Joseph A. Gould, age 90, of Bemidji, Minnesota, died Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at Goldpine Home, Bemidji, MN.
Memorial Services will be 10:30 A.M., Saturday, December 6, 2008 at St. Philips Catholic Church, Bemidji, MN. Family will greet friends for one hour before the service on Saturday at the Church. Inurnment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Bemidji, MN. Arrangements were entrusted to the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji, MN.
Joe was born Gerard Grey in New York, NY on February 16, 1918 and was placed for adoption 10 days later in a New York Foundling Home run by Catholic nuns. He was adopted in December, 1918 by Mr. and Mrs. Danie Gould of Bemidji and came to Minnesota on one of the infant orphan trains common in that era.
He attended parochial grade schools in Bemidji, MN, Harvey, ND and St. Louis, MO before returning to Bemidji in 1932. Upon his return, he completed his high school education and was a member of the undefeated 1935 BHS football team. He graduated from Bemidji High in 1936.
Joe joined the Navy in April of 1937 and was selected to attended Navy radio school upon completion of his recruit training. During his Navy service he married Eleanor Erickson of Bemidji in Yuma, AZ in June of 1939. He was discharged in April, 1941, and was immediately employed as an air traffic controller by the Federal Aviation Administration. In 1943, he received a temporary release from his position to rejoin the U.S. Navy. During his two tours of duty, he served on the cruisers Concord and Detroit, spending a year in catapult scout planes flying from the Detroit. He was later assigned to the Flight Test Unit in Alameda, CA and was discharged there in 1945 when the war ended.
Upon his discharge at the end of the war, he returned to his position with the Federal Aviation Administration, eventually working in seven Midwestern states. He was selected as Facility Chief in the Jamestown, ND FAA facility in 1962 and later transferred to the same position at the Grand Forks, ND facility in 1970. The family returned to Bemidji upon Joe's retirement in 1974 and had a home built on Lake Beltrami.
Joe was a member of the Bemidji Elks Club, American Legion, and a past member of the Bemidji Town & Country Club board of directors. He was also active in the Legion Baseball program while in Jamestown, ND. He was an avid golfer, hunter and fisherman.
He is survived by two sons, Michael (Patricia) Gould of Sioux Falls, SD and Thomas (Edith) Gould of Jamestown, ND; one daughter Barbara (Michael) Sande of Buffalo, MN; special family friend, Sue Rudh Riley of Detroit Lakes, MN; 7 grandchildren, Jay Gould of Victoria, MN, Stacy Gould of Sioux Falls, SD, Jeff (Sarah) Gould of Fargo, ND, Tessa Gould of Sioux Falls, SD, Rob, Erica and Andrea Sande of Buffalo, MN; great-grandchildren, Jack and Joe Gould of Fargo, ND.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Eleanor who died in 1986; special friend Jean Harrell, who died in November of 2008.
In lieu of flowers the family prefers memorials to St. Philips Catholic Church or Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine.
Online guestbook at www.olsonschwartzfuneralhome.com.