Harvard Management Company partner famous for “Mitch-isms”

Published in the October 19, 2016 edition

CUT-Descoteaux-obit-webWAKEFIELD — Mitchell Descoteaux, 80, of Wakefield died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.
He was predeceased by his parents, Eugene and Cecilia Descoteaux.
He is survived by his wife Diane of Wakefield; daughter Michelle Berard and her husband Bruce of Biddeford, Maine; son Sam and his wife Sandy of South Glastonbury, Conn.; son Steven of Sandwich; daughter Rachel Woolbert and her husband James of Wilmington; daughter Sarah Popovics and her husband Peter of Wakefield; brother John and his wife Barbara of Standish, Maine, and his grandchildren: Matthew, Abigail, Ethan, Nicholas, Ella, Jillian and Maya and many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.
Born in Biddeford, Maine on Aug. 25, 1936, Mitch graduated from Biddeford High School in 1954 and Husson College in 1958. He taught at Valley Regional High School in Deep River, Conn. where he met his “first wife” Diane, who was “wicked lucky.” Famous for his work ethic, he was committed to harassing his five children about the importance of showing up for work on time every day and never calling in sick. While they never call in sick, only three of them are on time. The other two are often heard saying, “Don’t tell Dad.”
He retired after 40 years of (on time) work at Harvard Management Company as an accountant, manager, partner and, for many, a mentor. Famous for his Mitch-isms, his quick wit and odd sense of humor have left a legacy of always finding a spot for a one liner to lighten the mood … even if inappropriate. He was known for his sayings: “Everything is somewhere,” “Did you meet anyone you like better than yourself,?” “That’s a tribe-sized portion,” “delicate and lady-like” and “I don’t want to start any trouble but …”
He loved old houses, DIY projects, antique shows, watching his kids in their activities, spending time with his family and playing matchmaker and career counselor. He was a devoted husband who cherished his wife and his family and he will be sorely missed by everyone.
Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Friday, Oct. 21, from 4 to 8 p.m. The funeral will be from the McDonald Funeral Home on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 9 a.m. followed by a funeral Mass in St. Florence Church, 47 Butler Ave., Wakefield at 10 a.m.