Paul Gaudreau, 81, architect, volunteer worker in school

November 22, 1995|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Paul L. Gaudreau, the former president of a Baltimore architectural firm who spent the past two decades working with students with special needs, died of cancer Sunday at Charlestown Retirement Community, where he had lived since 1992. He was 81.

The former Ruxton resident retired in 1975 from Gaudreau Inc., an architectural firm founded on North Charles Street in 1932 by VTC his father, Lucien E. D. Gaudreau. The firm designed many area churches, schools and government buildings.

"There are two things that he was most proud of -- the Loyola College Chapel, which is contemporary Gothic designed in the neoclassic style, and his work designing the renovations at St. Elizabeth School," said his brother, William L. Gaudreau Sr., president of Gaudreau Inc. "The Loyola College Chapel was described in 1949 at its dedication as being a 'prayer in stone.' He practiced on 16 college campuses in the Maryland region and designed 30 buildings or more."

Born in Braintree, Mass., Mr. Gaudreau moved to Baltimore in 1919 with his family, and was a 1932 graduate of Calvert Hall College. He earned his architectural degree in 1936 from Catholic University and began his career in 1945 with his father's firm and later worked for Buckler and Fenhagen, Baltimore architects.

During World War II, he was a civilian employee of the Army Corps of Engineers, working as a camouflage expert in the Aleutians, Canada and Alaska.

In 1958, Mr. Gaudreau was one of 10 architects and planners chosen by the American Institute of Architects to represent the United States on a tour of post-war construction in Germany.

In 1975, Mr. Gaudreau resigned from the firm after his and his two brothers' architectural licenses were suspended from six months to a year for their participation in a $30,000 kickback scheme that sent Dale Anderson, then-Baltimore County executive, to prison.

Coping with failing eyesight, Mr. Gaudreau began volunteering at St. Elizabeth on Argonne Drive where he taught horticulture and landscaping to students with special needs. An operation in 1983 returned partial sight, enabling him to expand his role at the school.

Principal Christine Manlove said Mr. Gaudreau completed the designs for additions to the school and plans for renovations during 1994-1995 school year.

"His memory is stamped throughout this building and in the students here," she said.

He was elected in 1986 to the Calvert Hall College Hall of Fame, and in 1995 the Maryland Association of Non-Public Special Education Facilities honored him for his volunteer work.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues, Towson, where he was a longtime communicant.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, the former Margaret Vaillant; a son, the Rev. John V. Gaudreau of Golden, Colo.; a daughter, Margaret G. Sullivan of Virginia Beach, Va.; three other brothers, Gerard L. Gaudreau of Baltimore, Thomas L. Gaudreau of Queenstown and David L. Gaudreau of Naples, Fla.; and six grandchildren.

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