1927 – 2011
Calla Linnea Gould, nee Otto, 84, of Sunset Hill, Academy Rd, Woodstock, Ct., died unexpectedly Thursday October 6 at Day Kimball Hospital. She was wife to the late John Nathan Gould, d. February 14, 2010.
Calla enjoyed fashion design, dressmaking and modeling, and collecting antique rugs, African art, couches, and ducks. She was practical and down-to-earth, a good cook, and loved animals and gardening; always poised, gracious and generous, she could readily offer an intelligent view, an artist’s eye, and a pointed remark.
Born in Salt Point, New York, on March 26 1927, to George Myers Otto and Irma Charlotte (John) Otto, she grew up on Ragged Mountain in Danbury, New Hampshire. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she did fashion design and modeling, and taught there for a time after graduation. Calla then set out to New York City to find fame and fortune, but she was pursued and married by a determined young man from Brown.
They lived in Flushing, NY and Plainfield, Ct. before finding their family home, an old inn on Woodstock Hill, where they began the raising of four sons. With husband and mother helping she ran it as an inn for a time. During this period she was a founding member of the Quinebaug Valley Health and Welfare Council, and helped create a listing of human services in the area.
Her husband’s work first as an arbitrator then as trade unionist took the family to Pittsburgh, where she continued social work and costume design; thence to Africa, where she lived in Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt. In Ghana she undertook an exhaustive study of traditional ceremonial costume and regalia in the village of Akwamufie, where she was made an honorary Queen Mother for her work; in Kenya she worked with tailor’s unions to set up a tailoring school.
After 25 years in Africa they retired home to Sunset Hill.
Calla is survived by three sons, David, of the Virgin Islands and Woodstock, George, of Putnam, and John of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts. Her oldest son Nathan died in 2000. She has a brother George in Chicago and a sister Genevieve in Maine. There are two nieces, four nephews, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
She is loved, and much missed.
Funeral arrangements for Calla are private. For memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com