Former E.P. School Superintendent DeGoes passes unexpectedly


John V. DeGoes, 77, of Rumford, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Jeanne L. (Kurowski) DeGoes.

Born in Central Falls, he was the son of the late John and Mary L. (Nobrega) DeGoes. He lived in Rumford for the past 25 years, previously residing in Pawtucket. Mr. DeGoes served in the R.I. Air National Guard for 7 years and for the Air Force during the Berlin crisis from 1962-63.

He held a Bachelors and Masters Degree from Providence College and an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Rhode Island College.

A passionate life-long educator, Mr. DeGoes began his career as a History teacher in Central Falls. He then taught at Cumberland High School, serving as Assistant Principal from 1974-83. Selected Superintendent of Schools in Central Falls from 1983-87 and Superintendent of Schools in East Providence from 1987-94, Mr. DeGoes was honored as Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year in 1991. From 1994 to 2004, John served as the Assistant Superintendent of Schools in North Attleboro, serving as the Interim Supt. in 1996. He has served as the President of the R.I. Association of School Superintendents and President of the New England Association of School Superintendents. He had the opportunity to return to education as the Interim Superintendent of Schools in East Providence in 2012 and 2013.

Mr. DeGoes was a prodigious scholar athlete and coach, winning the Max Lebida trophy in 1955 and being inducted into the Cumberland and Central Falls Sports Halls of Fame. He coached basketball and baseball, leading Cumberland High to the 1968 state baseball championship.

A dedicated public and community servant, Mr. DeGoes was a Councilman-at-Large in Pawtucket from 1974-81. He served on the Board of Directors for Navigant Credit Union from 1998-2008 and as Chairman of the Board of Navigant from 2007-08. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Blackstone Academy Charter School from 2008 to present.

He was an active eucharistic minister at St. Margaret Church, Rumford and previously at the former St. Joseph’s Church, Pawtucket, where he also served as Trustee.

Mr. DeGoes is survived by his beloved wife, Jeanne, of 53 years. He leaves four children Colonel John Jeffrey DeGoes MD USAF of Colorado Springs Colo.; Mrs. Jill Bogdanovic of Barrington;  Jason DeGoes of Wassenaar, The Netherlands; and Mrs. Jessica O’Rourke of Houston, Texas. He was the brother of the late Delphina Wazecha of Warren. He adored his 11 grandchildren: Dylan, Luke and Emma DeGoes; John, Andrew and James Bogdanovic; Jacob, Sarah and Samuel DeGoes; and Jack and William O’Rourke.

The funeral will be held Saturday, Aug. 9, at 9 a.m. from the J. J. Duffy Funeral Home, 757 Mendon Road. Rte. 122, Cumberland, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Margaret Church, 1098 Pawtucket Ave, Rumford. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Providence.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited. Calling hours are Friday, Aug. 8, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Citizen’s Scholarship Foundation of East Providence, P.O. Box 154438, East Providence, R.I., 02915, American Diabetes Association, 146 Clifford St. Providence, R.I., 02903, or St. Margaret Church, 1098 Pawtucket Ave, Rumford, R.I., 02916.

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