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Gerard J. Thibodeau

Wilder, Vt. — Gerard J. Thibodeau, 78, of Wilder, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital, with his family by his side.

He was born in Lebanon, N.H. on Feb. 27, 1934, the son of Leo and Annette (Peloquin) Thibodeau.

Gerard also known as Gerry, Tex, Dad, Papa, Pop’s and Smokey worked at Dartmouth College as an Oil Burner Technician for 18 years before retiring in 1981 due to the disabilities he sustained during the time he served with the Army Combat Engineers Unit during the Korean War. He would never think of leaving his home without his Korean Veteran’s “hat” He was very proud to have served our country. Strangers would walk up to him and “Thank” him time after time for serving our country. He loved being a veteran, and put in over 3,100 hours of volunteer service at the Veteran’s Hospital in White River Jct., Vt., first in the woodworking shop and then after losing the use of his arm and being able to work with woodworking machines, he decided it was time to move on to baking cookies for the hospital. Gerard was a member of the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars, the American Legion Unit #0026, and the Disabled Veterans all in White River Jct.

On Nov. 19, 1955, he married Ruth Louise Gilbert. They purchased their first home in Wilder and have lived on Fern Street for over 50 years. They decided that Wilder was the perfect little town to raise their family.

Gerard’s greatest joy in life was spending time with his family especially the times spent with his grandchildren and the many wonderful trips to Wells, Maine. When Pops wanted to go on vacation, it was time to rent a “van” and we were all going. He wasn’t happy unless everyone was going. His grandchildren and great grandchildren were the reason he kept living.

Gerard is survived by his wife, Ruth (Gilbert) Thibodeau; a son, Gerry (Butch) Thibodeau and his wife, Sara of Enfield, N.H.; a daughter, Desiree (Gauthier) Smith and her husband, Stephen Smith of Wilder; four grandchildren, Angela Wheeler and her husband, Steven of West Newbury, Vt.; Aaron Thibodeau and his wife, Crystal, of Weathersfield, Vt.; Kimberly Anderson and her husband, Daniel of Eden, Vt. But it was the great-grandhildren that gave Papa the will to keep going, he had so much love for them. There is Elizabeth, Micheala, Leah, Ty, Lisa, Skylar, Taylor, Becky, Aviarina, and Anya. Gerard is also survived by his step-grandchildren, Jamie Smith Brown, Mitchell and Tanner Smith; and his five step-great grandchildren Hailie, Tanealle, Cayden, Max and Eloise; a favorite brother-in-law, Kenneth C. Gilbert of Wilder; and many wonderful nieces and nephews. Gerard has many close friends that are considered his extended family that he loved very much; Nancy Gray of Wilder, Bob Pregant of Fairlee, Pete Shinn of Wilder, and all his “special” friends at Crossroads Restaurant. He loved each and every one of you.

Calling hours will be held Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Knight Funeral Home in White River Jct. A celebration of his life will be held at the funeral home on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, at 1 p.m. with Father O’Keeffe from the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in White River Jct. officiating. Internment will take place in the family lot in Christian Street Cemetery, Wilder in the spring.

Condolences may be expressed to Gerard’s family in an online guest at www.knightfuneralhomes.com.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 663, White River Jct., VT 05001 or to the Korean War National Museum, 9 Old State Capital Plaza, Springfield, IL 62705-0299.

There will also be a gathering at “Crossroads Restaurant” immediately following the service, you are all invited to join his family in remembering the life of Gerard Thibodeau.