Norman J. Gould ’60

Norman J. Gould ’60 died on May 29, 2024, in Mashpee, Massachusetts.

(The following was provided by on May 29, 2024:)

Norman James Gould ’60

A physician, a family man, and an angler, Dr. Norman James “Jim” Gould, 85, of Mashpee, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully on May 29, 2024, surrounded by his loving family.

Jim was born on May 8, 1939, to Dr. George I. and Elizabeth “Birdie” Isaacson Gould in the town of Lewiston in his beloved State of Maine. While George, then a US Army Medical Corps officer, and Jim’s four maternal uncles were serving the nation overseas during World War II, Jim spent his earliest years with his mother Birdie, grandparents Harry and Molly, and extended family on his grandparents’ farm in Auburn, Maine.

After Jim’s father returned from the war and finished his military service, the family moved to nearby Richmond on the Kennebec River, where George practiced primarily as country doctor, and Jim was affectionately known by neighbors and family friends as “Little Doc.” Jim enjoyed a magical childhood surrounded by his parents, younger sister Margie, and a large extended family, and marked by a love for the outdoors, that included fishing, hunting, and building and sailing homemade boats, occasionally making the precarious journey down the Kennebec River to Merrymeeting Bay and the Gulf of Maine.

A gifted and determined student, Jim’s life would be grounded in hard work; he finished Richmond High School two years early. His primary objective was to become a Bowdoin Man, and so at the tender age of 15, Jim agreed to Bowdoin College’s acceptance condition that he first complete a post-graduate year to “mature a little bit” before matriculating. After boarding for a year at the Kent’s Hill School, Jim proudly enrolled at Bowdoin in the fall of 1956, receiving his degree in 1960.

Taking some time to consider his options, Jim soon ventured beyond the familiar confines of his Maine and moved abroad, first to Vienna, and then Munich, where he enrolled in the medical school at the University of Munich, taking his medical courses in German while still learning the language. While in Munich during the 1960s, Jim took in the full ex-pat experience, traveling extensively – mostly by way of motorcycle and a VW split-window Beetle that he proudly outfitted with Maine license plates – making friends along the way, including other expats, US servicemen, and German medical students, several of whom remained among his dearest friends through Jim’s final days of life.

Upon receiving his medical degree and further training in Germany, Jim returned to the States and completed an internship at the Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Massachusetts.. It was there that he met his dearest friend and wife-to-be, Marilyn (née Spanier), who worked on the hospital’s pediatric ward. Jim and Marilyn would go on to be married for fifty-one years, raise two boys, and build a rich and fulfilling life together in Leominster, Massachusetts.

After completing his Harvard University residency at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Jim passed his Anesthesia Board exams in 1976 and became a Fellow of the American College of Anesthesiologists in 1979. Over the decades, Jim practiced at various central-Massachusetts hospitals and served as chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Leominster Hospital from 1978 to 1993. Jim was always dedicated to practice, simply because it enabled him to help heal the sick, and he involved himself deeply with many professional organizations, including the Massachusetts Society of Anesthesiologists, of which he was a longtime Executive Board member.

As a doctor, Jim was widely known for his gentle and informed bedside manner and devotion to his patients, and as a man, for his suffer-no-fools approach to life. But Jim’s greatest joys outside his profession were spending time with Marilyn and his family, the great State of Maine, his Jewish faith, and the riveting catch-and-release pursuit of the next trophy fish on one of his hand-tied flies and several dozen fly rods, some of which he built in his home workshop.

For Jim, however, fishing was not simply an activity, but rather a manifestation and expression of values. He loved the patience and focus it required, the connection to the outdoors, the time spent with his boys, his many friends – old and new – or alone, and the thrill of the hunt, the catch and the release. Always passionate about preserving the great outdoors, for twenty-two years Jim served on and later chaired the Leominster Conservation Commission and co-founded a regional land trust there, which successfully conserved hundreds of acres of pristine watershed and open space.

In 2015, Jim and Marilyn retired to Cape Cod, where Jim filled his days reading voraciously, watching historical documentaries and world news, enjoying the company of family and friends, traveling at home and abroad, fishing all over North America, and enjoying seeing his New England athletic teams win championships.

Besides his loving parents, Jim was preceded in death by his sister, Margery Gould Rath. Jim is survived by his wife, Marilyn; his sons, Peter (Christine) Gould of Boulder, Andrew (Akilah) Gould ’00 of Los Angeles; and his three granddaughters, Gardner, Bennett, and Greta Gould, as well as dozens of cousins, nieces and nephews, and many friends.

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