Mary Ellen Goulet


1932 - July 8, 2020

Mary Ellen Goulet, author, activist and protector of Hot Springs, passed away at the age of 87, on July 8, 2020 in Hot Springs, S.D. 

Mary Ellen Goulet was born in 1932, to Raoul and Emma Ellen (Startz) Goulet, in Calumet Location, a small mining neighborhood located a mile from Ely in the northeast woods of Minnesota. It was in these north woods where she learned to respect the beauty and the power of nature.    She attended the Ely public schools, one year of Ely Junior College, completing her undergraduate degree at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth in 1954 and her graduate work at Winona State in 1972.  

During her professional years in the Twin Cities area, she taught school, worked as a guidance counselor and ran a small business conducting seminars in holistic living.    After a professional life of teaching, counseling and conducting seminars in the Twin Cities, she and her husband, Robert Lee, a volunteer firefighter, retired to the Southern Black Hills near Hot Springs.  

Mary didn’t begin writing until after her retirement from her years in education. She published her first book, A (Not So) Simple Life: Our Return to Rustic Roots in 2005, at the age of seventy-three. She subsequently wrote two more books:  Cascade of Flames in 2011, followed by Reveille in Hot Springs: The Battle to Save Our VA in 2013. Her final book, A Purple Pantsuit, A lifetime of Breaking the Rules, was written in 2020. 

Mary was active in local causes, the Battle to Save Our VA, the battle against uranium mining and the effort to save our swimming facility, the Evans Plunge. Her efforts were tireless and made a true difference to the success of these activities.

Mary is survived by her husband, Robert Lee of Hot Springs; daughter, Sandra Gonzalez of Rochester Hills, Minn.; son in law, Nelson Gonzalez of Rochester Hills, Minn.; grandchildren, Giovanni Gonzalez-Goulet; Emma Ellen Gonzalez-Goulet; and her brother, Roy Goulet of Des Moines, Wash.  

A Celebration of Life Visitation was held Saturday, July 11, 2020, at Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home in Hot Springs, S.D.

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
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