CHASSELL - Cletus L. Courchaine, 83, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Marquette General Hospital, joining his wife of 58 years, Mary Ellen, once again.
Cletus grew up in Chassell and was an accomplished athlete. He was a graduate of Michigan Technological University (B.S.C.E., 1952) and the University of Michigan (M.S.C.E., 1967). He served his country as a first lieutenant in the 354th Engineering Construction Battalion in Germany from 1952-54.
On returning home, he began his long and accomplished career in public health as a district engineer in the Michigan Department of Public Health in 1955. He transferred to the Escanaba office of the Michigan Department of Public Health in 1960 as district engineer in charge of public water supply and wastewater systems and was promoted to division chief in 1964.
He published several technical papers related to water supply and wastewater engineering and was awarded the 1973 Arthur Sydney Bedell Award from the Michigan Water Environment Federation; the 1976 Raymond J. Faust Award from the American Water Works Association; the 1985 George Warren Fuller Award from AWWA for exemplary service to the public water supply industry; and the 1988 Roy A. Manty Award from the Michigan Association of Public Health for outstanding service to local health departments in Michigan.
He retired in 1990 and returned to Chassell to live at the family cottage on Pike Bay. He lived in Tampa, Fla., from November to May to avoid the snow.
One of the many gifts he gave his children Bob (Patty) Courchaine, Patti Vanlerberghe, Christine (Steve) Koester, Kathy Hayes, Mary Vogel, Jim (Donna) Courchaine and John (Ann) Courchaine was the chance to spend six weeks every summer at the cottage, where they played, explored, swam, fished, sailed, skied, made bonfires and played kick the can, sardines and seven steps around the house until well after dark. He took his two-week vacation there and was joined on the lake by his friends and siblings. It was his happiest time of the year.
Cletus will be sorely missed by all that knew him and were touched by him. In addition to his seven children, Cletus is survived by 17 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; two brothers, Robert and Paul; one sister, Mary Ann (Bud) Schoch; and several nieces and nephews.
Graveside services will be held in the spring and he will be laid to rest next to wife, Mary Ellen, in Forest Hill Cemetery in Houghton.
The Crawford Funeral Homes assisted the Courchaine family.