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Douglas Matthew Gould

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In Loving Memory of Douglas Matthew Gould Mar. 24, 1953 - May 14, 2010 Douglas Gould passed away on Friday, May 14 in his home in La Verne, California. His unexpected death was the result of natural causes. Doug was born in Pasadena, California, the second of the five Gould children. Growing up, Doug was an active athlete, participating in Little League for many seasons. He remained interested in sports, and was an avid jogger and swimmer. Throughout his youth Doug worked hard at a variety of jobs from box boy to YMCA lifeguard; to management of a grocery store and a small eatery. From the age of 14 he contributed to his family's income, and later paid his tuition and supported himself through college. Doug graduated from Blair High School in 1971 and received an AA degree (Dean's List) at PCC. He earned a BA degree in History (Cum Laude) at CSULB and a Master's degree in Education Administration (President's Honor Roll) at CSULA. He taught in the Pasadena Unified School District for 30 years, beginning with six years at Wilson Middle School teaching history, English and music, and as the director of student activities and history department chair. He continued his career in education at Pasadena High School where he taught history, humanities, government and economics. He was a history department chair and class advisor and served on many committees dedicated to curriculum, school improvement and community service. His creation and sponsorship of the after-school music appreciation "Sgt. Pepper's Club" and the more serious-minded "Future Teachers of America" attest to his wide range of involvement in student's lives. He was an extremely devoted and conscientious educator, earning dozens of awards, including recognition from the PHS faculty and student body, the Pasadena Rotary Club and Junior Chamber of Commerce, the mayors of Pasadena and Los Angeles, the L.A. County supervisors, a state senator, a U.S. congressman, and the American Legion Freedoms Foundation. More importantly, he earned the respect of his many students for his inspiring approach to teaching and the dedication he brought to the classroom. His innovative style of bringing history to life in the minds of young people included the use of period music and, as he lectured, recreating everyday life with stories of the common man. Doug's gift of humor infused joy not only into his personal life, but also lent an upbeat dynamic to the classroom. He inspired many students to excel and to continue their studies. Often students returned to PHS to thank Mr. Gould for his positive effect on their lives. Doug showed equal care for both on-track and struggling students. The first in his own family to earn an advanced degree, he spent summers as an instructor for the Upward Bound Program at CSULA, a program for low-income students who often, themselves, represented the first generation in their families to continue their educations beyond high school. Doug received the high honor of being named a Mentor Teacher. He briefly considered moving into school administration, but felt the strong value of continuing in the classroom, and remained there until his retirement in 2009. Doug was a talented and creative musician, accomplished at the piano, guitar, drums and voice. He was a prolific composer, producing a wealth of songs and lyrics. He had an eclectic appreciation for all genres of music, from classical through American pop, musical theater, jazz and rock. He particularly loved the music of George Gershwin. Doug held a special place in his heart for animals. His life was enriched by a series of rescued pets which, over the years, he and his wife and daughter brought into their family home. Doug Gould is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Charles. He is survived by his beloved family: wife, Irene and daughter, Elise, his sisters, Kate, Jenny, and Carrie, as well as his nieces and nephews. Doug was a devoted husband and father, very much loved by his family, friends and students. He leaves a legacy of learning and music. A celebration of Douglas Gould's life will be held Sunday, June 13, 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena 91103. All are welcome and invited to share their thoughts and stories. Donations may be made in Doug's name to the Pasadena Humane Society by visiting pasadenahumane.org. The Humane Society will notify the family of your donation and comments, via an e-card sent to [email protected]
Published in Pasadena Star-News on June 6, 2010
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