GENEVA – Longtime Geneva resident Paul M. DesCoteaux died Dec. 5, 2012, of stroke-related illness. He was 83 years old.
Paul was born in Lowell, Mass., on Dec. 7, 1928, the son of the late William and Aldea (Soucy) Descoteaux.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Albert; and his granddaughters, Josephine and Margaret.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Terry; 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.
He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Diane Peters of San Diego, Calif., Nancy DiRocco (Peter) of Belle Mead, N.J., Gail Descoteaux of Billerica, Mass., David (Annette) Descoteaux of Pelham, N.H., and Steven Descoteaux of Nashua, N.H.
Paul grew up within the French-Canadian community of Lowell, Mass. Starting at 9 years old, his first job was picking carrots for a neighbor. He continued to hold two to three jobs at a time to put himself through high school, college and post-graduate work completing his undergraduate, master's and doctoral work at Lowell Technical Institute (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 a management consultant for Lebanon Seaboard Corporation. During his career, Paul enjoyed traveling 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 Award and 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.
He followed his favorite maxim: "Charity begins at home," and believed in giving back to the community he loved. He was the founder of Geneva Beautification Committee and the public gardens found on downtown's street corners. Those contributions are recognized by the memorial plaque that can be found in front of the Geneva Post Office on Third Street. Many Saturdays, he could be found around town in his overalls, jumping off a city truck, planting flowers or with a broom in his hand working hard to make Geneva a memorable place to live and visit.
Paul served as Geneva City Alderman for 21 years and was Interim Mayor in 1996.
A passionate fiscal conservative, he was an outspoken advocate for Geneva taxpayers in a constant quest to curb government spending and waste.
Paul's family invites friends to celebrate his life with them from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 20, 2012, at the Geneva Golf Club, 831 South St., Geneva.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Geneva Beautification Committee that is privately funded by citizens in our community, www.plantgeneva.org.
Arrangements handled by Malone Funeral Home – www.malonefh.com