Ed Goulet '26

SFS alumnus Ed Goulet died on February 20th, 2000 among family members after returning home from the hospital.  He was 91 years old.

Merrell Young wrote:
Ed Goulet attended the seminary in the mid 1920's, helping dig the old swimming pool.  He was hosted to Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents home - the house in which I was born on Meis Avenue, College Hill, OH - where he met my grandmother (who passed away before my birth) and my mother Vera and her sister Clare Rita.  My uncle Albert -Fr. Antonnellus James OFM - invited and brought Ed to dinner several years running.  He provided me pictures of these happy occasions when I met him for the first time last October.

It was such a blessing meeting this loving, gentle, holy man who spent his spare hours making rosaries.  On the first night I visited him for an overnight stay in Muskegon, the phone rang around 9:30 pm.  It was my wife, Vicky, informing me that my son Harold had just passed away.  The Lord couldn't have placed me in a more loving or supportive environment at that time. 

We corresponded via Email regularly, and by phone occasionally.  Our last visit was to spend time with him at the hospital, several weeks ago, as he was getting over fluid on the lungs.  He was very chipper.  He came home for a little while, but was forced to return last week due to cancer of the bladder, which caused him a great deal of discomfort.  He became very weak, and began to fade in the last few days, drifting into unconsciousness several days ago.

His daughter Marjorie wrote me,

"God has blessed us and taken Dad about 11:15 this morning.  Rosemary and Dan had been with him from 3 to 9 am.  I went to 8 am mass and felt a kind of solace from the priest's message then went to the hospital.  Rosemary said the night nurse thought this would be Dad's last day and that she was only going to take Dan home and take a shower and she'd be back.  Danny and Jean came after she left and the nurse said she was going to give dad a bath so we went down to the cafeteria for coffee.  We came back 20 minutes later and the nurse motioned to us and told us that he was in bad trouble.  Jean and Dan went in and I went for the phones and called Rosemary, Ted, and Geri.  The three of us prayed with Dad and talked with him and the doctor came at the same time and said his breathing indicated his last minutes.

He was peaceful and surrounded with love when he took his last breaths.  Rosemary arrived a few minutes later when his soul was still there and she touched and prayed and talked to him and felt at peace that she had spent so much quality time with him last night.  His son Ted was at Mass, probably receiving communion at that very minute, helping Dad fly on eagle's wings away...we were all there while his presence and his warmth were still there in the room.  Ted asked me to read a verse from the Book of Wisdom that was so beautiful and so true ..."But the souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them.  In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die, their going looked like a disaster; their leaving us, like annihilation; but they are in peace....."

Geri, Tony, Joe, Nancy and Paul were all there to pray with us....a beautiful departure...a blessing because of all your prayers.  We will be forever grateful.

Love, Marjie

 

Ed attended St. Francis Seminary from September 1921 until Christmas 1925.  He is credited with naming the Brown & White.  He's been corresponding with the Franciscan Alumni Association lately.  The following are excerpts from his letters and email messages:


œI was a student at St. Francis Seminary and was in on the start of the Brown & White after we went to the "new" seminary at Mill Road.  I was a classmate of the late Father Quentin (Albert) Hauer, and imagine I could be the oldest alumnus alive today, at 91.  I have many good memories of those days and would like to contact anyone from that era.
I could write a book about St. Francis--the memories are still quite sharp in my mind, but space is limited on "E" mail, so I will have to give you a little at a time.  I sent quite a few pictures to the Seminary about 3 years ago which I was told were going into the archives.  I may have some more at home in Michigan.  I have been staying with my daughter in Hawaii the past 4 years during the winter months.  I, like so many others at the Sem, came from a poor family, and was boarded and educated free of charge and for that I'm deeply grateful.  They even paid the train fare from my hometown, Calumet, Michigan, where I was born.  We spent 3 years at 1615 Vine St. and would spend Wednesday and Saturday afternoons at the new Sem, making the pond which is now a sunken garden.  Our curriculum included Latin, Greek, German, Spanish and English, but German wasn't spoken outside of class.  Fr. Urban was the Prefect and Fr. Ermin was band director and English Prof. Fr.  Bup-up (nickname) was an old Botanist who sometimes fell asleep in class, but knew his plants.  He had me bring him some special moss that grew only in the Copper Country.  I'm 91 years old and am getting tired so I'll continue tomorrow.
Yours in Christ,
Ed Goulet œ

