John E. Boudreau ’55, died peacefully Oct. 26, 2011, at his home in Cayucos.
John was born in March 1933 in Los Angeles to Essel Boudreau and Eleanor McPartlin of Long Beach, Calif., one week after the Long Beach earthquake. After having spent his youth in Long Beach, where he was an avid body surfer and played basketball at St. Anthony’s High School, John attended Santa Clara University on a basketball scholarship, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. In 1956, he married Sue Josephson of San Jose, Calif., whom he met while he was at Santa Clara. After a brief term of active duty in the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lt., he served eight years in the Army Reserve rising to the rank of captain. After he began his engineering career at Shell Chemical, John went on to work with Aerojet General in Sacramento in the 1960s as a test engineer on the Polaris missile program. He subsequently served as engineer-manager of the Terra Bella Irrigation District in Tulare County, Calif., from 1968 until he retired in 1998.
Between 1979 and 2000, he also served as manager of the Friant Power Authority, where he championed and then oversaw the planning and construction of a 25-gawatt hydroelectric project at Friant Dam, on the upper San Joaquin River in Fresno County.
During his long and distinguished career in water and power, John also served as chairman of the Association of California Water Agencies, executive board member of the Thermal Electric Water Supply Committee, chair of the Tulare County Nuclear Power Plant Advisory Committee and chair of the Tulare County Flood Control Commission. Following his retirement in 1998, John and Sue moved permanently to Cayucos, where they had enjoyed many weekends and summers since 1984. He had a great sense of humor, loved hard work, the outdoors, the ocean, dredging for gold, hunting, cooking and spontaneous family trips. John was a loving and quiet man with a great respect for others.
He will be forever in our hearts. John leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Sue; five children, Michael, Brian, Julie, Joe and Laurel; grandchildren Michelle, Lauren, Jennifer, Jordan and Blake; brother, Tom Boudreau; and sister, Mary Conover.