Edouard Vaval, 66, of Spencertown, N.Y.

He worked as a commercial cabinetmaker until 1995, when he joined the staff of the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, as woodworking instructor in the activities program.

Edouard Vaval, 66, died unexpectedly January 11, 2018 at his home in Spencertown, New York.

Edouard Vaval

Born March 19, 1951, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Edouard moved with his mother to the United States in December 1970 to join the rest of his family. After settling in Manhattan, he worked for several years in the advertising industry while continuing to pursue his twin loves of woodworking and photography.

In 1985, Edouard left New York City to join his partner, Eve Zatt, in Spencertown. He worked as a commercial cabinetmaker until 1995, when he joined the staff of the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, as woodworking instructor in the activities program. This job, which he held at the time of his death, provided Edouard with the perfect way of combining his love for the craft of woodworking, his patience as a teacher and his compassion for people.

Edouard’s bright smile will be missed by everyone who knew him. He loved his family and his many friends as well as fine food and drink, especially when paired with good conversation. He was known for his elegant yet unconventional attire; was a serious practitioner of yoga; and enjoyed “messing about in boats,” especially wooden ones and sailboats. He was also a board member of the Chatham Education Foundation.

Edouard is survived by his longtime partner, Eve Zatt, of Spencertown, and her son, Chelan Babineau Z, of Bozeman, Montana; as well as five brothers: Gerard (Gladys) Vaval, Luc (Mireille) Vaval, Armand, Maxim and Daniel Vaval; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 17, at 1 p.m. at the Spencertown Academy. Details to follow. An account has been set up at Partners in Health in Edouard’s name. Those wishing to make a gift in his memory can either do so online at www.PIH.org or via mail at Partners in Health, PO Box 996, Frederick, MD 21705.