We can, he did – 

Dec. 27, 2020 – He also created the Addiction Counselor Education Program at Westfield State University (then Westfield State College) and served as the director for 25 years (an extension of that program was later brought to Berkshire Community College). A participant in Alcoholics Anonymous for 46 years, according to his obituary, Cote’s work in addiction services continued until he retired in June.

“He was the guy. He was Mr. Sobriety,” said Cote’s widow, Francesca “Cessa” Cote, who ran the Doyle Detox Unit in Pittsfield until it merged with McGee in 2000. The couple were married for 22 years. “There’s a lot of us out there who owed a lot to Bob.”

Cote also founded the Berkshire Men’s Council and the Men’s Leadership Council of Boulder, Colo., groups that he served on for 25 years. Participants in Alcoholics Anonymous are often referred to as a “friends of Bill W.,”, after Bill Wilson, who co-founded the group in the 1930s. People who knew Cote well often referred to themselves as “Friends of Bob,” his wife said.

Cote’s influence on others was displayed on written tributes to Cote that are posted on Legacy.com.

“Bob helped me tremendously in my struggles with mental illness and alcoholism,” wrote Peter T. McGovern on Christmas Day. “He was a wonderful man. I’m sorry for his loss.”

“Bob saved many lives over the years,” wrote Jim Edelman on Christmas Eve. “A selfless human being who quietly and diligently went about his life doing the best he could for others. And that was a lot.”



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