• Fredric Neal Gould

    24 Jan 2021

  • Fredric Neal Gould

    Fredric Neal Gould, age 72, of Sedan, Kansas passed away Sunday, January 24, 2021 at Pleasant Valley

    Manor in Sedan.

    Fred was born on January 19, 1949 in Chicago, IL to Jack Gould and Charlotte (Bolotin) Gould. He

    graduated from High School in Skokie, IL. He later attended college at the University of Colorado.

    On May 23, 1981 he married Barbara Renfrow in Boulder, CO. They made their home in Colorado

    before moving to Florida in 2008. In 2016 they moved to Sedan, KS.

    Fredric worked as an Electronics Technician for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for 38years before retiring in 2008.

    In the late 1960s Fred joined a group as an Electronics Technician in the Atmospheric Electricity branch of the Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry Laboratory (APCL).  The Atmospheric Electricity branch performed basic research in all aspects of atmospheric electric phenomena, both in thunderstorms and in fair weather.  The group had to build its own instruments.  Fred used his knowledge of electronics to take the lead in the design and fabrication of these instruments.  A new invention in this time period was the operational amplifier; Fred immediately became pan expert on these and help determine how was could use them in our instrumentation.  An early goal of the group was to understand the development of the charge centers in thunderstorms that led to lightning.    To accomplish this, the group designed and build instruments that were mounted on aircraft to measure the atmospheric electric fields in thunderstorms.  Not only did Fred participate in building the instruments used, but he also was a member took his turn flying on the research aircraft.  We flew through smaller thunderstorms, but still experienced high ge forces; it was like riding on a huge rollercoaster but without a track.  Because these were research instruments, they often failed, and Fred was called on to repair the instruments, sometimes during a flight for that part of the instrumentation in the plane.  In 1969, Apollo 12 was struck by lightning and that changed our lives.  NASA asked for our help and we worked for NASA for the next seven years.  NASA wanted us to suppress the lightning and every summer we ran field exercises to collect data.  Some of these field exercises were in Colorado, but they were all held in New Mexico and Florida.  Fred and I and our little group spent many summers near Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  We soon learned that doing lightning suppression was beyond our ability.  We then worked on using our knowledge of the electrification in thunderstorms to writing launch rules for the Apollo missions. Our last summer there we supported the Apollo/Soyuz launch.  Our group had four aircraft which we flew around the launch pad and determined that it was safe to launch.  Fred continued to be an integral part of that team.Fred used his knowledge of electronics to design and fabric instruments for research in atmospheric electric phenomena (I.e.) thunderstorms. The research from these instruments was used at the Apollo/Soyuz launch at Cape Canavaral. He also made two trips to Antartica to install instruments for fair weather electric field research.

    He is survived by his wife Barb Gould of the home in Sedan, Kansas, his mother, Charlotte Gould of Morton Grove, IL; one sister, Ava Gould of Morton Grove IL; and on brother, “Bill” Gould of Portland, OR; niece, Alexis Gould of Chicago, IL; and many other family and friends.

    He was preceded in death by his father Jack Gould.

    The family has suggested memorials to the Fredric N. Gould Memorial Scholarship or the Blue Devil Foundation, and those remembrances may be left in care of the Dickens Family Funeral Home, 209 N. Douglas, Sedan, KS 67361.

    To view the obituary or leave a message for the family please go to www.dickensfuneral.com.

    Dickens Family Funeral Home of Sedan is in charge of arrangements.


    Those who knew Fred recognized his superior intelligence, but he never flaunted it. Fred was a humble man and will be greatly missed by those who knew him. You were special, Fred.


    Thoughts and prayers to Aunt Barb. May God provide you peace and comfort. Love you. Eric Renfrow and Family


    My deepest sympathy to the Gould and Renfrow families for their loss. May prayers and support of family and friends comfort you during this difficult time.