Mary Goulding, 82, saw the humor in life and passed it on

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Mary Adele Wells-Allen Goulding, 82, died on Oct. 2, 2013 at her River Forest home. Throughout her illness, she had been surrounded by family, friends, and special caregivers for several months, entertaining them with laughter, pranks, stories, and much love.

"Marydel" (her childhood nickname) was born on Jan. 7, 1931, in Paducah, Ken., to C. Edwin Wells and Mildred Murphy. She moved to Illinois when she was 8. She believed in strong women, experiencing different cultures through European travel, rubbing noses after making meatballs, and laughing, listening, and learning. She enjoyed shopping with her grandchildren and they loved shopping with her. She was passionate about music, her faith, poetry, and lively discussions.

Graduating in 1948 from Mount St. Mary's boarding school in St. Charles, she made many friends she kept for life. She attended DePaul University for two years, meeting the dashing Peter Goulding at the end of his senior year and her sophomore year. They had their first date on April 27, 1950 and became engaged 12 days later. Marrying on Jan. 13, 1951, in Westchester, they were together in love for 47 years, until Peter died on Sept. 3, 1998.

An only child who wanted a large family, she created a solid foundation of family values which is being passed to each new generation. She talked to each as if they were the only person who mattered.

After her six children were all in school, Ms. Goulding returned to her studies, graduating from Rosary College (now Dominican University) with a master's degree in library science. She worked for the Elmhurst Public Library, and later was the head of the Suburban Library System's Reference Services, training and mentoring many people in the art of looking for clues to answer questions that stumped the best.

Over the years, she has taken children, grandchildren, spouses, and friends to England, Italy, Ireland and many other parts of Europe. Each time she did, she would pass on the hidden stories that made each place special. For those grandchildren who could not travel with her to Venice, she wrote a book about it which they could take on future trips.

She was enthusiastic about music and played the piano, taking lessons and performing recitals until she was 81, when she decided it was finally time to "retire." She loved bridge, and was a Bronze Life Master, playing duplicate bridge for decades. She was a voracious reader, and loved to discuss books with her book club as long as they weren't fiction.

Mary Goulding touched so many lives with her intelligence, humor, music, creativity, friendship, kindness, and love. The family appreciates all the visits, phone calls, meals and treats, flowers, and outpouring of care. As she would have said, "Now it's your turn. Help someone smile today!"

Surviving are her children Aileen (Bill) Blomgren, Barbra (Keith) Watkins, Bill (Jeanne) Goulding, Maureen (Jim) Whited, and Jim (Diana) Goulding; her grandchildren, Brian and Becky Blomgren, Maurice and Elizabeth Goulding, Jordan, Kyle, and Samantha Watkins, Kate (Bob) Cushman, Patrick Goulding, and Nellie (Tyler) Day, Ryan, Christopher, and Alissa Whited, and Haley and Coleman Goulding; and her great-grandchildren, Sophia Ketchum-Goulding; Marcus and Kylie Goulding; Ava Day; and Cameron, Jayda, Alex, and Cayden Whited.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Mary Regina Goulding, in 2001.

Visitation was held on Oct. 6 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home. A funeral Mass was celebrated on Oct. 7 at Ascension Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, 355 N. Ashland Ave. Chicago, IL 60607 are appreciated.  

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