Jun 26, 2014

Sister Bette Gould, longtime Catholic schools superintendent , dies at 75



Staff report

HOLYOKE – Sister of St. Joseph Bette Gould (formerly Sister Helen Charles), 75, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, in her 57th year of religious life, died in Holyoke on June 26.

A native of North Adams, Mass., she was the daughter of Charles and Helen (Toohey) Gould. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield from St. Francis of Assisi Parish in North Adams. She graduated from the former St. Joseph High School, North Adams and earned a bachelor of arts degree from the College of Our Lady of the Elms, Chicopee. She earned a master of education degree from Assumption College, Worcester, Mass., and a master of arts degree in pastoral studies and theology from Loyola University, Chicago.

She served as superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Springfield from 1984 to 2005. Previous to that, she ministered in the schools of the diocese as a teacher at Holy Trinity School, Greenfield and Blessed Sacrament School, Holyoke; as both teacher and later principal at the former St. Joseph High School, North Adams; principal at St. Joseph Central High School, Pittsfield; and as principal at the former Our Lady of Hope School, Springfield.

She worked at the Christian Education Center in Springfield and as curriculum coordinator for the Diocese of Springfield. In 2005, Sister Gould began her ministry at East Catholic High School, Manchester, Conn., serving for two years as interim principal and until very recently as coordinator of the school’s mentoring program. She also served as a police commissioner for the city of Springfield from 1993 to 1995.

In addition to her sisters in community, she is survived by her sister, Helene Gajda, of North Adams; her brother, John Gould, of Williamstown; and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Richard Gould, of Adams.

The wake will take place at Mont Marie in Holyoke on Monday, June 30, from 2-4:30 p.m. The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held in the Mont Marie Chapel on Monday at 5 p.m. Burial will follow in Mont Marie Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph, 34 Lower Westfield Rd., Holyoke, MA 01040-2739.