Maryan L. Gould
Maryan L. Gould
  • September 8, 1919 - February 14, 2016
  • North Carolina

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Maryan (Paul) Leopold Gould peacefully passed away on February 14th, 2016.
A private graveside funeral service for the immediate family will take place on Tuesday, February 16th at the Greensboro Hebrew Cemetery.
Paul was born on September 8, 1919, the first child of Sigmund and Stella Goldhirsch. Sigmund was an Austrian veteran of WWI and owned a taxi business in Vienna. Anticipating the birth of their first child, Paul's mother Stella left Vienna and stayed with her sister in Lvov, Poland for assistance with the new baby. Paul and his mother promptly returned to Vienna where he lived for the rest of his childhood until his escape from Vienna in 1938 during the upheaval just prior to WWll.
Stella was a gifted and cultured woman, inspiring her children in the Arts. Paul and his younger brother, Robert, were talented young boys enjoying the wonderful opportunities that Vienna had to offer, particularly in music and sports. They attended excellent schools and developed a formidable interest in classical music. Both sang in the renowned Vienna Boys Choir and were young admirers of the Opera. Paul worked as an apprentice to a large and famous beauty salon in Vienna.
As turmoil spread throughout Europe, but particularly in Poland and Austria, Paul saw the handwriting on the wall and attempted to flee Jewish persecution in Austria. Unfortunately, he was captured and placed in a German Prison with other Jews and undesirables. He was able to escape and made his way to France where he was given a choice of enlisting in the French Foreign Legion or being sent back to Germany. He chose the Legion.
He served 5 1/2 years in the French Foreign Legion and was discharged to Casablanca, Morocco. Not being able to return to Austria, when his duty was over, he sought to make a new life for himself. With neither family nor friends, he met Marie Levy, a seamstress in a custom clothing shop and was taken in by the Levy family. He and Marie were married on September 30th, 1944 and were married for 68 years until Marie's death in May of 2013.
They immigrated to the United States with their two children, Sigmund and Lillie, enduring a 9 day transatlantic voyage. They settled in Queens, NY. Paul worked two and three jobs (including selling vacuums and doing make-up and hair at the Metropolitan Opera) to establish himself in America and make it possible for his family to be comfortable. He did this without speaking English. Paul finally worked as a hairstylist, the trade he trained for in Vienna. After a successful career, Paul and his wife Marie retired to Greensboro, NC to be near their son Sigmund and his wife Joan and three grandchildren.
He and Marie visited New York often to see daughter Lillie and granddaughter Jessica. He was equally happy in Greensboro where he was very much engaged in the community. He took woodcarving and sketching classes at GTCC. He was an avid swimmer at the YMCA where he had many loving friends . He was active at Beth David Synagogue and Temple Emanuel and helped many students with their religious studies, including preparing them for their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Paul was a frequent speaker at schools and churches across the Piedmont, talking about his experience as a Holocaust survivor and was a participant in the Steven Spielberg Shoah Project. He was a Lay Rabbi at Ohev Zion Synagogue in Martinsville, Virginia for many years.
Paul had a wonderful voice. He auditioned for the Bel Canto Singers and was accepted. He also was a founding member of the Greensboro Choral Society and sang in the choruses of several operas put on by the Greensboro Opera. And he acted in the Greensboro Ballet's The Nutcracker.
Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Marie Levy Gould. Paul will be lovingly remembered by his children Sigmund (wife, Joan) and Lillie, his grandchildren Rebecca Levin (husband, Todd ), Jason Gould (wife, Meganne), Michael Gould (wife, Jenny), Jessica Erdheim and great-grandchildren Hannah, Aidan, Avery, Charlie and Raina and nieces Stella Gould and Leslie Nassar.
Memorial contributions may be made to Beth David Synagogue, 804 Winview Drive, Greensboro, NC 27410 or Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro.