Fern "Coach" Tetreau
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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.

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Published in Connecticut Post on Apr. 2, 2017.
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Memories & Condolences
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21 entries
April 7, 2019
Dear Mike,
I'm sorry I couldn't write this sooner but I was pleased to get the reminder about
Fern. Thoughts of your dad seem like the perfect antidote to the things that have
been happening in the world. It is nice to think of kindness and fairness and all the
other good qualities he represented. I hope all is well with you.
Laura Putnocky
April 17, 2017
Our deepest condolences to your family and friends with the passing of your Father Fern (Coach).
Ffld Firefighter's
April 10, 2017
I am sorry I did not learn of his passing until I heard it at the 5PM Mass at St. Thomas on Saturday, but my thoughts are with you Mike and family. He and Rowena were the best of friends to my late parents and he is now at peace with all of them.
Allen Sullivan
April 10, 2017
I was the first blind student to graduate from Andrew Warde High School. I believe I was also the first and maybe only blind student that Coach Tetreau ever had in his gym class. He was one of my very favorite teachers at Warde. He'd let me do everything I could the same as the sighted kids did; he had me run track (which I did not like but I needed), wrestle, and of course do the calisthenics. He also did something special for me though. The other kids could jump on the trampoline on their own. He made a setup where two kids would hold a jump rope (in the middle would be plastic); I would hold on to the plastic and be in the middle of the trampoline, and I could do knee drops, seat drops, and back drops. Otherwise, I could not have safely used the trampoline.

Later on, after I had left Warde and moved to North Carolina, I had lost track of Coach but when I came home to visit Mom, he had notices of his real estate company. So I called him up, and we connected and resumed a friendship, an adult friendship. Later when it was time to get a realtor, he became my realtor. When Mom passed away in 2009, he and Mike were my realtors and did a very good job in helping me with the house.

I am sorry Mike for your loss of your dad. He was a very good man and a very good friend, and I am very glad I had him in my life.
Mike Blanck
April 8, 2017
Our sincere condolences and prayers to the family of Fern Tetreau ("Coach")
Mary & Lou Kocsis
April 7, 2017
Mike and family, We are so sorry for your loss. Your dad was a true gentleman. He helped so many people in so many ways and he will be truly missed. May God bless you and the Tetreau family in this difficult time.
John & Michele Sullivan
April 5, 2017
A real Connecticut legend, who left behind a multitude of people who respected and loved him. Our deepest sympathy to Jack and family.
Jay&Ellen Hall
April 4, 2017
Fern was one of the kindest people I have ever known. I remember when he worked with my
mom, Mary, at FCRE. He would call periodi-
cally to speak to her and he would always
ask how I was feeling and offer me words
of encouragement. It meant the world to me
that he did that. I wish everyone knew
what a few kind words can do. Fern knew
because that's the kind of person he was.
I don't think I can find words good enough
to do him justice. But I will continue to
think of him when I want to remember that
there is goodness in the world - and when
I want to put a smile on my face.
Laura Putnocky
April 4, 2017
Coach, you were everywhere and did everything and did it so well. You were such an important part of the human fabric that made our Fairfield Public Schools so great. I truly appreciate everything you did for the kids and for the many colleagues that you mentored.
Sincere condolences to Coach Tetreau's Family.
Joseph S. Zapytowski
April 4, 2017
To the Tetreau family: So very sorry to hear of Coach's passing. The enormous amount of wonderful memories of him will help you through this difficult time.
Tony and Diane DeMattia
April 3, 2017
To the Tetreau Family,

I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great man and I know he will be truly missed. He will be partying with my father and all his friends in heaven. I am glad to have known him. You are all in my thought and prayers.
Gail Lechowicz(Shackleton)
Gail Lechowicz (Shackleton)
April 3, 2017
Fern was a most amazing teacher and coach. A true gentleman he thought of his students first. He helped me when I was a new teacher at Warde. Always admired Fern. My thoughts are with the family.
Mel Senator
April 3, 2017
Coach Tetreau was an inspiration to all of his players. No player could forget his halftime talks which always included that famous Knute Rockne quote "When the going gets tough, the tough get going". He was a tough coach and a great individual!

Warde 59' Football Team
Fred Gates
April 2, 2017
Sending Sincere Condolences

Retired Captain Bob Comers
April 2, 2017
We celebrate Fern's spirited full life and express our deepest condolences to his wonderful family. God Bless, Linda and Jim Crowley and Family
April 2, 2017
A true man of faith. May he Rest In Peace.
I will remember him in my Masses and prayers.
Monsignor Blase Gintoli
April 2, 2017
My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time
Pete Stansfield
April 2, 2017
To the Tetreau Family:Fern was the best coach I ever had.May the Lord be with him and he rest in peace.
Joe Skubas
April 2, 2017
"Coach" was a true gritty,tough New Englander. We didn't always agree but I always respected him. His teams were always tough. My condolences to his boys. He will be missed.
Pete Gallagher
April 2, 2017
I am so saddened to learn of the passing of this truly wonderful man. So many memories of him from Andrew Warde....forever encouraging students and now over the past year reconnecting with him at The Carolton where he encouraged my two sons, Pop Warner & Warde football players during their visits to see their grandmother Esther (W-19). Always a kind word and a warm smile. Gods Peace Coach
Barbara Soderquist
April 2, 2017
To Jack & Chrissy
Take solace in knowing that Coach is sleeping with the angels.
With sincere and deepest sympathy at your loss,
Larry Patterson
Lawrence Patterson
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