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John Lionel St. Onge

September 29, 1934 October 21, 2020
John Lionel St. Onge
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Obituary for John Lionel St. Onge

John Lionel St.Onge, 86, of Mansfield Center, Connecticut, passed away peacefully at home on October 21, 2020, with his beloved wife, Marilynn, at his side.

John was born in Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada on September 29, 1934, the proud seventh son of Gladys and J. Leo St-Onge. He was a life-long learner, achieving considerable success in both private industry and academia. After completing his military service as an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserves, John earned BS and MS degrees in Electronics Engineering from Laval University in Quebec, Canada, followed by an MBA from Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts in 1960.

John spent the early part of his career working in various executive positions with a focus on business planning, systems development and physical distribution. A broad-gauged manager who thrived on operational challenges, he provided management consulting services and accomplished numerous in-depth studies, including a highly successful study concerned with conventional wisdom’s alarmist views on the status of world food shortages projected for the Year 2000.

In 1984, John moved on to the next phase of his career where he served as a professor at Eastern Connecticut State University. During his over twenty year tenure, John held various academic positions, including Department Chair of Economics and Management Sciences. One of his many accomplishments during his tenure was his development of the Business Information Systems major, which remains a highly successful program at the University. He was an inspiration to students, many of whom carry on his legacy today. John was awarded “Professor Emeritus” upon his retirement in 2004.

After his formal retirement, John never quit working. His entrepreneurial spirit was always alive with the creation of several businesses and joint ventures he managed. John’s love for his late brother Dennis, an artist, led them to work together on Focus Frames, LLC, sharing their love of history, heritage and art. One of the last great projects John worked on was his flattening the earth map, the point of which was to show the continents in their correct dimensions and proportions, rather than the distorted views typically depicted on traditional map projections. John, along with his dear friend, Dr. Anthony LaSala, were founding fathers of the Knights of Edison, and they thoroughly enjoyed discussing their projects and inventions. John contributed to a program at the Connecticut Historical Society on inventors of Connecticut.

John was deeply loved by his family. He was a loving, gentle, witty and kind intellectual. Although he never had children of his own, his love for his step-children, grandchildren and his many nieces and nephews was clearly demonstrated through his constant priority and focus on their lives. John was the patriarch of the family, always going out of his way to love them as if they were his own children. Family reunions, sharing their history and stories, and continually updating the family tree were all very important to John.

John was loved by many and will be deeply missed by his beloved wife, Marilynn, and her children, Richard Arsenault, Michele Valley, and his grandchildren Nalaeh Valley, Griffin Valley and Alexandra Valley-Woodhall. He will also be missed by his nieces and nephews, Marie St-Onge-Davidson, Margot St-Onge, Kathleen St-Onge, Richard St-Onge (Swanly), Lawrence St-Onge, Alyne St-Onge, Normand St-Onge (Luci), Caroline St-Onge, Deidre St.Onge-Cassidy (Michael) and Tammy Leister (Kyle), along with numerous great-nieces and nephews.

On behalf of John, our family would like to extend gratitude to all members of his medical team who showed him great care, respect, kindness and patience throughout the years.

A private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to ECSU Foundation, Inc. noted for the Business Information Systems Fund, 83 Windham Street, Willimantic, CT. 06226. To send an online expression of sympathy, please visit www.baconfh.com. Bacon Funeral Home, 71 Prospect St, Willimantic, is serving the family.

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