Donald Albert Octeau, 86, of Lincoln, RI, passed away on May 26, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. He was the devoted husband of Jeanne Cecile (LaMontagne) Octeau, son of the late Albert and Rosalie Octeau and brother of the late Dianne Octeau. He is survived by his two sisters, Carol Giannini (Florida) and Christine Kelly (Vermont). He leaves behind 5 children; Philip (Donna) Octeau of Coventry, Melanie (Doug) Lewis, of Middletown, Michael (Wendy) Octeau of Johnston, Stephen (Ann) Octeau of Warwick, the late Jay (Jennifer) Octeau of Westerly, and Melissa (Greg) Moore of Lincoln. He also leaves behind 11 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
Don grew up caring for, training, and showing horses. He received ribbons in several states with his gaited horse “Belle Star”. Although Don was thrown off horses several times, he would get back on and continue with the training. Don was tenacious with this, and before he married and had children, working with horses was truly his passion.
Don married Cis on 9/13/1958. Within 8 years, they had 6 children, exactly what they wanted. When the first three kids were little, it’s no surprise that Don had a barn in the yard with horses. Early on the kids enjoyed riding on the horses. They were usually joined by cousins and neighbors, especially on Sundays, where Don would give lots of rides in the corral. Once the fourth and fifth child came along, the horse and barn became difficult to maintain. After careful consideration, Don sold the horses and brought home a bulldozer to knock the barn down. Together with the fire department, the barn was burned and room was made for a large pool in the back yard. Don put the pool in himself, and it was beautiful. A diving board at one end and a slide at the other, the pool provided hours of enjoyment for the whole family. Everyone got thrown in, no matter the age, and even if they were not in a swimsuit. The pool was the such an enjoyable addition for the family.
Don spent many hours in ice rinks with his four sons, both as a coach and spectator. When the boys were young, 5:30 am hockey practices in cold rinks were a common activity on weekends. Cis would make blueberry muffins and hot chocolate for practically everyone in the rink! Don and Cis always worked as a team. Don was particularly proud of his sons’ achievements in hockey, but especially for the accomplishments of his deceased son, Jay, an All-American Defenseman at Boston University who was drafted by the New Jersey Devils.
Don’s girls spent many years taking dance classes and figure skating lessons. When attending the dance recitals, Don would typically clear his throat to make his girls smile when they were on stage.
The home of Don and Cis was a constant source of family gatherings, and that’s when Don was happiest. He loved his family and he loved when they were together. Every holiday was celebrated with amazing homemade food, and often several card games of “Hi, Lo, Jack”. One would often hear him say how much he enjoyed getting together and, if given the chance, he would “do it all again”.
Through his sense of humor with friends and his amazing devotion to his family, Don will be missed by many. May he rest in peace.
His funeral will be held on Monday, June 5th at 8:45 am from the Robbins Funeral Home, 2251 Mineral Spring Ave., North Providence with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 am in St. Jude Church, 301 Front St., Lincoln. Calling hours Sunday 3-6 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the The National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation at npcf.us , the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation at jdrf.org , or the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at alzfdn.org
Sunday, June 4, 2023
3:00 - 6:00pm (Eastern time)
Robbins Funeral Home