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Paul Comeau


1926 - 2019
Paul Comeau Obituary
Paul Comeau

Las Cruces - Paul T. Comeau entered eternal life on Saturday, March 23, 2019. Paul was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts on September 21, 1926 to Leda and Laurent Comeau. After graduation from St. Anthony Parish School in New Bedford, he completed high school and three semesters of college pursuing a classical curriculum involving many hours of French, Latin and Classical Greek at Joliette Seminary near Montreal from 1940 to 1944. He was inducted into the US Army in 1945 for extensive Infantry training and post war service in various assignments followed by discharge in 1946. During the next three years, he remained in the US Army Reserve while attending Assumption College in Worcester and earning a BA in Liberal Arts with pre-med curriculum in 1949. He resumed military service in 1950, enlisting in the US Air Force. He served in various Intelligence assignments and was awarded a direct commission as a Second Lieutenant in 1952. As a member of the USAF Security Service, he was assigned to posts in Washington, D.C., Texas and Japan. In 1963 and 1964, he attended Graduate School at Princeton University earning an MA in French (1964) and a PhD in Romance Languages (1968). He was then assigned as an Associate Professor at the USAF Academy to teach French and advise cadets from 1964 to 1970. In the fall of 1969, he was chosen to accompany the first group of USAF Cadets for an exchange program with the French Air Force Academy at Salon-de-Provence, France. From 1970 to 1972, Paul was named AFROTC Director of Curriculum at the Maxwell AFB Headquarters, a tour interrupted by four months of Temporary Duty at the US Embassy in Cambodia as a French translator/interpreter in 1971.

PC and his family arrived in Las Cruces in 1972 to begin an assignment as Professor of Aerospace Studies and Commander of AFROTC. It was truly a joy to join the Las Cruces, and the NMSU communities. Lt. Colonel Comeau retired from the Air Force in 1975 with 30 years total military service. In the Fall of 1975, he was hired as an Associate Professor of French. During his 14 year tenure on the NMSU faculty, he served as Head of the Department of Foreign Languages until 1983, taught French and Latin, authored a history of the French Romantic period in literature (1800-1830), a Latin workbook (HarperCollins, 3rd Edition) to accompany Wheelock's Latin (best-selling grammar), and several scholarly articles on 19th Century French novelists published in professional journals. He also contributed 16 biographical articles for the Historical Dictionary of France authored by the late NMSU Professor Edgar Newman and published in 1987. Dr. Comeau also received several research grants. He served on numerous community and university boards and committees including the NMSU Graduate Council. He retired in 1989 as an Emeritus Professor of French. Paul was a member of the Las Cruces Rotary Club from 1973 serving as President in 1979-1980. He was a Life Member of the Modern Language Association of America and Emeritus Member of the American Association of Teachers of French. For many years, Paul was a member of the NMSU Masterworks Chorus and the Holy Cross Catholic Church Choir.

Survivors include his wife, Linda Musselman Comeau; his children (with late wife Ruby Klindt Comeau): son Stephen Comeau of Albuquerque and wife Sherry, son Michael Comeau of Sacramento, CA and wife Kathy, and daughter Lisa Ashley of Lubbock, TX and husband Bill; grandchildren Timothy Comeau, Matthew Comeau (deceased in 2009) wife Phoebe, Jodi Redfearn and husband Jake, Jayme Wallis and husband Jared, Jenna McMillan, Kimberly Comeau, Brian Ashley and Erin Gaton and husband Tanner. Paul is also survived by his stepdaughter Michele Albers and husband Matt Hunt and eleven great grandchildren.

A special thanks to Paul's caregivers and friends Leanor Villegas, Diane Archuleta, Sylvia Olivas and Romi Baca.

A visitation will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, March 29, 2019 at Holy Cross Catholic Church, with a Funeral Mass to follow at 3:00 pm.

Arrangements with Getz Funeral Home, 1410 E. Bowman Ave. Las Cruces, NM. Please visit www.GetzCares.com to sign the local online guest book.

In Lieu of flowers the family asks to make donations to , , or Holy Cross Catholic Church.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News from Mar. 28 to Mar. 29, 2019
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