Joseph N. Coulombe, age 92, died peacefully at home March 30, 2022.
He was born November 5, 1929 in Pawtucket, RI to Napoleon and
Mary Coulombe originally from Quebec, Canada. As a diminutive, redheaded, freckled-faced young boy, Joe had many nicknames including
Pete, or Petit. His two older sisters doted on him and he and his mom
were best buddies. As a 12 year old during World War II Joe was on a
team that patrolled the neighborhood streets in the evening to be sure
everyone’s houses were dark.
He also worked
In a local store where he had to memorize the price of all the groceries
- something that was no problem as Joe had a great facility for
After graduating valedictorian from Sacred Heart High School in 1948,
Joe enlisted in the army. As he told it, he was 5 ft, 10 inches tall, 124
pounds and under the acceptable minimum
Weight. However the army made an exception based on his academic
record and Joe immediately boarded a train to Fort Dix, NJ. Joe’s four
years in the service included responsibilities in the Army Signal Corps
in Hawaii and Enewetok (he was an ace at Morse Code) and the Land
Rescue Team Pacific. Joe spoke with great reverence about the
positive impact these opportunities and experiences had on his life.
In 1955, while a student at the University of Rhode Island on the GI
Bill, Joe married Theresa Moreau in Central Falls, RI. As a French
speaker with a Catholic background, Joe was welcomed into the
Moreau family where he relished his role as one of the seven
With his degree in chemical engineering, Joe had a very successful
career with Monsanto and Borden Chemical Companies. Joe and Terry
and their four children lived in Westland, MI and Holden, MA.
Together they enjoyed poker, tennis, and golf; many happy and
raucous days were spent entertaining relatives and friends at their
Joe and Terry loved travel especially to their
condominium in Fiddler’s Green, Englewood, FL where they danced
and socialized at Englewood’s American Legion. They made lifelong
friends wherever they lived during their 63 year marriage. Joe and
Terry’s final years together were spent in Worcester at the Briarwood
Retirement Community where they were visited frequently by their
children, sons- and daughter-in-law, and grandchildren.