Marcia Gould was to Merrick what actor Kevin Bacon is to Hollywood.
The longtime Merrick resident was such an integral part of the Bellmore-Merrick community that Gould’s friends and family members believed that, in the same way that Bacon can be linked to virtually any actor through no more than six connections, Gould can be linked to nearly any local resident.
“My mom just knew everyone, and everyone knew her,” Gould’s daughter, Meredith Tateo, said.
Gould, who was involved in academics, state and county wrestling and community events, died March 29. She was 77.
Born Marcia Laskin in November 1943, Gould lived in Brooklyn for the first nine years of her life before moving to Merrick with her family. She graduated from Sanford H. Calhoun High School in 1961, part of the first-ever four-year graduating class in Calhoun history. She took courses at Hofstra University and later studied speech at C.W. Post.
According to a news release dated March 17, 1966, Gould was the first-ever civil service worker hired in the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, two months after civil service status was inaugurated.
While in that role, she met her eventual husband of 51 years, Edwin Gould. Then a senior at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Ed said they were set up on a blind date one chilly November night in 1968. The two attended a Hofstra University-Kings Point football game, and the rest, Ed said, was history.
“We were married six months later,” he noted.
As a Calhoun alumna, Gould was invested in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. She was one of the trailblazers who helped to form the Calhoun High School Alumni Association roughly 25 years ago and remained on the Board of Directors for many years.
Gould was an active Parent Teacher Association member for more than 20 years. She followed her children through their school years, serving as the PTA president at Roland A. Chatterton School, then Merrick Avenue Junior High School (now Merrick Avenue Middle School) and Calhoun High School.
“She was always there for us; she was involved in everything we did,” Tateo, of Queens, said. “If you ask any of my friends, they’d call her the mayor of Merrick.”
Gould also worked in the district offices at Wellington C. Mepham High School in North Bellmore. She was excessed from the position, but Ed insisted that she would have worked there forever.
Gould further integrated herself into the community by working at Quick Photo in Bellmore and the now-shuttered Station Cleaners in Merrick, which was located near the train station on Merrick Avenue.
“She got to see a lot of people in town that way,” Ed said. “They’d come by and drop stuff off on their way to the train in the morning, or stop by at night.”
One of Gould’s greatest passions was wrestling. She was a U.S. Wrestling Officials Association pairing official for more than 30 years and worked at local, state, regional and national U.S. Wrestling events. She found time to serve on both the NY-USA Wrestling sectional and the state boards of directors.
Gould worked at high school wrestling events across Long Island and served as a crew member of Nassau’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association Sectional Wrestling Championship.
Raymond Adams, of Merrick, the head wrestling coach at Long Beach High School, lived close to Marcia and knew her through wrestling. He said Gould was the foundation of the sport locally.
“She was the grandmother of New York state wrestling,” Adams said. “She always made you smile. She’d make cookies for the kids at tournaments; she was just always looking out for them. . . . We’re really going to miss her.”
In her free time, Gould was a skilled needlepoint artist. For well over three decades, she crafted embroidered canvases, personalized pillows, and more for her friends and family members.
While she was small in stature, she was big in heart, Ed recounted. “If you had to sum up her life, it was about caring and sharing,” he said. “She cared deeply about others, and she wanted to share things with them.”
In addition to her husband and daughter, she is survived by a son, Brett; her son-in-law, Chris Tateo; daughter-in-law, Lauren, and grandchildren Marcus, Avery and Emma.