Emeritus Professor Louis J. Cote - Department of Statistics - Purdue University Skip to main content

Emeritus Professor Louis J. Cote


Louis J. Cote

Louis J. Cote

Emeritus Professor Louis J. Cote, husband, father, mathematician, photographer and horologist died March 14, 2014 at the age of 92. Lou began his career in 1954. He retired in 1991. He and his wife of 65 years, Lillian E. (Grundfest) Cote, have 4 children, John, Charlie, Sarah and Paul. They also have 2 daughters-in-law, Carla Koertge and Ellen Nelson, and a son-in-law Dan Reinker, He was proud of them and of his two grandsons, Carl and Sam, who have been lucky to have their grandpa as a role model for 26 and 14 years, respectively.

Lou was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1921. He joined the Army Air Corps, completed officer training and went off to WWII as a meteorologist in a B25 (airplane) flying out of Calcutta, India. After the war, he came home to finish his studies at the University of Michigan. It was there, while living in coop housing that he met Lillian. After they married, Lou and Lillian moved to New York, where Lou finished his PhD in Mathematics at Columbia University. He became a Professor of Mathematical Statistics at Purdue University in 1954. After leaving Purdue for a brief stint at Syracuse University, Lou, Lillian and their growing family returned to West Lafayette, and Purdue in 1958, where he taught until he retired.

Lou and Lillian raised their kids in West Lafayette, but recently moved to University Place. Lou had a seemingly endless repertoire of old songs and poems in several languages. He was a volunteer for the Friends of the West Lafayette Public Library, and served on the boards of several other organizations. Lou had a full and happy life and will be missed. Donations may be made to Friends of the West Lafayette Public Library. He bequeathed his body to the Indiana University Medical School and requested there be no services.

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