Yesterday, our friend, Bob Thibodeau left this Earth and went home to Heaven.
He was the father of our friends Bobby, Tom, John, Mary Catherine, Ray, Rick, Guy, Celeste, Marilyn, Geri, Therese, and Roger, and the husband of Ril.
Bob was a legend in our town. He was the retired proprieter of a grocery store in Douglas, an outspoken pacifist, a witty storyteller, a enthusiastic partier (when you have twelve kids and countless grandchildren, every gathering is a party!), and a faithful member of our parish, the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He never hesitated to give his opinion on any subject, and I have to say that most of the time, I agreed with him, especially in matters of peace and social justice.
He was a regular at the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool sauna, which was conveniently across the street from his house. Until a few years ago, he and his family had a Christmas tree lot in their big front yard. It was a Christmas tradition for many Juneau and Douglas residents to pick out the perfect tree at Thibodeau's. He celebrated his 90th birthday and his and Ril's 66th wedding anniversary with wonderful parties in the Cathedral parish hall. At both celebrations, he danced to the Thunder Mountain Big Band with youthful abandon. He still was in pretty good shape up until this last year or so. His mind stayed sharp, and he was still funny and charming, even on the day last week when Charles went to visit him.
But in the end, as will happen to us all, his heart wore out. Surrounded by his children and with Ril at his side, he died peacefully. Bob lived a long and accomplished life. We have lost a treasure. Our loss is not as profound as that of his family, but it is a loss nonetheless.
Our dear friend and brother in Christ, Bob, is dancing in heaven and probably sharing a joke or two with his friends who went before him.
Rest well, Bob and be at peace. We'll miss you.
All photos are courtesy of the Thibodeau family.
Here is a lovely reflection about Bob, written by his grandniece, Katy. I thought it was a beautiful tribute: Blessed, Broken and Shared