Fern "Coach" Tetreau
Fernand Sylvio Tetreau, 95, of Fairfield, passed away peacefully on March 29, 2017. He was known to all as "Coach". Fern was the husband of the late Rowena Tetreau, who died on June 4, 2013. He is survived by his sons Michael and Jack of Fairfield; Jack's partner Chrissy Brzoski; daughter-in-law Cheryl of Zionsville, PA, and grandchildren Marielle, Taylor, and Paul. He was predeceased by his son Bill.
His family was the center of his life. He was a devoted husband to Rowena, an amazing father to Mike, Bill and Jack and a doting grandfather to Marielle, Taylor and Paul. His love and generosity showed when he and Rowena opened up their home to include Roberto "Chico" Rodriguez in the family.
Fern was born May 21, 1921 in Sanford, Maine. His football skills were demonstrated early as he achieved All State recognition at Sanford High School. He entered Springfield College in Springfield, MA, on athletic scholarships, and left after the attack on Pearl Harbor to join the US Navy Air Corps. After returning from military service, he graduated from Springfield College in 1948. He began his coaching career at Bishop University in Canada. He returned to this country to get married to Rowena Shattuck. They moved to Staten Island, NY while he obtained his Masters Degree in Education from Columbia University. He and Rowena then moved to Brewer, ME where he took a head coaching position at Brewer High School. From there they moved to Fairfield, where he and Rowena raised their three sons. He led the turnaround and created a winning culture at Roger Ludlowe High School. At Ludlowe, he also served as Assistant Coach on the 1955 New England Basketball Championship team. Fern moved to Andrew Warde High School for their initial football season in 1956. In just his third season, he coached the 1959 Andrew Warde football team that went undefeated and tied for the mythical State Championship. He also handled responsibilities as Athletic Director and Head Track Coach. In addition, Fern helped out as Assistant Director at the Wakeman Memorial Boys Club in Southport. He was active in the founding of the FCIAC and was President of the Connecticut High School Coaches Association from 1965-66. Coach helped start the Fairfield Giants Pop Warner program in Fairfield in 1966 and was inducted into the Connecticut State Coaches Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2008, he was also inducted into the FCIAC Hall of Fame. In 2006, the Fairfield Warde HS football field was named Tetreau Davis field and dedicated in his honor.
Coach was always about teaching. He often referred to the football field as the "Open Classroom". After coaching, Fern took on the challenge of being a Housemaster at Fairfield Woods Junior High School in 1970. He continued his innovative ways by establishing the first Internal Suspension program for Fairfield designed to keep students in school and studying rather than falling behind in the traditional suspension program. He also was ahead of his time installing cameras on school buses to improve safety.
When he retired from the school system, he became a successful Real Estate Agent first for Fairfield County Real Estate and then for William Raveis Real Estate. He continued working in Real Estate until 2011. Fern was a past president of the Retired Teachers Association.
Fern was active in Holy Family Church. He was a member of the Parish Council and the Holy Name Society. He led the church's Thanksgiving Food Basket effort providing meals to over 100 families in need. He was part owner of Pequot Day Camp in Southport before moving to Singing Oaks Day Camp in Weston. Coach was active outside of coaching helping establish the Special Olympics in Fairfield and was recognized in 1982 with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Award for his years of service. Fern also received the John Sullivan Community Service Award from the Fairfield Junior Chamber of Commerce that same year. He was always looking to help those in need serving on the Micah Housing Board for Operation Hope. A strong swimmer, lifeguard and swim instructor, Fern put his life saving skills to good use rescuing a man that appeared to be drowning in the Ash Creek current during July of 1968.
The family would like to show their grateful appreciation to the Carolton Convalescent Hospital for the wonderful care and love that Coach received during his time there.
Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. directly at Holy Family Church in Fairfield. Interment is private. Friends may greet his family on Friday, April 7, 2017 from 4-8 p.m. at the Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, 50 Reef Road in Fairfield. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his memory to Operation Hope, 636 Old Post Road in Fairfield, CT 06824. To send an online condolence, please visit www.shaughnesseybanks.com