Written by Betsy Abraham Wednesday, 07 August 2013 00:00
Flags flew at half-staff last week as the Westbury community remembered former Village Trustee Paul H. Echausse, who died Tuesday, July 30, at the age of 85.
His life was marked by dedication to the community and the public. He was appointed to the village board in 1979, serving as a trustee for six terms as well as deputy mayor for several years. During his 28 years on the board, he served as the village’s commissioner of public safety and was the village liaison to the Nassau County Police Department. Prior to his time on the board, he served on the Village Zoning Board of Appeals from 1972-79.
“Paul was a terrific advocate for Westbury’s residents and was a tireless and dedicated public servant. Paul was a man of high integrity and served as a role model for many young people in the community over the years,” Westbury mayor Peter Cavallaro said.
“The essence of my father was service to others. He lived that,” said his son, also named Paul. “My father took a lot of pride in the fact that he was an elected official in the local level. He thought government could be a source of good and that local government provided an opportunity to do the most good.”
Echausse was an active member of the community. A devoted member of St. Brigid’s Parish, he served on the finance committee and as an usher at St. Brigid’s chapel in Carle
Place as well as acting as an eucharistic minister and altar server. He was a member of the Westbury Republican Club and a Carle Place Little League coach and umpire. Echausse served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He was also trained at the Nassau County Civilian Police Academy.
A committed family man, Echausse was married to his wife, Joan, for 55 years. The couple were proud parents of eight children and 16 grandchildren. Though he worked two jobs, he was always at every game, talent show, graduation, confirmation, or other special event.
“My father would always be there in the audience, on the sideline, or in the stands,” Paul said. “He was someone who really believed in family.”
Echausse’s life was defined by integrity, a lesson he passed down to his children.
“Hard work and integrity are probably the two most valuable lessons he taught me,” Patrick said.
“He would always tell you the truth and what he believed. You may not have liked what he said but you always knew where he stood,” Paul added.
A funeral mass was held Saturday, August 3 at St. Brigid’s Church. Instead of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to St. Brigid’s Outreach.