Daniel N. Cote, 89, passed away at his home Monday evening, February 17, 2020, surrounded by loved ones. He was born April 1, 1930 in Champaign, Illinois to Army Air Corps Col. N. L. Cote and Ida Lee Kyle Cote. His father was career military and Dan lived in many states and the pre-WWII Philippine Islands while growing up. Summers were spent visiting his father’s relatives in Maine and his mother’s relatives in Georgia. While his father was stationed overseas, he attended high school at Georgia Military Academy, graduating in 1948. Dan attended Duke University and graduated in 1952 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He began graduate studies at North Carolina State and volunteered with some friends at the Raleigh Little Theatre where he performed in several plays. It was here he met the love of his life. He married Jo Ann Kelly on December 26, 1953 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in her hometown of Saginaw, Michigan.
In June 1954 they moved to New York City where he had accepted a job with an engineering firm. Two months later, he was drafted for two years’ service in the U.S. Army. He was part of the Occupation Forces in Germany and was there when the occupation was declared over on May 5,1955. In 1956, he returned to Raleigh to finish his graduate studies, receiving his Master’s degree in 1958. It was at North Carolina State that he began his teaching career. He was an active member of the North Carolina Society of Professional Engineers, a registered professional engineer and a consultant for water and wastewater projects. Dan was an active member of Sacred Heart Cathedral and helped establish adult religious study programs. During the mid-sixties, he was active in the Civil Rights Movement. His family was growing and he and his wife, both only children, delighted in their five children.
Dan designed and taught a two-year engineering technology program for the new Wake County Technical Institute. This led to an offer to join the faculty of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois in 1967. He visited several coal mines in the area and was shocked by the working conditions that still existed in the twentieth century. Four years later, he transferred to the newer campus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where he taught civil and environmental engineering. He was a registered professional engineer and an active member of the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers. In 1990, Dan retired from SIUE as professor emeritus.
In 1994, Dan and his wife moved to Galveston to be near their children who had migrated to Texas. He enjoyed sailing his boat and worked for two years as a volunteer on the Elissa, and as crew bringing it back from New Orleans. He was an active member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers and was named Engineer of the Year in 1997 by the Bayou Chapter. He considered one of his greatest honors being asked by a former student to work with him in his engineering company here in Texas.
Dan enjoyed being a member of the Rotary Club of Galveston for many years and was an active member in the Jean Laffite Society, the Fortnightly Literary Society, the Sunday Morning Coffee Club, the Galveston Academic Excellence Booster Club and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Dan had a passion for life and a thirst for knowledge. He enjoyed all kinds of music, enjoyed being with people and loved a good discussion and argument. He was most proud of his children and their children.
Dan is survived by his wife, Jo Ann, his sons, Daniel N. Cote, Jr. (Katrina) of Alton, Illinois, and David Cote (Donna) of College Station, Texas, daughters, Kelly Schacherl (Richard) of Flatonia, Texas, Bridget Valdez (Lucio) of Hutto, Texas, and Meghan Taylor (Rob) of Key West, Florida, fourteen grandchildren and three great- grandchildren.
A Visitation and Remembrance of Dan will be held at Malloy & Son Funeral Home Saturday, February 29 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. Military honors will be performed at 12:00 noon.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice.