The Christmas tree in the gazebo at the Turner Public Library is dedicated to the memory of Richard ‘Dick’ Thibodeau Sr., who was integral in keeping the tradition the past 11 years. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

TURNER — The town Christmas tree in the gazebo at the Turner Public Library honors the memory of a beloved resident who was integral in keeping the tradition for 11 years.

Richard ‘Dick’ Thibodeau Sr.

Richard ‘Dick’ Thibodeau Sr., 77, who passed away of T-cell lymphoma on Nov. 29, was chosen for the honor.

Paula Anderson, who served with Thibodeau on the Music for Mavis Gazebo Committee, said he was paramount in keeping the gazebo maintained and working. As an electrician who loved the town of Turner, Thibodeau helped wire the gazebo and connect the committee with other community members who wanted to be involved, she said.

“He was just a beautiful human being, very generous and kind,” Anderson said.

The nonprofit Music for Mavis began 11 years ago in honor of Anderson’s mother, Mavis, who loved music. The organization brings musicians and bands to the gazebo in Turner every Tuesday summer evening.

This year’s tree was erected by Grizz Grenier, 75, and Edie Twitchell, 82, both of Turner.

In the past, Thibodeau and Grenier put the gazebo tree up together with their families. This year, Grenier and Twitchell decorated the donated 9-foot tree in honor of their good friend.

Twitchell said she had known Thibodeau since he was 11 years old when his father owned a café called Paul’s Place and she worked there.

“He’s had a good life,” she said. “Back then he was just this skinny little kid … he’s always had a lot of really good memories with the Twitchells. When we got together, we always talked about those times.”

Grenier met Thibodeau at the Turner Primary School where Grenier is a custodian and Thibodeau was an electrician, about 25 years ago. Thibodeau recruited Grenier to help with the annual tree decorating and they soon made a tradition out of it.

“We’d make a day of it,” Grenier said. “I’d get up and Edie would cook me Saturday morning breakfast, then I’d go with Dick and get the tree and set it up. … We’d make a good morning of it and it would go into the afternoon. It was a good time.”

The two friends bonded over fishing, although they never got to go together. Grenier is strictly a fly fisherman and Thibodeau enjoyed trolling. Still, Grenier said they loved to talk about fishing.

“He was his own man … He lived a perfect life. He would have given you the shirt off of his back. He was an honest person,” Grenier said.

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