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UPDATE: Geneva Mourns Loss of Paul DesCoteaux, Longtime Alderman, Community Servant

Funeral arrangements are being made by Malone Funeral Home, and friends are invited to a memorial service from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20, at the Geneva Golf Club.

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.

Lance Mitchell December 07, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Paul, You will be missed by Geneva and the world. You were truely a great person and raised a wonderful family.
Jim Radecki December 07, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Paul was a fiscal conservative on the Genea City Council who also literally rolled up his sleeves and got in the dirt for our community. With gratitude for what he has done for Geneva. Jim
Terry Flanagan December 08, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Paul was outspoken, not in the confrontational sense which we often attach to that term, but in the fact that he always spoke his mind. Paul was not a confrontational person. He was intelligent, witty, and inquisitive and had a way of getting to the heart of the matter. Sometimes his questions made people feel uncomfortable, but that was never his intent. Paul only asked the questions that needed to be asked and only sought answers that would best serve the people of Geneva. Paul was one of the most honest, ethical, generous, and humble men I have ever known and he will be sorely missed. He gave freely of his time, talent, and treasure to help others and Geneva is the poorer for his loss. I feel truly blessed to have known him and his family.
Billy Pilgrim December 08, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Great man. Beautiful family.
Gerry Paquin December 08, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Rest In Peace, Uncle Paul, from one of your many nieces and nephews. You demonstrated how to live a life well-lived. We have beautiful memories to be shared with your family. Be at peace.

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