Gooding, Mary Elizabeth


Mary Elizabeth Gooding, of Jamestown, RI, passed away peacefully on May 17. She retired after a successful career as a senior executive for leading financial institutions. She was an avid sailor, loyal and thoughtful sister, friend and neighbor, and beloved, generous, and doting aunt to 32 nieces and nephews and 16 great-nephews and nieces.

Born in Waterbury, CT on December 28, 1956, to Maureen (Dowling) and Vaughn Gooding, Mary grew up with six brothers and two sisters on Warwick Neck, RI, where Mary became a competitive golfer. 

An exemplary student, Mary was also a trendsetter. She attended Elmhurst Academy and was part of the first classes of women to graduate from St. Georges School in Newport, RI, and later Amherst College. Being in the minority was not new to Mary. Having been raised in a household where gender did not matter, Mary was very much at home in this environment. At Amherst, Mary was a member of the women’s crew team and successfully competed at the Head of the Charles for many years. Mary graduated with honors from Amherst.

Mary began her banking career at Industrial National Bank in Providence, and managed lending activities and staffs at that bank and its several successors as a Managing Director (Fleet, Bank of Boston, Mellon Bank and Bank of America). She developed wonderful friends and colleagues in the industry; clients remember Mary as smart, thoughtful, engaging, responsive, and forthright.

Mary’s greatest joy came from her family and friends. She was a true confidante to many of her nieces and nephews, providing unconditional, individual love and support. Each of them holds a special place in their hearts for Mary. Family gatherings, particularly around the holidays, were a top favorite of Mary’s. The ultimate hostess, she was an integral part in creating lasting memories along with delicious meals at each Thanksgiving, (at which she declared each year “this is my FAVORITE holiday”), and Christmas.

Mary developed a rich and supportive group of friends and was a fixture in the West Ferry community. Her Jamestown trivia crew ruled as they dominated each Tuesday night’s competition at the “Ganny.” She sailed and raced on the waters of Narragansett Bay and spent many hours each day walking with her dogs and friends.

Mary leaves behind six brothers: Dr. Vaughn Gooding, Jr. and Diane of Jamestown, RI; Jeff and Anne Gooding of Warwick Neck, RI; Peter and Deb Gooding of Scottsdale, AZ; David and Jody Gooding of Braintree, MA; Dr. Michael and Maureen Gooding of Warwick Neck, RI; and George and Louisa Gooding of Charleston, SC; and two sisters: Bart and Bar Gooding Littlefield of Concord, MA; and John and Rosemary (Posie) Gooding Romano of Warwick Neck, RI. Forty-eight children and grandchildren of these families adored their Aunt Mary for her boundless love and devotion.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mark Church in Jamestown, RI, on Wednesday, May 22 at 10:30. Mary was very close to her doctors at Dana Farber, led by Dr. Steven Hodi, a leader in melanoma research. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Dana Farber at the following link: