This year’s award winner grew up on the sound in Rowayton, CT. After graduating from Hamilton College in 1938, he returned to Connecticut to begin the management trainee program at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Not too long after he began his career, our recipient’s calling to serve his fellow man led him into the teaching profession at Staples High School in Weston, CT, where he successfully taught math for many years.
Our award winner found his way to Washington in 1949, where again his selflessness lead him to take a leave of absence from teaching and join his wife to help care for her ailing mother. Our recipient soon took a job at the Washington Supply Company, quickly rising to General Manager, a post he held until 1975. During his tenure as General Manager, our winner was always doing everything he could to help develop the wonderful community we all now cherish. Whether it was holding down the fort while many of his workers who were also volunteer firefighters went out on calls or giving a local citizen some extra time to bring their account up to date, this year’s recipient was always ready to help. Even though he was in the business to make money selling products to build homes and businesses, our award winner was clearly more interested in helping build this strong community.
Retirement from the Supply Company absolutely didn’t mean retiring from volunteer service for this year’s award winner. I could spend much of the afternoon detailing our recipient’s contributions to the various associations and civic organizations that have helped define Washington. I unfortunately only have time to highlight a few. Probably the most enduring mark our award winner has left on Washington is his work with the Steep Rock Association. Our winner has served as President as well as Trustee and has been a lifelong active member. His efforts have had a major impact on preserving and expanding the beautiful green space in steep rock that we all enjoy today.
In 1960, the Washington Volunteer Fire Department named our recipient a lifetime honorary member for his unwavering support of the organization. Whether giving the volunteers great flexibility to do their job as I mentioned previously, or giving of his time to raise money, our winner’s support of one of Washington’s most important organizations has had an important and lasting impact.
Our award winner has also been very active in volunteering for the First Congregational Church. In addition to his busy schedule of service, he found time to be a deacon, a trustee and the project manager for two major projects: the new organ installation in 1983 and the refurbishment of the steeple in 1997.
I could go on and on about the countless accomplishments and contributions of this year’s award winner, but a theme across them all is that he was seldom just a member of these organizations, he was always a leader. Whether President or Trustee or Chairman, our recipient always chose to take the most active role possible.
Much like Major Stephen Reich, our award winner chose a life of service to his community and fellow citizens. He too has given selflessly of his time and his spirit to this wonderful community and has without a doubt, had a major impact on what Washington is today. And just in the same way that Major Reich contributed to the people and community around him, our award winner did it quietly, behind the scenes, in concert with others, never looking for the recognition.
For his lifetime of service to Washington and its citizens, it is my great pleasure to announce the 2011 winner of the Major Stephen Reich Award for Exceptional Citizenship is Bob deCourcy.