WEST GARDINER – Lionel J. “Babe” Turcotte, 95, passed away peacefully on Feb. 3, at home, in his favorite chair, in the presence of his wife of 70 years, Theo, and his daughter, Sherry.

He was born in Skowhegan, on Aug. 27, 1913, the son of Elmer (Edmund) Joseph and Margaret (Mary) Peters Turcotte. He grew up on Spring Street in Gardiner, attending school there and graduating from Gardiner High School in 1932. He was a three-sport athlete, playing baseball, football and basketball. He was awarded the Alice M. Richards Cup at graduation for outstanding athlete during four years of high school.

During his lifetime he worked hard at many different jobs, often holding down two jobs at once. He worked at BIW during the 1940s, was custodian and bus driver at Farmingdale school in the 1950s and 1960s, worked evenings at various gas stations in the area and was chief custodian at Gardiner Area High School from 1966 to 1985. He worked as part-time custodian at Hall-Dale Elementary School on Sheldon Street from 1985 to 1990 and was a part-time bus driver in Winthrop schools.

He loved working, reading Louis L’Amour novels, riding his motorcycle, big band music, Christmas lights, flowers, strawberry ice cream and traveling. He and his wife traveled to Florida in their motor home for 15 winters in a row.

He also drove the Tioga across country two different times and flew to Hawaii on vacation eight times. He was proud to have traveled to 49 of the 50 states (all except Alaska) as well as to Canada. He loved life, his family, sports and “going for a ride,” especially his almost daily trips to T’s Golf and then Deb’s for ice cream.

He was an honorary member of the Maine Rural Letter Carriers and attended 18 national conventions around the country, plus many state conventions beginning in 1989. During his lifetime, he had many hospitalizations, injuries etc. but was a strong, positive person, always rebounding, even from a broken neck at the age of 89. The following year he drove the Tioga to Florida and back.

He was a member of Cobbosseecontee Grange 100 for 60 years, holding the office of master for several years and also chaplain. He was a member and past master of Kennebec Pomona Grange, as well as a member of state and national Grange. He served on installation teams throughout the state and became a state Grange deputy, instructing subordinate Granges during the 1960s and 1970s. When Cobbosseecontee Grange closed, he joined Mill Stream Grange in Vienna.

On Aug. 27, 1938, he married Theo K. Malcolm who survives him – a marriage of 70 years; he is also survived by his five children, Sherry Turcotte, his caretaker of West Gardiner, Jude Torrington and husband, Rawn, of Manchester, Joe Turcotte and wife, Raye, of Augusta, Kerry Tracy and husband, Dennis, of Ellsworth, Bob Turcotte and wife, Cindy, of Litchfield and Monmouth, and his special honorary daughter, Pam Taylor and husband, Steve, of Porter; seven grandchildren, Joe Turcotte Jr. and wife, Kristin, of Waldoboro, Gina Turcotte of China, Eric Tracy and wife, Wendy, of Falmouth, Kristy Dawes and husband, John, of Yarmouth, Tom Torrington and Katie Lawrence of Bluffton, S.C., Tammy Turcotte and Jaime Nunez of Portland and Shelby Turcotte and fiancĂ©’, Heather Adams of Portland; nine great-grandchildren, Jenna Turcotte of Somerville, Austin, Grace Ann and Jacob Turcotte of Waldoboro, Caroline and Julia Tracy of Falmouth, Lauren and Justin Dawes of Yarmouth, and Vanesza Nunez of Portland; as well as several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents, a brother, Adolph, and two sisters, Katherine French and Virginia Jordan.

The family would like to thank R.N. Cathi Seraphi, hospice nurse and Lisbon Family Practice staff – Dr. Stephen Fairchild and nurses Terri and Lisa for all their help and wonderful care of Dad.

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