The community of Fenton mourns the passing of Ted Goupil, 87, of Fenton Township. He died on Tuesday February 22.
Goupil retired in 1989 after 10 years as principal of West Shore Elementary School at Fenton Lake Community Schools. Prior to that, he spent 17 years as a teacher/administrator in the Flint school system.
He served on the Fenton Township Board of Directors for 20 years, 10 of which as clerk. One of his most important achievements was to build sewers around the township’s many lakes.
He and his wife, 62-year-old Pat, a retired real estate agent, are long-time residents of Fenton Township. They have three children, Stefanie, Mark and Eric, as well as several grandchildren. Mark Goupil has followed in his footsteps by serving on the Fenton Township Board of Directors since 2004.
During an interview for The Times in 2017, he told former editor Sally Rummel that his all-time favorite thing was watching their grandkids play sports. They can attend their games year-round, whether it’s baseball, football, soccer, volleyball or bowling, and games are usually within 30 minutes of their home.
Goupil said in the 2017 interview that he and his wife enjoy traveling with friends, taking day trips to casinos and thrift stores, not looking for anything but always coming home with something. Their favorite place to travel was the north, especially Petoskey. He said he also liked to read. John Grisham was his favorite author. He loved Grisham’s style and subjects – they’re all courtroom. Goupil admitted that he was a military and political junkie.
Friends and family could always count on Goupil for his sense of humor. He was known to always crack a joke. He told Rummel he liked comedies and documentaries, Chevy Chase movies and even Monty Python and Blazing Saddles.
A longtime friend of the Goupil family is Dedra Grossman. She was a secretary at West Shore when Goupil was director. His family and the Goupil family have remained very close ever since. Their children graduated together.
“Ted will be incredibly missed,” Grossman said. “It’s very unfortunate. He was an incredible man.”
Grossman will never forget Goupil’s sense of humor and she said he had the funniest stories about his pacemaker.
With the Goupils being in real estate, Grossman said Pat and Ted, who was a broker, sold her the house she lived in 35 years ago. She said he also helped so many others to return home.
Grossman said the Goupils’ three children were devoted to their parents and that their son, Mark, being a registered nurse and paramedic, never left Ted when he entered the hospital.
Recalling his days as headmaster, Grossman said: “He was always available and encouraged his staff, including teachers, cooks, bus drivers and caretakers. He was always there and he knew them personally. No one was ever mad at him.
“He was such a wonderful and incredibly honest man. Integrity above all else. He was the father I never had,” she said.
Mark Goupil spoke on Wednesday about his father. “He was our rock. I am absolutely crushed and lost. He was truly a great man and the best father ever. If I was half the man he was, I really would be something,” he said. “We’re so lucky to have had him…and he and my mom were still in love for over 62 years.”
A 2017 interview with the Times