 

Ed continued on 2-18-99.  In response to questions about Picnic Day and Manuel Chavez (a prolific writer for the Brown & White):


œI never heard of 'Picnic Day.'  We were up at 6:00, Mass at 7:00, study hall 8:00 till 9:00, class until 12:00, lunch & rec until 1:00, class till 3:00, rec till 5:00, then supper, 6:00 - 8:00 study hall, then to bed.  As to the Chavez's, there were 3 of them, a Spaniard, a Mexican and an Indian.  I don't remember their first names, but the Indian went home early--I think he was too shy and homesick.


It is strange that I never kept in touch with my classmates, but I was concentrating on working to help my family financially.  Of course I kept in touch with Fr. Aurelian (Ray) Munch from Calumet.  He was the one who took me to St. Francis in the first place.  I remember he won an oratorical contest with "The Charge of the Light Brigade."  Ray was 2 years ahead of me.


A few years ago, I visited the Seminary and met Fr. Gerbus who was staying there at the time.  Although he was 2 years behind me, he remembered me.  He said I was the one who named the paper "Brown and White."  I only know we had a contest to name the paper and it was natural to name it after the habit and cord, although I found out later that the Franciscans in Italy wore black robes.  Fr. Bernard Gerbus told me where I could find Fr. Quentin (Al) Hauer, an old classmate of mine, who used to invite me to his home on the Holidays.  He was in a retirement home and we had a great visit.  He told us about his life with the Indians and later his sister sent me a book he wrote on the subject.  What a Man!

Other friends that I can recall: Louis (Bud) Flesch from Louisville, Bernie Schneider, Harry Coe of Grand Rapids, Knectges from Detroit, Jerry Davies from New Mexico, Geyer from Cincy, and Jimmy James from College Hill, whose family took me in on Thanksgiving--what a cook his mother was!  Jimmy was about 2 years ahead of me.  I wish my memory wasn't so clouded, but 73 years is a long time.  When I sign out I will remember more, and will mail more info.  I could burn your ear for a week.  Until later---Ed Goulet

 

From 2-22-99:


œMore names: Sweitser of Louisville, O'Keefe from Missouri, and a name we all tried to spell, Gorzelanczyk from Nantikoke, Penn.


In the old seminary, we had a grumpy woman who, if she caught us looking out the window, would say, "get your dirty fingers the window out."  Half the kids were "boarders", the other half local "day students."  Recreation was limited to handball against the side of the dorm that had no windows, and we had the solid ball, no gloves.  Each fall we would have to toughen up our hands again, and that hurt for awhile.  We had no gym.  The place was surrounded by German bakeries and they sold us a large piece of cooken for a nickle--good!  We also played stickball in the yard surrounded by a tall cement wall.  That was the extent of our recreation.  This was right behind St Francis Church.


When we moved to Mill Road, we thought we were in Heaven.  It wasn't landscaped yet, but we were able to play real baseball and there was a basketball court in the gym.  We played each other according to size.  Sisters cooked for us and did the general cleaning, but we had to make our own beds.  We cleaned the whole building on weekends, except the priest's quarters which were off limits for us.

The Chapel was plain at that time--we didn't even have an organ.  All singing was a capella, led by the 5th class, and of course, Latin Gregorian Chant.  We were good at it, and I've never forgotten it. œ

 

From 2-24-99:


œI have been remembering more about the old days, so I thought I'd just add them to what I gave you.  Tuition, board and room cost the princely sum of $20 a month, but only if you could afford it.  Besides the 5 languages, we had math, history, religion and geography.  We translated the "Iliad and the Odyssey" from Greek to English.  I wrote a "Pensum" that won me a book of synonyms and antonyms.

