We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Holt Family Funeral Home
Leila "Lee" Gougler passed away peacefully at home with her family on August 11, 2021, after a courageous two-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Leila was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania on September 26, 1929, to David Russell & Evelyn Pfeiffer. Lee spent her formative years there growing up with her older brother Dave, living a simple, but happy life. Lee remembers vividly the history of her time as an extension of the depression which taught her frugality and compassion (her family helped many other family members during this time).
Lee had many good friends, jitterbugging and singing her way through high school. In 1947, she met her future husband, Frank Alfred (Al) Gougler Jr., through her first after-school job as the mail girl for Alcoa Aluminum. They were married on Valentine’s Day in 1948. Al was a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy and a metallurgical engineer with Alcoa, but alas, the Navy called for many moves right away.
Leila had three children; Ronald, Janet, and David Gougler, and by then the family was firmly planted in the small town of Danville, California (45 minutes East of San Francisco). Lee was the head of the PTA, a Sunday school teacher at the Presbyterian Church, a Girl Scout leader, and a very busy, on-the-run, ultimate momma bear to her children and their needs. With the many years in California, Lee enjoyed family trips to Disneyland, Lake Tahoe, the Redwoods, Yosemite, camping trips, the beaches, and touring San Francisco. She also did a lot of traveling with her husband on business trips, and particularly loved Hawaii and the Greenbrier in West Virginia. In the twist and turns of life, after her youngest son, David, started 4th grade, Lee went to work as a pre-school teacher at her Presbyterian Church for 3 years and then became an expeditor for Multi Sonics. Lee always said that when David graduated college she would move to Colorado to be near her daughter, Jan, and her two grandchildren.
Lee created her new life in Colorado over the next 35 years. She loved kitty cats, the cabin in Montana, everything about Christmas, music, and playing bridge. She was an avid walker, cooking queen, reading maniac, and loved babysitting her two grandchildren, and later, her six great-grandchildren. She sang with the Ladybugs for 17 years, a group of ladies who visited senior citizen homes in Canon City and Florence, to entertain the residents and bring them joy. She was also an avid history buff and traveled with her daughter, Jan, always by train because she was a train enthusiast as well.
Leila is survived by her three children; Ron, Jan, and Dave (Veronica Jacobi), two grandchildren; Chad and Lindsay, and 6 great-grandchildren; Thomas, Aidan, Olivia, Landon, Bethany, and Sophie. She is preceded in death by her mother and father; Evelyn and David Russell Pfeiffer Sr., brother; David Russell Pfeiffer Jr., Frank Alfred Gougler Jr., and daughter-in-law; Nancy (Ron) Gougler.
There wasn’t a charity that she didn’t like, but she always had a great love for The Special Olympics. Should you like to donate in her name, specialolympics.org.
Due to the Covid virus, and family in 3 states, we will be having a Celebration of Life and Memorial in the very near future.
We would like to thank all of the caring staff from Sangre De Cristo Hospice, Palace Drugs, Holt Family Funeral Home, Chad Kooiman, Lindsay Postma, Paul Schickler, Dava from Hildebrand, and all dear friends who brought meals, ran errands, etc. It meant so very much.
As Leila always said, “I have so much gratitude for such a beautiful and well-lived life”.