WOODBRIDGE – In the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Woodbridge Fire Department paid respects to one of their own the best they could – providing a funeral procession going past his home and firehouse for his family and friends.
Richard T. Gould, 81, passed away on March 29. For the last three years, he was a resident of the Saint Joseph’s Seniors Home, which in the last few weeks had been devastated by COVID-19. He was a long-time volunteer firefighter and served as a commissioner for 15 years.
On April 2, Mayor John McCormac announced four residents of the St. Joseph’s Seniors Home nursing home and assisted living facility in Woodbridge, who moved to a CareOne facility in Hanover, had passed away, which included Gould.
St. Joseph’s Seniors Home has been operated by the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception since 1981, according to its website. It is a nonprofit Catholic healthcare community focused on offering a continuity of senior living.
With the increasing number of reported positive COVID-19 cases, the nursing home became severely short-staffed as employees were getting sick, according to information provided by CareOne.
Twenty-four of the 94 patients, which include caregivers, tested positive for COVID-19, and the other 70 patients were presumptive positive, officials had said.
The Morris County Office of Emergency Management with the help of state, county and local officials began to transport the 94 residents from St. Joseph’s to a CareOne facility on March 25.
McCormac, in his COVID-19 report on April 5, mentioned the passing of the long-time firefighter.
According to his obituary, Gould was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1961, he married Marie Ann Gould and they resided in Woodbridge where they raised their family. Richard and Marie were married for 59 years. He was an owner and operator of State Alarm Company in Edison for 20 years.
Gould served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1956-59. He was a member of Woodbridge Fire Company No. 1 for 48 years. Within the department, he served as a commissioner for 15 years, a volunteer firefighter and a member of the Exempt Firemen’s Association. He was especially proud of his work with the Fire Prevention Bureau.
He was a communicant and usher at Saint James Catholic Church in Woodbridge. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 857 in Woodbridge and belonged to the Corporal Reinhard Detachment of the Marine Corps League. He recently was awarded a 2019 Pioneer Award for the New Jersey Electronic Security Association.
Gould was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Lilian White Gould, and brother John Gould. He is survived by his wife Marie Ann Minucci Gould; sons Richard Michael Gould of Millstone and Thomas Michael Gould of Fort Collins, Colo.; brothers Edward Gould of Staten Island, N.Y. and James Gould of Holmdel; and grandchildren, Richard Roy Gould, Ryan David Gould, Anna Marie Gould and Erik Richard Gould. He was devoted to his family and friends as well as being a Godfather to 10 Godchildren.
Funeral services were private under the direction of Costello-Greiner Funeral Home in Woodbridge.
A memorial mass will be announced at a later date.
The impact of the coronavirus hit home this past week with the passing of a number of residents of the St. Joseph’s Seniors Home, a 48-year-old employee of the Woodbridge Township Public Works Department and a 48-year-old Colonia man.
The township reported two earlier deaths, which included an 85-year-old female.
For more COVID-19 information, visit covid19.nj.gov. Visit www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us for local information.