RUMFORD – Philip Ernest Thibodeau Sr., 91, of Franklin Street, Rumford, died peacefully at home on Friday, Jan. 23, surrounded by his family.

Philip, born May 26, 1917, to Ernest Thibodeau and Blanche Poulin Thibodeau, was a lifelong resident of Rumford and Roxbury Pond. He graduated from Stephens High School in 1939. A World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy, he served his country in Washington, D.C. At this time he married a South Rumford native, Luetta Bernard, she joined him in D.C., where they started their family that eventually grew to include eight children. Phil and Lou were married for 65 years.

Upon returning to Rumford, he opened Thib’s Service Station, which he ran until he retired at age 58. Retirement allowed Luetta and Phil to move to their camp at Roxbury Pond. They were the first people to live at the pond year round.

Phil loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fishermen. He was a licensed pilot and many of his trips entailed flying to remote areas for a day of fishing. After retiring, he took up cross-country skiing. A 20 mile ski trip was a common occurrence.

Canoeing down Maine and New Hampshire rivers, daily walks in fair and foul weather, playing cribbage with his wife and work, always puttering and working, were his favorite pastimes.

He was especially proud of his camp at Roxbury Pond that he built with his own hands. It developed over the years and all of his children have fond memories of summers at the camp. Thanks Dad for everything.

“Dad” is survived by his five sons and their spouses, Phil and Janet of Rumford, Bradford and Elissa of East Andover, Dale and Patty of Portville, N.Y., Michael and Louanne of Rumford Center and Richard and Lise of Worcester, Vt.; his three daughters, Lou Ann Thibodeau and her companion, Del Johnston, of Gardiner, Debbie Peale and her husband, Rob, of Readfield and Mary Ann McCall of Tilton, N.H.; his 18 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was predeceased by his wife Luetta; and by his sister, Eva Mae Baugh of Indiana; and a great-grandson, Ashton Gauthier.

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