DeCota was the Director of Aviation for the Port Authority of NY & NJ and well known as the visionary leader and generous benefactor to the Greater New York Boy Scout Councils. He joined the Queens Council Board of Directors as president in 2000, a role he served in up until his passing. He was selected as a “Top Mover and Shaker” in a 2008 edition of It’s Queens - The Magazine, and characterized as a true “workaholic” who loved the aviation industry and a challenge.
“During his tenure as president, he provided instrumental leadership as the council grew in membership, finance, and program delivery to the Scouts in the borough of Queens,” said Bill Sullivan, field director for the Queens Boy Scouts Council, on Monday morning. “Bill was very heavily involved in the recruitment of board members and event honorees and was directly or indirectly involved in raising over $9 million for Scouting in New York City. Bill’s dedication, passion, and leadership to Scouting will be sorely missed.”
DeCota began his career with the Port Authority as a financial analyst in 1982, and became the Director of Aviation in December of 1999. With his special blend of intelligence, humor, and unwavering dedication to his staff and the aviation industry as a whole, DeCota ensured that the Port Authority airport system was one of the most recognized and valued in the nation.
“The news of William DeCota’s death brings great sadness,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall in a statement. “Over the years, we attended many meetings and airport events together. His wealth of knowledge on a multitude of aviation-related issues was immense, but it was his smile and quick sense of humor that endeared him to so many. He worked long and diligently to make the airports in Queens operate as efficiently as possible, while also working with the local communities most affected by airline operations. He will be missed.”
“There are people who give you energy and people who take energy from you,” said Walter Sanchez, publisher of this paper and DeCota's fellow Queens Boy Scouts Council Executive Committee member. “Bill was someone you always looked forward to being around because he gave energy to the room and found a way to make you feel important. You knew he had a good heart so you wanted to be around him. There are few like him in the world.”
DeCota is survived by several nieces, nephews, and cousins, as well as a network of close friends.