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Stephen Terence Gould – Nee August 28, 1943, Mort July 14, 015

August 29, 2015


Stephen Terence Gould  

Obituary for Stephen Terence Gould  – A Champion of the Heart


     Stephen Terence Gould, aged 71, died of cancer on July 14, 2015 in the care of Boulder Manor Nursing Home in Boulder Colorado. He was 71 years old.


 Steve was born August 28, 1943 in Pontiac Michigan to Captains LeRoy A. Gould and Florence R. (Oelerking) Gould, both officers (ministers) in the Salvation Army.  He grew up on America’s great plains in various cities his parents were stationed to in Iowa and Nebraska. He graduated from Omaha Technical High School, where he was a star student, musician and athlete.

He started college immediately after high school, but soon discovered this is not what he needed to do at that stage in his life.  Instead he moved back to Michigan and lived for several years in Traverse City and Lansing.  He also spent time in North Carolina, Florida and New Hampshire and Germany.


     He eventually migrated to California and lived as a hippie in the Haight-Ashbury district, where he was known as the poet “Gulu.”  There he met and married Judy Ochinero and they had a son, Dylan, in 1968.   After some time in northern California, he moved back to Traverse City and ended up spending the remainder of his life in the  Denver area. 


     Steve’s formal education was an on-again, off-again adventure.  Besides one semester as a Regents’ Scholar at the University of Omaha he took classes at Northwestern Michigan College and Chico (CA) State University. Eventually he graduated Magna Cum Laude in Arts Administration from Metropolitan State College of Denver.


     Career-wise, his interest was always in the arts: poetry, theater, drawing and dance.  He was a Producer- Director at a public television station in northern California.   He was Arts Development Coordinator for the Interlocken (MI) Arts Academy. He was the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Lansing (MI) Arts Council.  He was the Director of Marketing and Research  for the Denver’s Bonfils Theatre—a division of the  Denver Center for the Performing Arts.  During most of this time he was conducting and publishing academic research in the areas of perception and cognition.  


     Steve was a renowned advocate for the homeless population, having experienced that manner of living for a period in his life.  He was a member of the Governance Board of the Metropolitan Denver Homelessness Initiative for 10 years and Denver Mayors John Hickenlooper and Michael Hancock appointed Mr. Gould to serve on the Denver Commission to End Homelessness for eight years.  In 2007, he was awarded the Michael Gilbert Outstanding Achievement Award by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the homeless. 


     Steve had more artistic creativity in his little finger than most people have in their whole body.  He was a many-times-over published, award-winning poet and an accomplished graphic artist.  He was also a periodic guest columnist on the Denver Post, commenting mostly on the arts and on plight of homelessness.   


     He was predeceased by his parents and his oldest brother Peter.  He is survived by his son Dylan Gould, his granddaughter Leahra Gould and his former wife Judy Gould-Ring, He is also survived by his siblings David Gould, Daniel Gould, Judy Byal, Robin Gould and Leslie Gould, and their families. They will miss his upbeat, energetic and  playful presence in their lives.


     There will be an “appreciation gathering” for Steve’s time on this earth onSunday, August 30, 2015 at 2 PM at the Pleasant View Grange (3400 95th Street) in eastern Boulder County.  All are encouraged to attend and share their recollections of Steve in their lives.  


Stephen Gould – A Champion of the Heart


​Stephen was a mentor, brother, kindred spirit, friend, lover of the word, devoted to clear concise expressing of his sense and sensibilities.
He was a just righteous human who looked through a lens of consciousness that was full of mischief and mirth

His gifts were showered upon people who never had training. He offered these individuals a framework evoking their voices and allowing them to express what  was urgent and which ended their fear  reluctance and self



