they never got a very good product at the time, but evidently it was good enough to help win the war!  I don't think the general public even knew they were working on rubber substitutes.  Bill Gould always had high expectations for himself and others, but was not harsh, and was very supportive.    At 19, Bill enlisted in the Navy as a Corpsman in 1944, first training at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Chicago, IL. He was about to ship out for active war duty when the war in the Pacific ended.  He ended up doing peacekeeping duty on Samar Island in the Philippines for a couple of years.  He lost many friends in the war, and always had a great respect for the veterans. He was honorably discharged 1946. Within two years after he arrived back in the States, Bill graduated from MIT in 1948 with a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, and he and Beti married. A big year indeed! 

        They moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where Bill became employed with Proctor and Gamble doing Chemical Engineering work.  It started out very fun, since they were tasked with 'inventing' the first prepared cake mixes. It was exciting trying out all the different mixes, and some were great, and some were pretty bad.  But the job went well, and he moved up in Proctor and Gamble over the years. In 1973 he was awarded his JD from Chase School of Law, passed the bar, and combined Chemical Engineering and Law to be Patent Attorney for Proctor & Gamble’s International Division.  He ended up being responsible for Canada, South America & Asia. In this capacity, he was able to travel the world on business, and he especially relished that he could visit Japan in peacetime.

         Unfortunately, though, his first wife Beti succumbed to cancer in 1977, and Bill was left with just his son David at home.  After David left for school, Bill visited friends and family around the country.  He was talking to an old friend of Beti's, Doris Orbom, and she too had lost her spouse. 

So, four years after Beti died in 1977, he married Doris Orbom in 1981. He became step-dad to two terrific boys Mark and Ted who are always ready for adventure, just like Doris.

         Bill and Doris both blessedly found love again after loss, and found a renewed vibrancy in life together.  Doris moved up to Cincinnati from Florida.  Upon arrival, Doris got to be "NaiNai" or grandmother in Chinese, to all Bill's many grandchildren, and later great-grandchildren. Those were very happy years for all of them. Doris could be active in the church, they both watched over the growing families, and they could travel and boat more extensively once Bill retired.  Bill and Doris lived for many years in Evergreen Retirement Community, and he greatly enjoyed the friendships he found there, especially Richard and Warren, as the residents traded stories over dinner in the dining hall.

              After 33 amazing years together enjoying traveling, family adventures, and accomplishments in the church, Doris suddenly died in 2014. Bill was left on his own again, but the large family watched over him, and he watched over them.   He stayed for several more years at Evergreen, and then lived for a time at his son Norm's home after an accident. After a couple months of rehab, Norm found a perfect apartment for Dad and John to enjoy very near Miami Whitewater Park where they could go walking in nature and see the water.  During the last year of Bill’s life, his son John, who had retired early, moved in with his Dad to watch over him.  Stan would come over and give John a bit of freedom occasionally. Bill Gould spent his last days with his son John ever by his side, watching over him daily, praying, and still having a couple of adventures.   Friends and family would visit as they could. Bill was blessed with several extraordinary professional caregivers, who took care of him as if he were their own dear loved one, and immeasurably brightened his final months. The family is very thankful and appreciative to caregivers Annie, Rolando, and Diana.  Even at 95, when his son David came to visit, Bill said "let's go North, as far as we can go"  "OK dad, where do you want to go?” “As far north as we can go - Lake Erie!”  “Ok, dad, Lake Erie it is” Bill and son David hopped in the car with the ever faithful health caregiver, Rolando.  They drove up and back to Lake Erie in a day, yet still found time to linger awhile by the beach to look at the boats before they came home.  Perhaps Bill Gould's very last trip on this Christmas Eve was just hitching a ride with Santa's sleigh as they rode "as far North as we can go!"  My guess is that there will be a boat when they get back up North.  There is always a boat in Bill Gould's adventures.


        Bill Gould is survived by: his four sons by Beti: Stan, Norm, John, and David. Two step-sons by Doris Orbom, Mark and Ted. He is also survived as "Uncle Harold" to: John and Ann Mumaw and families, Sandy Mumaw, and Beth (Mumaw) and Andy Rogers and families. And the families of Bill’s deceased nieces, Debbie and Patty. Grandsons by Stan and Faith –Randy, Aaron, Daniel, and Benjamin. Great-grandchildren by Randy and Amanda - Cierra, Kailie, Matthew, Dominic. Great grandchildren by Randy – Gabriel and Hannah. Great-grandsons by Aaron – Aiden and Roman. Grandson by Norm and Linda Gould - Keith Gould. Great-grandchildren by Keith and wife Anna Gould- the twins- Allie and Ethan.  Grandchildren by son David Gould and wife Suzanne Gould – Avery Stites, Anna Stites, and Rosemary Gould.  Great-grandchildren by Avery Stites and wife Danielle Scott-Stites - Dawson and Calliope. Bill was preceded in death by his sister in law Alice Mumaw, her husband John Mumaw, and their children, Randy, Patty, and Debbie.


      In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be sent to the Family Life Center at Northminster Church, 513-931-0243. Northminster Presbyterian Church, 703 Compton Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45231.  A private family only memorial service celebrating Bill's life, will be held at Spring Grove Cemetery. A public memorial service, and celebration of Bill’s life, will be held at Northminster Presbyterian Church at a later date. His remains will rest at Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH.



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