Paul E. Francoeur, 83, of Wharton, passed away on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 at St. Luke’s Hospital with his loving wife by his side. He was born Jan. 9, 1938, in Fall River, Massachusetts to Theresa and Napoleon Francoeur. Paul attended St. Roch’s Parochial School and church where he was baptized and confirmed.
Paul attended Diman Vocational High School and then entered the Army at the age of seventeen. In the Army he attained his GED and two years of college.
Throughout his twenty-year military career Paul was stationed in Germany, France, Vietnam, Belgium and the United States. He was awarded two Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart, two Commendation Medals for the US Armed Forces, five Good Conduct Medals. Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation, Vietnamese Civic Action Honor Medal Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, the Special Forces Tab, Master Parachutist Wings and Combat Infantrymen Badge. Paul entered as an enlisted man and graduated from Infantry OCS at Ft. Benning, Ga. in March 1966. Upon graduation he was sent to the 6th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, NC. He served two one-year tours with the 5th Special Forces at Camp Trabong in Vietnam. He helped procure elephants and logs to provide a saw mill for the village which was the basis for the Walt Disney movie “Dumbo Drop.”
During his second tour in Vietnam, he was serving in Bet Het Camp in 1969, which was the site of the tank battle between the US Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam, where he was wounded. The military channel produced a one-hour program about this attack, one of the few such encounters in Vietnam, called Tank Battle Vietnam. After Vietnam, Paul commanded Headquarters and Headquarter Company 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, NC. Later he attended the Infantry Officers Career Course at Ft. Benning, Ga. His terminal assignment was Shape Headquarters in Casteau, Belgium, after which he retired as Captain.
Upon retirement in February 1975, he moved to Marseille, France where he was an operations officer for a security company and also worked for the American Consulate General. While there he met and married his wife, Denise. In 1980 they moved to the United States where he began to work for Analysis and Computer Systems, Inc. where they were responsible for the software for AWACS and the MIX missile.
In 1982, Denise and Paul moved to Wharton, which became their beloved lifelong home where they were welcomed by many new friends. Paul was employed by the Egg Farm Healthfocus and Gulf Coast Medical Center. He later joined Matagorda General Hospital in Bay City. Even after retiring in 2000, Paul continued to provide some consulting work for local businesses and began a driving service. In 2006 Matagorda General Hospital called him back to help out for a couple of months on a part time basis as a biomed tech and he stayed for five years, fully retiring in 2011 at the age of 74. Upon retirement you could find Paul enjoying rounds of golf at the Wharton Country Club golf course where he served on the board as well as on the board at the Wharton Chamber of Commerce. Paul belonged to the Special Forces (Green Beret) Association, Purple Heart Association and the Vietnam Veteran of America Association. Paul E. Francoeur (Library of Congress).
Paul was predeceased by his daughter Laurence and is survived by his loving wife, Denise Francoeur, daughter Corinne Kirschner of CA., son Christophe Francoeur and partner Penelope Babst of Portland, OR., granddaughter Christine and husband Kevin Simmons, grandsons, Daniel Kirschner and Dion Francoeur, two great-grandchildren, sister Vivan Elliot of Temple, sister-in-law Jannine Donjou of France, sister of the heart Ruby Hawes, nieces and nephews, family and friends.
Visitation will be held at the Wharton Funeral Home on Monday, Nov. 1 from 5-8 p.m. There will be a service at the Wharton Funeral Home on Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. afterwards there will be a Military Service at the Evergreen Cemetery.
Honary Pallbears are Jerry Salazar, Buck Boetcher, Toby Coats, Frank Cochran, Kent Hill, Jimmy Chambers, Dan Hopgood, Greg Learned, D’Gerald McKinney, Donnie Guess, Wharton Dinner Club, Vietnam Veteran Project.
Special thanks to Greg Leonard, his nurse and to all of our family and friends.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Services under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home, 515 E. Wharton, Tx. 979-532-3410.