Turnovers were heavy after the first year.  Our class started with 55 kids, but there were only about 8 left to enter the Novitiate.  The "Gipper" of Notre Dame fame was born in Calumet, Michigan and I took his cousin, Harrison Gipp, to the Seminary with me but he only lasted a month.  Homesick!  More later.  Vaya con Dios.

 

From 3-22-99:

Ed's daughter sent this note:


œMy dad, Ed Goulet, has certainly enjoyed corresponding with you and viewing and listening to the CDs...many long stored away memories have been stirred.  He has not been able to e-mail you lately because he contracted pneumonia the beginning of this month, was in the hospital for 10 days, and is now recuperating here at home.  He is gaining strength every day but still tires very easily.  Hopefully he'll be back in touch soon.  Please keep him in your prayers. Marjorie Mohror, daughter

 

Ed recovered from pneumonia and continued writing:

From 4-2-99:

œI remember the confining quarters in the old seminary at 1615 Vine, then the beauty of the new seminary in the country.  One day we golfed in the field behind the seminary.  I hit a good drive but couldn't find the ball.  (We only had one.)  Never golfed since.
 
One day Father Urban was relaxing on the second floor balcony when he saw a student on the 3rd floor wave to two girls hiking on the road.  He was sent home until the next year.

I played piccolo and flute in the band.  We made up a jazz group and Father Ermin caught us and gave us an ultimatum...break it up or get out of the band.

At 16 we were allowed to smoke a pipe if we had our parents' permission but only from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. outside.

May first was Straw Hat Day...beginning of spring.
Some kids got packages from home with fruit and sweets which they shared with others.  We had a credit office where any money sent to us was deposited and vouchers were issued for whatever we needed.

We had box cameras and I was given a "Dark Room" to process and print the pictures for the others.  It was still there in 1991 when I visited the school.

Each September after we arrived, it was the custom to give each other "biskets", the knuckle punch to the upper arm to see if we had softened up in the summer.  It hurt at first.

Fr Quentin (Al) Hauer was always arm-wrestling with someone.  He was pretty strong.  O'Keefe was a good left-handed pitcher.  Jimmy James was a great shortstop.  In basketball we shot underhand, not from overhead like today.  We couldn't "dunk" the ball as no one was tall enough.

It was remarkable that boys of 5 age groups could live together without any major conflicts, but we were taught personal discipline.  I remember if the boys in my family fought, my mother would make them kiss and make up.  This kept us from fighting.  Smart woman.

Marjie gave me a printout of all I've told you, and I've come to the conclusion that I talk too much.

Yours in Christ,
Ed Goulet


 
We asked Ed for a short biography to find out what else he's been up to over the years:

Ed was born March 28, 1908, in Calumet, Michigan of Ellen and Placide Goulet, the eighth child of a family of 12. He attended Sacred Heart Church and School in Calumet.  He later attended St. Francis Seminary, Cincinnati, from September 1921 until December 1925 (1926 alumnus of SFS).


Ed married Victoria Slusarczyk in Calumet on October 3, 1931.  He has 4 children, 17 grandchildren, and 33 great grandchildren.  They went through the depression of the '30s and moved to Muskegon, Michigan in 1933.
He worked as a supervisor at Campbell Wyant and Cannon Foundry for 35 years, and then became a Park Ranger for four years where he became interested in the conservation of our natural resources.

Ed lost his wife of 60 years in 1990.

He taught kids in elementary schools about wildlife and good conservation practice for about 20 years for which he was awarded the Lifetime Conservation Award.  He had to retire from this in 1996 because of health problems.

Director Goulet led and participated in Sacred Heart Church choir (Muskegon) for decades and sang in barbershop quartets for many years.

He's a member and past President of Muskegon Conservation Club.

Ed still plays pool and produces furniture, bird houses, mail boxes, etc. in his work shop.

He spends winters in Hawaii with his daughter.

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