Rev. Paul Charbonneau, founder of Windsor's Brentwood Recovery Home, died at the age of 87 on Monday evening, two weeks after being hospitalized for congestive heart failure.
Father Paul, as he was affectionately known, founded the drug and alcohol recovery program 45 years ago. He was a member of the Order of Ontario and a recipient of the Golden Jubilee Medal.
"He's just a phenomenal individual who commands, who demands, attention and his presence is overwhelming," City Councillor Percy Hatfield said Monday night.
"He has helped cure tens of thousands of people with addictions over the years. He's been a driving influence and people worship him, and he deserves every bit of that worship."
After receiving his jubilee medal in 2003, Rev. Charbonneau spoke of his faith.
"You have to be grateful because there is so much luck that happens in anybody's life. And when you start off like this you don't know where youre going, you don't have any experience, you don't have people behind you and you don't have money," he said. "I had a lot of faith and it worked out."
Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized.