Warrior for the Truth: Bob Cote’, 1940-2013

Editor: Bob Cote’ founded Step 13 in Denver in 1983 as a tough-love answer to alcohol and drug abuse for men who were throwing their lives away with addiction as he himself had almost done. He saved many hundreds of lives over the next 30 years, along the way garnering honors from the White House, reforms in federal law, and implacable hostility from advocates of a no-responsibility approach to homelessness and substance abuse here in Colorado.

Thus when Cote’ died at 73 on Sept. 27, local media ignored the story. When a large crowd of friends gathered on Oct. 26 to memorialize Bob, elected officials were nowhere to be seen — with one exception. Mike Dunafon, Mayor of Glendale, helped lead the mourners and gave this eulogy:

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Warriors that battle for the truth learn very early on that the first causality is the standard bearer, and, that being right rarely has anything to do with being righteous. The motivation to seek the truth is usually born as the result of having lived the lie.

The struggle — every day to recognize the lie — that is the seekers mission. Those that know the lie understand its power to deceive; for they in the past were willing to tell the lie to anyone who would fall for it, and each time they told it — the lie got better.

But the lie like a bad parasite slowly kills its host, and the hosts of the host. The seeker knows the options for those living the lie – prison, death or sobriety. Excuses are the Lies life story, prison and death the final act!

Those that never lived the lie or knew someone living it–are quite often responsible for supporting it. And some who claim to know it — choose to profit from it. For it is dirty work—calling someone a liar — and is best left to the “experts.” Claiming that no price could be too great to expose the lie.

The lie not confronted grows. New hosts now with grand missions are paid to eradicate it. While the seeker watches it as it hides behind the walls of public opinion. Safe for the moment the lie recruits new and highly paid hosts—The Lie becomes an industry!

Effective compassion– this tool of the Visionary Seeker is confused with heartless aggression. The seeker is called the enemy. The Seeker; this man who sees through the lie, watches it grow, and laugh back at him!

Still — he never stops confronting the lie, one liar at a time — the door opens to the truth. The scars of the lie erode his physical being — still he marches on. Time — the immortal enemy of the lie — now claims the seeker — today his memory beckons new seekers – will the fight be renewed—who will answer the bell?

Bob Cote’s life — is the story of Man, and Man’s narrow escape from annihilation – through the razor thin advantage of Good over Evil. An advantage that is insured by unlikely heroes, Men Like Bob Cote, Men that emerge thru the titanic struggle to fight for the truth and find it. A truth that is seldom recognized by the audience until the fighter has left the ring.

The pathway to the truth is taken by few, and therefore, not well marked – this pathway, Step 13, carved by the Man with the Heart of a Lion, the vision of an Eagle, the claws of the Mother Bear and the mind of a Guru will be widened and cared for in the years to come by as many men as it takes to fill your shoes – that, today, I swear to you, my Dear Friend Bob Cote!

Mayor Mike Dunafon can be reached at mike@kudurugby.com

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