Paul DesCoteaux, the outspoken and beloved Geneva alderman and former interim mayor, died last night, Dec. 5, two days short of his 84th birthday.
Funeral arrangements are being made by Malone Funeral Home, and the public is invited to remember him during a memorial service from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at the Geneva Golf Club.
DesCoteaux will be remembered for so many reasons, but one that immediately comes to mind is his founding of the Geneva Beautification Committee. He could be seen regularly throughout the city, working with his hands to make Geneva just a little more beautiful.
He was a fiscal conservative in every sense of the word who guarded Geneva's tax dollars closely while always looking for ways to improve the community he dearly loved. He was a wise and good father, who raised wonderful children who attended Geneva schools and are active in their communities today.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Terry, and their five children: Denise (David) Fauntleroy of Geneva; Paul (Kerith) DesCoteaux of Geneva; Andrea DesCoteaux, of Geneva, David (Beverly) DesCoteaux of Maple Park; Aimee (Daniel) Rogowski of Aurora; and five grandchildren, Patrick, Andrew, Reinier, Emily and Eleanor.
DesCoteaux stepped down as 5th Ward alderman in 2009 at the age of 80 after 21 years of public service. He filled the position as mayor from July 1996 to April 1997 after Mayor Bill Ottilie died in a car accident.
DeCoteaux agreed at that time that he would not run for mayor in that spring's election.
DeCoteaux grew up within the French-Canadian community of Lowell, MA. He started working at age 9, his first job picking carrots for a neighbor. He continued to hold two or three jobs at a time to put himself through high school, college and post-graduate work, completing his undergraduate, masters and doctoral work at Lowell Technica lInstitute (University of Massachusetts) as a textile engineer.
During his professional career, he was employed by Sun Oil Company (working in Japan with W. Edwards Deming), Standard Oil of Indiana (BP Amoco) where he was in charge of profit improvement, and as management consultant for Lebanon Seaboard Corporation. During his career, Paul enjoyed travelling the world, skiing in Switzerland and swimming with the sea lions in La Paz.
Known for his honesty, acerbic wit and the twinkle in his eye, he was a man of words and of his word. Paul was a life-long learner and volunteer. He volunteered for Fox Valley Literacy, was the founder of the Franklin Awardand Scholarship for Science Education, and served on the Board of Directors of the Fermilab Friends for Science Education.
He was a co-founder of Geneva Learners, a weekly study group focused on world affairs. He was instrumental in organizing the Fox Valley Chapter of The Socrates Café, a global network of independent groups that meet to keep philosophical thinking in our midst.
More accollades and a full obituary are expected soon. The full obituary will be posted on the Malone Funeral Home website and on Geneva Patch.
SOURCE: Parts of this article are directly from Paul DesCoteaux's obituary, courtesy of Malone Funeral Home.