2017-07-13 / Obituaries

Judi Gould


JUDITH ELAINE GOULD, ONE OF THE ORIGINAL TEACHERS at Oak Hills Elementary when the school opened in 1988, died on July 4, 2017 from complications due to Alzheimer’s. She was 74. A resident of Agoura Hills, Judi joined the Oak Park District in 1987, teaching fourth grade at Brookside for one year before moving to Oak Hills where she taught first grade until her retirement in 2003.

Born in Los Angeles on August 9, 1942, Judi Strauss grew up in the San Fernando Valley, attending North Hollywood Junior High before moving to Palo Alto, where she attended Cubberley High, met her future husband, James, and graduated in 1960.

Judi attended the University of California at Berkeley and San Jose State, graduating from San Jose with a degree in Elementary Education in 1965. As a student in the Institute of European Studies, Judi attended the University of Vienna in 1963 where, among other noted academics, she also studied under Dr. Viktor Frankl, the founder of Logotherapy. After leaving Vienna, hitchhiking much of the time, Judi traveled extensively in Europe before returning home. She was a fearless adventurer throughout her life. She shared her love of travel and other cultures with her students. She realized a lifelong dream in 2009 with a month-long trek through China. Her last trip overseas was a return to the University of Vienna in 2013 for the 50th anniversary reunion of her class. Possessing an almost mystical ability to connect with young children, Judi was a magnet for youngsters all of her life. Once stopping to rest on a bench on Vienna’s Karntner Strasse, a young boy smiled shyly at her. Judi immediately asked his name, how old he was. The boy looked confused. Despite suffering the onset of Alzheimer’s, Judi instantly switched to German, a language she had rarely used in 50 years. The boy was ecstatic, telling all of his six-year-old history in excited bursts of pleasure. The mother was charmed. And Judi, well Judi, as always, was the teacher with the magic touch.

Judi is survived by her husband of 53 years, James Gould; by her daughter and son-in-law, Rachel and Joseph McMillen, of Tualatin, OR; two grandchildren, Quinn and Connor; and by her son Dr. Richard Gould of West Hollywood.

The family asks that friends and colleagues wishing to remember Judi make a contribution in her name to the Alzheimer’s Association. Go to alz.org/join_ the_ cause_ tributes.asp. Scroll down to Find A Tribute, click on it and type in Judi’s name. When Judi was diagnosed, she knew how her life would end. It frightened her. But she never once expressed sorrow or grief, continuing to bless all around her with her smile and her famous hugs for as long as she was able. The family has arranged a celebration of Judi’s life at the Westlake Village Inn on Saturday, September 16, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Please advise the family of your attendance at judigouldcelebration@gmail.com.

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