His writing reflected an insight into the plight of diverse people who struggle for a place in our community. His voice raised awareness of what is possible for anyone who stumbles and falters along their journey. His poetry resonated a sense of justice and forbearance of those who are oppressed. including 
  • immigrants without a place, 
  • people who were lost that their presence be felt, people who had nowhere to turn, 
  • those who had no sense of their possibilities, 
  • and anyone who was persecuted  for being different. 
  • Ultimately Stephen was a voice crying out for sustenance for everyone because he suffered from anxiety that he would lose his way. He knew how it feels 
  • to be
  •  left out 
  • ignored 
  • trampled, 
  • targeted, 
  • regarded as inferior simply because you have a hard time
  •  a hard road to hoe. Stephen was my mentor in understanding discipline and making inevitable choices that are not accepted or popular.  W​e​
    were brothers and kindred spirits in our demand that we be true to our calling and do what we saw as necessary to accomplish as lone wolves.  Both of us rocked the cradle to pieces. we were linked at the Denver Voice because we both loved passion of word and spirit that gurgled up like a geyser in a spring.  From our consciousness was a sympathy for exactness and truth.  Stephen graced me with the honor of speaking before this gathering because we saw in one another a relentless spirit

     revealing common ground that all people share 

  •  a need for safety, 
  • for touch, 
  • for compassion,
  •  for releasing trauma and above all else
  •  for overcoming formidable obstacles that blocked us from achieving what we dreamed

     weaving together a tapestry 

  •  how we could find a place for common ground.
I will always be grateful for the moment when he asked me if I would speak to you because his overture welcomed me to contemplate what matters most.  in Stephen’s case this led to being true, focused and engaged unto the end.  Bless you brother you challenged the infrastructure
 stirred the consciousness of everyone who you touched. ​
I just learned of Stephen’s passing and just wanted to send a couple of thoughts your way.  I will unfortunately be unable to attend the Memorial this week as I am out of the country but wanted to make sure I shared a few things with you.  I have been thinking about him a lot today and I will be there in spirit on the 30th
Stephen is one of the reasons we created Denver’s Road Home.  In fact, Steven was what Denver’s Road Home was all about.  It was about getting the community involved and genuinely engaging leaders to help us house the homeless. 
The first week I started working with then Mayor Hickenlooper and Roxane White, Stephen was in our offices telling us about the cold weather shelters and the need to make sure everyone had a place to go on cold nights.  He understood the science, and he understood the humanity behind ending homelessness.  Stephen was articulate and he was vocal and he was stubborn as hell… especially when it came to services for the homeless. 
And he showed up. 
He showed up to our committee meetings.  And he showed up to our commission meetings.  He showed up to Project Homeless Connects and he showed up to City Council meetings.  And he was very much a part of the housing and the services that Denver created for the homeless.  He was a colleague and an advisor; he was a critic and an advocate; but most importantly he was a friend.  He was a friend to me and to Denver’s Road Home and the homeless men and women and children of our community and he will be deeply missed. 
Much love, jamie
 “I am sorry to hear of his death. He was a good and gentle man.”
Councilwoman Robb
Remembering Stephen Gould
Colorado lost one of its longest-serving and most dedicated advocates with the passing of Stephen
Terrence Gould. Stephen lived a long and accomplished life and dedicated his life’s work and fierce
intelligence to the grueling work of solving homelessness. He touched many in the community with his
unwavering resolve and tireless focus. Stephen served as an expert advisor to the Blue Ribbon study on
Homelessness in 2004, and then served as a commissioner for over a decade on the Mayor of Denver’s
Commission to End Homelessness.
He also received the 2007 Michael Gilbert Award for Outstanding
Achievement from the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. He was also a Colorado Voices columnist
He was also the first member experiencing homelessness to serve on the Metro Denver Homeless
Initiative Board Continuum of Care. Stephen can be credited with developing Denver’s threshold for
providing cold weather emergency shelter at 40 degrees- one of the most accommodating thresholds in
the country. He was also a leader in the community for research on criminalization of homelessness. In
short, Stephen was an extraordinary, leader, mentor, and friend, and will be missed tremendously. Thank
you, Stephen, for all that you did.
poetry often graced the pages of the Denver Voice and so we leave you with his words.
For My Father
the size
of god
i know
that night
is his
i do waiting well:
got basic-trained in Streetschool waitin,
double degree in settlin in and settlin for
got a gutside learnin you cant get
but from just havin to stand there and Job it,
measurin your patience by the windchill, your faith
by the tightness hunchin in your shoulders, head forced down
to that cold humility we can recognize at a distance,
to step aside
before we step among
i do waitin well: you can tell
by the glare in the stare
at the tear in my outerwear
that i must ignore
to see myself in him
(my human parts must say it slowly):
whatever bus be comin next, Man
we are both waitin
in the same damn rain
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