PRESQUE ISLE - Audrey (Elaine) Bishop Thibodeau, 97, of Conant Road, died Jan. 2, 2013. Audrey was born Dec. 13, 1915, in Caribou, the daughter of Elsie (Berce) and Charles T. Bishop.
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She attended Caribou public schools and graduated from the University of Maine in 1937, with a degree in nutrition after which she taught home economics at Houlton High School. In 1939 Audrey married Lawrence A. Thibodeau, also of Caribou, who had been a high school classmate. The couple then moved to New York state to join Audrey's brother, Jack, in farming, but missed their home and soon moved back to Maine. Audrey and Tib were off on their next adventure and moved to Fort Kent, where they lived on the banks of the St. John River. Audrey was committed to learning French while there and enjoyed the "valley experience." In 1946 they moved to Presque Isle, which became the lifelong home of Audrey and Tib. Audrey was a stay-at-home mom as her children were growing up, however, at Christmas she worked at Sears Roebuck Co. demonstrating and selling sewing machines to earn extra money. In the late 1960s she owned and managed the family store, L.S. Hall Co., Caribou. Audrey was passionate about raising awareness and fostering education for students with reading disabilities in the public school system. She started the Presque Isle Pony Club and served as the district commissioner for several years. Audrey was recognized by several educational and charitable organizations in Aroostook County. She was instrumental in incorporating the Vera Estes House into the Presque Isle Historical Society and promoted the preservation of the Old Presque Isle Fire Station. Audrey was "a County girl" and proudly supported the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Northern Maine Community College and the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
Audrey is survived by her children, Berna "Bunny" T. Andrews of North Yarmouth, Ann T. Seitz of North Yarmouth, Lee Lawrence Thibodeau, M.D., and his wife, Holly, of Cumberland Foreside and Don R. Thibodeau and his wife, Brenda, of Fryeburg; along with her brother, Harold "Swamp" Bishop of Muncy, Pa.; grandchildren, Beth Andrews Lamberson, Amy Andrews Brewer, Jeff Andrews, Jennifer Seitz Lind, Andrew Seitz, Gregory Seitz, Brian Thibodeau, Betsy Thibodeau Pitreau, Jack Thibodeau and Kate Thibodeau; several great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Tib; her sister, Berna Richards; brother, Jack Bishop; a son-in-law, Christopher Seitz, M.D.; and grandson, Brett Lawrence Thibodeau.
A celebration of life will be in the spring so all relatives and friends may attend. An announcement will be forthcoming prior to the gathering. Memorial contributions may be made to the Audrey B. Thibodeau Charitable and Educational Fund, care of Hugo Olore, P.O. Box 1087, 408 Main St., Presque Isle, ME 04769. Online condolences may be expressed at www.duncan-graves.com.
Published in BDN Maine on Jan. 5, 2013