FRANKFORT - Reno Melford Thibodeau, 87, passed peacefully to his Lord, July 6, 2013, at a local hospital surrounded by his true and ever loving wife, Vi, and their family. He was born May 15, 1926, in Millinocket, son of Edward Sr. and Helen (Sylvain) Thibodeau.
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Reno came to Winterport in the spring of 1936 and from that time on his life was centered around St. Gabriel's Catholic Church. He graduated from Winterport High School in 1943 and attended Colby College for a short time before joining the U.S. Army in the Pacific Air Service. While in the Phillipines he was an altar boy for the Army Chaplain in Manilla. Postal service was also a central focus of his life, working in the Army's postal department and earning the rank of Sergeant. Reno returned from the service and married Viola Blethen in September 1946. They lived together a love filled life for 67 years come this September. Together they were the devoted parents of seven children including the loss of an infant son, Thomas Nolan Thibodeau. After the military Reno was self-employed in the Winterport area in the construction business until in 1968 when he became a rural mail carrier for Winterport. In 1987 he was transferred to the Bangor Post Office, retiring after 28 years of government civil service. After his retirement from the postal service he worked for Irving Oil Corp in their postal service division. During his life Reno had the privilege and pleasure of working for his church side by side with his own father, Edward Thibodeau Sr., until Edward's passing in 1982. Together they were quite a team. At St. Gabriel's, Reno had served as; altar boy, Lector, Eucharistic minister, council member, choir, C.C.D. coordinator, Knights of Columbus and many other phases of church life; including helping to move Columbian Hall to its present location. Reno was a 4th degree Knights of Columbus and was man of the year for the Pine Cone Council No. 114 Knights of Columbus. He also enjoyed square dancing and restoring antique furniture.
Reno is survived by his beloved wife, Vi of Frankfort; children, Vaughn and wife, Frances, of Winterport, Susanne Baumgardner and husband, Richard "Mike," of Madison, Fern Mansell and husband, Timothy, of Winterport, Maria Thibodeau of Winterport, Clifford and wife, Stacey, of Winterport and Noel of Lewiston; brothers, Robert and wife, Jane, of Florida, George and wife, Claudette, of Virginia, and Joseph " Billy" and wife, Lynette, of Winterport; 14 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson, Ryan; and nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents; infant son, Thomas Nolan; brother, Edward Jr.; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Family and friends may visit 5-7 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at Hampden-Gilpatrick Funeral Home, 45 Western Ave., Hampden. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Friday, July 12, at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church, Lower Main Street, Winterport. Interment with military honors will be after the Mass at Oak Hill Cemetery, Winterport.
Brookings-Smith Hampden Chapel
45 Western Avenue
Hampden, ME 04444-0310
Published in BDN Maine on July 9, 2013