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JOSEPH EDMUND THERIAULT, MERCHANT MARINE AND OLD PORT BUSKER

I have been working to roll out the next release of our Jehan Terriot Archive. We have several new Great-Branches coming in which is very happy news. In our process for preparing this new release, I go through our database of delegates to make sure that that we have all the addressing information. And typically, I always find a few missing addresses. Happily, I was able to reconnect with many who became disconnected and it’s always a great occasion to talk to them and catch up with their news. This is truly a network of very nice people that we have.

However, this time, I also came up on some sad news of having lost a delegate. This one, I had talked about before because he was such an unusual character. His name is Joseph E. Theriault from Lisbon Falls, Maine. He was our delegate for the “François Xavier and M. Anna Theriault” Great-Branch. The last time I saw him, he was in the Old Port area of Portland, Maine playing the accordion for people enjoying that wonderful part of town. He called himself an ‘Old Port Busker’, a term I had never heard before. But he was a very interesting person. In talking to him, you knew that this guy had experienced a lot in his life and had met a lot of different people as well. I did a short write-up about Joe in our music section “Acadian & Cajun Music” soon after he first came on board as a delegate with his Great-Branch.

In any case, I just learned that Joe passed away five years ago, January 31, 2007. Unfortunately, I never received the news. I was able to retrieve his story from the Sun Journal in Lewiston/Auburn, Maine:

AUBURN – Joseph E. Theriault, 82, of Lisbon Falls, died on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at the Hospice House.

He was born on Aug. 26, 1924, in Westbrook, the son of Frank and Anna Theriault. He served in the Merchant Marines during World War II, and retired after 30 years at Central Maine Power in Yarmouth, where he was a steam plant engineer.

He spent most of his adult life sailing on Casco Bay; a passion that started during his years as a Merchant Mariner. A self-taught musician, he was also a devoted accordion player. He was a member of the band Raattikkoon, and was known as “The Old Port Busker.”

He is survived by his wife, Frances Theriault of Lisbon Falls; his children, Peter Theriault, and his wife, Mona, of West Rockport, Mark Theriault of Sumner and Susan Lavers of Lewiston; his grandson, Anthony Theriault of Lisbon; and two sisters, Ernestine Pecararo of Westbrook and Rita Oakham of Portsmouth, R.I.

Rest well, Joe.

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