Eva Marie Goulet

Eva Marie GouletEva Goulet died last Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Ridgecrest Hospital at the age of 98, two weeks short of her 99th birthday.

A Rosary will be held at the H.K. Holland Memorial Chapel, Friday, Nov. 29, from 5 to 6 p.m. Funeral services will be at St. Ann’s Church, 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 30.

It all started Dec. 6, 1914, in Fall River, Mass., when Eva Marie Rizzardini was born to her Italian immigrant parents. They eventually moved to California where her love story begins. Canadian-born Marshall Goulet made the long trip to the golden state of California, finally landing in Randsburg and working in a mine. It took no time at all until he became smitten with Eva, a lovely cashier in the Randsburg Market.

As fate would have it, that same year Marshall was deported back to Canada when a so-called “friend” turned him in. Not about to lose the man of her dreams, Eva loaned him $200, and he returned three months later.

Marshall borrowed $50, bought a ring and married Eva on Jan. 14, 1937. The $200 debt was cancelled, and their 50-plus years together begin.

The couple moved to San Bernardino, working side by side in a family grocery store her father set them up in. Marshall took notes from a local salesman and a neighbor and learned to cut meat. In 1939 they added a new member to their family, daughter Vivian. Two years later, son James was born. Moving from San Bernardino to Trona to Hemet, they finally settled in Ridgecrest in 1944.

Eva’s brother Mac, now owned the Victory Market and Marshall began working for him again, as a butcher for the store. Mac sold the market to the Goulets and his brother Jiggs Rizzardini, and their saga continued.

After splitting partnership with Jiggs, the Goulets opened the Ridgecrest Variety Store. They later sold the store and opened Coast to Coast (True Value), all the while working side by side in each venture.

The Goulets’ enthusiastic support and involvement in civic activities earned them much-deserved recognition. Marshall received the award of achievement from the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce not once but four times — in 1955, 1957, 1959 and 1963. He was chairman of a fund drive in 1956 to raise money to build St. Ann’s Church. Eva received the “Certificate of Appreciation” from the Desert Empire Fair in 1958, and the Goulets were chosen as Grand Marshalls to lead the 1979 Desert Empire Fair.

Marshall died in 1988, and Eva continued to live in Ridgecrest, the town she loved, for her remaining years. She lived alone caring for herself the entire time, cooking lots of meals and goodies for her family and others. She was an active member of the Catholic Church with a deep faith in God. A true prayer warrior, she prayed daily for her family, friends and those in need.

She is survived by her children, Vivian Ryno of Ridgecrest and James Goulet of San Diego; 10 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and 14 great-great grandchildren. She was deeply loved by her family and will be greatly missed but they are comforted in knowing that she is now with Jesus. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to a charity of your choice.

Submitted by the family of Eva Goulet.

Story First Published: 2013-11-27