Real's Story

WINSLOW - Real Joseph "Moose" Cyr, 91, passed away Sunday May 8, 2016 in his home with his family by his side. He was born on March 16, 1925 in Maria, Conte de Bonaventure, Provence de Quebec, Canada, the son of the late Alfred (Fredo) and Maria Amelia (Guite) Cyr.

Real, eldest of seven, helped his father farm, fish salmon and cut wood for the long winter. While Fredo worked winters as a cook for the Canadian survey team in northern Quebec, Real tended the 100 milk cows and other farm animals.

At the age of 15 ½ he enlisted in the Canadian Army, finished basic training but was released when they discovered he was under age. Later he enlisted in the Canadian Navy and was accepted because he had previously finished basic training. By the time they found out he had been under age, it was too late.

Real served on a British corvette in the North Atlantic sailing between England and Murmansk, Russia. Later he entered the submarine service and became a frogman, underwater demolition (similar to the Navy Seals), in the fiords of Norway where he was captured by the Germans after attempting to sink a German Battle Cruiser. He and two others escaped during transport through France. He was aided by the French underground, hidden in a convent dressed as a nun and three days later repatriated to the allies. He then served on the American submarine USS Croaker in the Pacific until the end of the war. Of his military experience he spoke simply, "We fought hard: We played hard. We were glad to be alive."

After the war, Real was hosted by his aunt in the U.S., became an American citizen, worked as a Master electrician with Scott Paper for 39 years, met his lovely wife, Theresa, on a blind date, got married and had 5 devoted children.

Real was completely devoted to Family, service of country and to community. He was a volunteer fireman, electrical and building inspector, member of the Calumet club, Knights of Columbus, and former Post Commander for the American Legion in Waterville.

Real is survived by his wife, Theresa; his five children: Richard, Jeanne, Suzanne, Victoria and Andrew who all miss him dearly; ten grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; his brothers Richard and Gaston; his sisters Patricia, Jeannine and Madeleine; as well as a large extended family.

Visiting hours will be on Sunday May 15 from 2-4 PM at Veilleux Funeral Home, 8 Elm Street, Waterville, ME. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday May 16 at 11:00 AM at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 26 Monument St, Winslow, ME. Burial will follow in St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, 78 Grove Street, Waterville. Please visit www.veilleuxfuneralhome.com to view a video collage of Real's life and to share condolences, memories and tributes with his family.

In lieu of flowers, donations in the name of Real Cyr may be given to: Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen, 72 Pleasant St, Waterville, ME 04901 or Honor Flight New England, 1193 Hooksett Road #2, Hooksett, NH. 03106.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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