FRAMINGHAM – Mrs. Roberta Ann (Pendolari) Golden Poulos was born in Framingham on April 6, 1936 to Romeo and Alena (Boudreau) Pendolari. She was the youngest of their four children, and inherited the entrepreneurial spirit that her parents instilled in her.
Mrs. Golden Poulos was a brilliant student who graduated from Framingham High School and Marymount College in Tarrytown, NY before becoming one of the first women to attend Boston College Law School.
Roberta met her first husband, James Laurence “Larry” Golden, Jr., in 1957 while a student at BC Law, and remained friends with him after they divorced and until his death. They moved to Framingham where they raised their three children, Erin, Jamie, and Christopher.
In 1986, Roberta married her husband, Peter A. Poulos of Belmont. Roberta and Peter lived together in Framingham until her death.
She was an opera singer and born performer who made frequent appearances in the 1970’s on local television’s The Avi Nelson Show.
As a marketing consultant and event planner, she organized several inaugural balls for President Jimmy Carter after his 1976 election, and helped to plan the (then) Town of Framingham’s 375th Anniversary and Bicentennial Celebration. For many years, she was a Director of the Framingham Union Hospital Aid Association. Mrs. Golden Poulos was also a teacher, first as a tutor and later as a teacher at Lincoln Sudbury High School, where she taught art and French.
After her divorce from her first husband, Roberta began a career as Director of Sales and Marketing for the Sheraton Tara Hotel in Framingham. As a devoted single mother, she often worked seventy hours per week to support her children.
In her early life, Roberta worked to put Larry through law school and managed his various campaigns for State Representative. She remained politically active in her later life, particularly for female Democrats.
She campaigned for Elizabeth Warren and Maura Healey, and hosted fundraisers for Congresswoman Katherine Clark in her home.
She canvassed door-to-door in New Hampshire for Hillary Clinton at the age of eighty.
She would take up the banner of her parents’ entrepreneurial spirit again, founding a business with her sister Irene Pendolari McCarthy and their mother Alena—Berry Sweet Candy Store in downtown Framingham.
Having left law school to marry and raise a family with her first husband, Roberta always dreamed of returning and becoming an attorney.
In her early 50s, she did just that, graduating and passing the bar at the age of 55. She often said that she most enjoyed practicing law because it gave her the chance to help other people with their problems.
As the granddaughter of immigrants, one of her primary focuses was in aiding immigrants with their efforts to become legal residents and eventually U.S. citizens. She worked frequently with Framingham’s burgeoning Brazilian population.
Mrs. Golden Poulos loved antiques and antiquing. In her marriage to Peter Poulos she found a partner in that passion and the two enjoyed many years of attending flea markets, setting up stalls at Brimfield, and even had their own antique store for a time, on Route 9.
Roberta’s heart was forever at the beach. In her younger years she loved visiting her parents on Cape Cod and in Bal Harbour, Florida. More than anything, she loved vacationing with all of her family on the Cape, as well as in Ogunquit, Maine and Captiva, Florida. She always looked forward to traveling and took her first trip to Europe with Peter in 1985, where he swept her off her feet. She was thrilled to return to Europe in 2005 with Peter and their family for a trip to explore the couple’s roots in Italy and Greece.
In early 2020 she encountered serious health challenges mainly due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. At that time, Peter became her full-time caregiver, supported by Jamie, Chris, and Erin. It was her firm wish to remain at home despite her failing health, and her husband and children worked in tandem with several trusted and loving caregivers to ensure Roberta was able to live in her home until she passed.
Mrs. Golden Poulos was nothing if not a unique character, who enjoyed seeing the world through the mystical, using her Tarot cards and astrology to “predict” the future. A lifelong fan of local sports, she was especially passionate about the Patriots. She was known as a fashionista and had an array of shoes to rival Imelda Marcos. She loved the color pink and was especially partial to fuschia. She was very proud of her computer and technical skills, and loved to use Facetime to chat with family members around the country.
She is survived by her husband, Peter A. Poulos, her daughter, Erin Golden, her daughter-in-law Eileen Counihan, her son, James Laurence “Jamie” Golden, III, her daughter-in-law Shannon Golden, her son, Christopher Golden, her daughter-in-law, Connie Golden, and her grandchildren, James C. Golden, Nicholas Golden, Daniel Golden, Lily Golden, Jack Golden, Kasey Pereira, and Carlos Westergaard. Roberta is also survived by her beloved brother Romeo “Buddy” Pendolari, along with many nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren, in-laws, and her “found family” of loving friends, for whom she was ever grateful. She is preceded in death by her sister, Irene (Pendolari) McCarthy, and her brother, Dennis J. Pendolari.
The family will be holding a funeral Mass for Mrs. Golden Poulos, and she will be interred at St. Stephen’s Cemetery in Framingham, both at a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, her family encourages donations to the American Lung Association (www.action.lung.org) in her memory.