Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Poestenkill, NY – Robert F. Ducatte, 85, died October 31, 2022 at his residence surrounded by his loving family.
Affectionately known as “Coach” and “Duke”, Robert was born and raised in Plattsburgh NY, and was the son of the late Ross and Edith Ducatte, brother to Ross (Mary) Ducatte and Joanne (Bob) Monty. He is pre-deceased by brother Clifton (Velma) Ducatte. After two years of service in the US Army, he enrolled in St. Lawrence University where he played football, and met his college sweetheart, Nancy Allen Ducatte, who became his devoted wife of 60 years. While at St. Lawrence, he earned his BS and MS in Physical Education and Administration.
Coach Ducatte came to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1967 where he started his Physical Education and coaching career. A few years later, he became Athletic Director while continuing as baseball coach for over 10 years, compiling a 159-130 record. A promotion to Director of Physical Education and Athletics spawned a 34 year career that saw RPI’s NCAA intercollegiate teams grow from 12 sports to 23, including 11 new Women’s varsity programs. While serving on numerous ECAC Leadership Committees, he helped create the new league structure while also growing the RPI footprint with the renovation of the Houston Field House, the Robison Pool and the Ned Harkness Track and Field stadium.
A collaborator in the creation of the ‘Big Red Freakout” and the notorious horn giveaway (which led to an NCAA ban) he helped RPI win, and that was paramount to the many moments he cherished at RPI, notwithstanding the student athletes he loved, his loyal staff he relied upon and the coaches he admired. He was known as a coach’s coach.
After retirement, he enjoyed house building for his family, traveling with Nance to visit extended family he cherished, trips to Maine, and golfing with his great friends, the “ROB’s” at The Country Club of Troy. Survivors in addition to his wife Nancy, include his children Merry Ducatte, Poestenkill, Patricia (Mike) Ballato, Poestenkill, Robert F. (Denise) Ducatte Jr., Guilderland and Jennifer (Frank) Pusatere, Poestenkill.
Robert also treasured his 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. They include Carrie (Ken) Stager, Michael Ducatte, David (Amiya) Bornt, Nicholas and Joseph Ballato, Morgan (Tim) Vishneowski, Carter and Lily Ducatte and Adam, Benjamin and Sean Pusatere, as well as Aubrey, Willow, Harper, Braden, Kyler and Colton Duke.
The family would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to Dr. James Aram, the staff at DCI and Community Hospice, who offered compassionate care throughout Robert’s journey.
Relatives and Friends may call the Bryce Funeral Home, Inc. at 276 Pawling Avenue Troy on Wednesday November 9th from 4 to 7pm. Funeral services will be held at the RPI Chapel and Cultural Center, 2125 Burdett Avenue Troy on Thursday November 10th at 10am with Rev. Edward Kacerguis, officiating. Interment will follow at 12:30PM, at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, Schuylerville.
In lieu of flowers, we ask you consider making a donation to a charity of your choice in Bob’s name.
Charity of one's choice