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Life Story / Obituary
Gregarious and fun-loving, Dale Leighton Gould lived a life rich in family and friends. A man who embraced each day as a gift and every person as a friend, Dale’s personality was bigger than life. He inspired smiles and laughter wherever he went. A hard worker, Dale knew well the value of play. Dale was a wonderful storyteller who never hesitated to generously give whatever he could in the service of others. He always found a way to see the best in everyone and every moment and was never one to complain. Living a wholehearted life, Dale proved a powerful role model for all who were blessed to know him.
Despite the obvious gloom of the Great Depression,1934 gave birth to many celebrated firsts. Flash Gordon made his debut while Fuji Photo Film was established. The Three Stooges took center stage in their first short while the nation first met Donald Duck. The year marked the turning point in the Great Depression as the rays of Hope peeked through the clouds of despair in America when unemployment decreased to 22%. Nowhere was there a greater sense of hope than Grand Rapids, Michigan as Vivian D. and Cecile (Arendsen) Gould welcomed their son, Dale, into their hearts and home on February 6.
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Dale enjoyed growing in the Alger Heights neighborhood. An only child, Dale enjoyed camping, golfing, bowling, and reading. Though he had the misfortune of getting hand and arm caught in a wringer washer as a child, he was pretty unique in that he was a right-handed bowler and a left-handed golfer. While he learned to enjoy his own good company, he also possessed a natural affinity for people. From the start, he learned the values of hard work and service to others from his parents. While his father worked as an insurance salesman, his mother was a secretary. The family attended Faith Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids.
Dale attended Grand Rapids Public Schools for his entire K-12 education. He began his schooling at Alger Elementary and graduated from Grand Rapids South High School with the class of 1953. Dale furthered his education at Davenport Institute.
Having been active in the ROTC in high school, Dale confidently joined in the US Marine Corps in 1955. After completing boot camp at Parris Island, Beaufort County, in South Carolina, Dale proudly served in our country’s efforts during the Korean Conflict until he completed his service in 1962.
In 1958, Dale was blessed to meet his beloved, Margie Mellisa Maloney, at a youth group meeting at Park Congregational Church. Instantly smitten, Dale and Margie were soon a couple. After dating for two years, they were happily married on August 26, 1960, at the very church they first met.
After honeymooning in the Wisconsin Dells and completing his military service, Dale and Margie settled into their home on Kendalwood NE in Grand Rapids. Here they would be blessed to welcome and raise their two beautiful daughters, Barbara and Mary. Dale worked for his father at the Gould Insurance Agency located in the Federal Square Building in Grand Rapids, while Margie stayed home with the girls. As a father, Dale was a wonderful balance of fun-loving and hard-working. He relished in his family and provided his girls with a beautiful example of true love and how a good man treats a good woman.
In 1979, Dale started the Dale Gould Insurance Agency. With his bride at his side and answering the telephone, Dale poured himself into providing his customers excellent service. So friendly, kind, and genuine, many of his clients became life long friends. Very engaged in the community, Dale was always quick to give of his time and talents. Over the years, he was involved with several service organizations, including the American Legion – Carl Johnson Post #2, Grand Rapids Round Table, Breakfast Club of Grand Rapids, Izaak Walton League. In the American Legion, he served as Fifth District Commander, Carl A. Johnson Post 2 Commander, Post 2 Adjutant, and Past Commanders “13 Club.” Without a doubt, these organizations were fortified by Dale’s many contributions.
Dale was a man who found joy in the simple things in life. He enjoyed Big Band music, the Scottville Clown Band, and Polka Music, and enjoyed bowling and playing golf for many, many years. An avid coin collector, Dale also loved to read history and military books; Bill O’Reilly was one of his favorite authors. He thoroughly enjoyed camping with his family too. When his girls were young, he and Margie made a tradition of taking annual two-week camping trips across the country. The visited many national parks, mystery spots and tourist traps, historical sites like Gettysburg and Mount Rushmore. They explored Michigan’s state parks and the Great Smoky Mountains, as well as the thrills of Cedar Point Amusement Park. Dale enjoyed cheddar cheese, hard salami, and wet burritos. A coffee drinker as well, he also put butter on just about everything!
As his family grew to include grandchildren, Dale welcomed his role as a grandfather with enthusiasm and honor. Douglas, Paul, Juanita, Chelsea, Courtney, Mckenna were truly his heart’s delight. In each of their eyes, he could readily see the reflections of his legacy, as well as his greatest hopes for the future. Upon welcoming his great-grandchildren, Leland, Delilah, Amelia, Dale’s joy grew even greater.
Clearly, it is hard to imagine life in the absence of Dale’s steadfast and joyful presence. May we find great comfort in knowing that Dale has been reunited with his beloved Margie, our many treasured memories. May we find additional comfort in the honor of carrying his loving legacy forward. With each moment we welcome a stranger as a friend, enjoy a peanut butter and pickle sandwich, gather around the campfire, or volunteer our services, we celebrate the many ways Dale gifted our lives. In this way, we keep his legacy alive and inspiring others as he so inspired us.
Dale Gould, age 86, of Grand Rapids, passed away peacefully at his home on May 16, 2020. He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Margie. Dale is survived by his daughters, Barbara (Dave) Sampson and Mary Anne Postma; grandchildren, Chelsea (John) Russell, Courtney (Zach) Finlayson, McKenna Sampson, Douglas Dunning, Paul Dunning, Juanita Mulligan; and his great-grandchildren, Cana, Josiah, Madison, Lily, Leland, Delilah, and Amelia. A family graveside service will take place in Fairplains Cemetery. A public celebration of life will take place at a later date. Contributions in his memory may be made to Faith Hospice. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Dale’s life story, submit a favorite memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook online. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Faith Hospice and Dale’s nurse, Andrea and home health aide, Sonya, for the loving care that was shown to Dale.