Mark Hayward's City Matters: A simple man wills $176k to 5 city charities
He never married. He stopped working in his late 40s, sidelined by cirrhosis of the liver. He took his breakfast every day at Chez Vachon. Afternoons were for banter about politics and world news at the Granite Square Dunkin' Donuts.
But Denoncourt drew the attention of five city charities this summer when his estate divided $176,000 among them.
In these days of rampant materialism, someone like Denoncourt stands out. His life was simple. His generosity was appreciated by friends, even strangers. He valued a night of conversation and laughs over the latest plasma or Blu-ray attempt at mind control.
She met Denoncourt in 1992 when her boyfriend rented a third-floor apartment in Denoncourt's triple decker at 393 Rimmon St.
Innie said she visited Denoncourt nightly when her boyfriend, Scott Hieter, lived upstairs. They'd have a beer and chat. He talked about St. Marie Church, growing up with nuns, stocks, politics and genealogy. He was proud of his French-Canadian heritage.
At Chez Vachon, Denoncourt sat at the same window seat every morning and chatted with a friend. He ordered an egg and toast, said waitress Linda Monahan. Sometimes in the afternoon, he returned and indulged his sweet tooth with a piece of chocolate cream pie.
Denoncourt worked at a plumbing supply company before getting sick. He went on disability and bought the triple-decker from his mother. He later received an inheritance from an aunt, and he told friends his investments made a lot of money during the 1980s.
New Hampshire Catholic Charities received about $43,500, Innie said. Lisa Merrill-Burzak, development director at Catholic Charities, called it substantial.
Innie said she's not surprised that Denoncourt was so generous. He often talked about the charities, and at Christmastime he would make donations.
Mark Hayward's City Matters appears Thursdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader and on UnionLeader.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.