On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, Arthur (Art) Descoteaux passed away peacefully at Maine Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 89. Just shy of his 90th birthday coming on January 4th. He is remembered for his strong love of country, family, service, and of course, sports.
Art graduated from Biddeford High School as a member of the class of 1948. While attending BHS, he was deeply rooted within the sports community, starring on the varsity football, basketball, and baseball teams. After graduation, Art briefly went to Maine Maritime Academy where he played varsity football and basketball. In 1950 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a Radioman RN3 until 1954. He loved sharing stories about his time competing in the fastpitch softball league where his unit squared off against some of the best athletes the Navy had to offer. After his service in the Navy, he became one of the top softball pitchers in Maine eventually leading the local Roy & Perreault team to a state championship in 1961.
Art attended Nasson College for two years (1955-57) where he set the single season scoring record as a member of the varsity basketball team, and later matriculated to Arizona State University, graduating with a B.S. in Business Administration in 1958. He returned to his hometown of Biddeford and commenced what would become a 25-year career of teaching/coaching at Biddeford High School. He was the head basketball coach for 13 years and lead nine of those teams to the state tournament. He was also the head baseball coach for five years, and an assistant football coach as part of the 1967 Class A State Championship team. In addition to teaching and coaching, Art served as the Athletic Director for seven years and Assistant Principal for four years.
Leaving BHS didn’t necessarily mean the end of his coaching career. He went on to serve as an assistant coach (men’s basketball, lacrosse, and golf, and women’s softball) at the University of New England for 17 years. His stellar sports resume gained him entry into the prestigious Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honor and the Biddeford Athletic Hall of Honor.
While most remember Art as a teacher or coach, his greatest achievement came from being an incredible husband, father, and grandfather. He married his late wife Shirley in 1958, with whom he had two children Michael Descoteaux (wife Andrea Parker Descoteaux) and Barbara Descoteaux Boynton (husband Kelly Boynton). Shirley passed away in 1997 after a long battle with lung and brain cancer. Art later remarried Margaret (Peggy) Patterson Descoteaux and they shared twenty years together. Art was grandfather to Andrew and Kevin Descoteaux (children of Mike and Andrea), and Matthew and Patrick Boynton (children of Barbara and Kelly). He treasured every opportunity he got to watch them play an array of sports, all the way from Little League up to their last games on Waterhouse Field. He will continue to be an influential presence in their lives.
Art was predeceased by his parents, Arthur and Teresa (Darcy) Descoteaux, and sister Margaret Descoteaux Ryan. In addition to his son, daughter and their families, he is survived by his wife Peggy Descoteaux of Saco, ME, her children Scott and wife Mary Ann Beliveau (sons Matthew and Nicholas), John Beliveau, Paul and wife Dianne Beliveau (daughter Hannah), and Robert and wife Christie Beliveau (daughters Cassie and Caitlyn), his sister Teresa Descoteaux Kennedy (Husband Erwin Kennedy) of Ellington, CT, and several nieces and nephews.
Art’s family would like to thank the medical and nursing staff within the special care and comfort units at Maine Medical Center for their exceptional support and care.
Viewing hours will be 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM on Friday, December 28, 2018 at Hope Memorial Chapel in Biddeford. A ceremony for friends and family will be held in the same location at 10:00 AM on Saturday, December 29, 2018 prior to burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Biddeford.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to:
Arthur Descoteaux Memorial Scholarship Fund
C/O Biddeford Savings Bank
254 Main Street
PO Box 525
Biddeford, ME 04005