Adrian Adelard Brochu

26 December, 194627 October, 2019
Obituary of Adrian Adelard Brochu
Adrian Adelard Brochu, 72, of Madison, Maine died October 27th, 2019 after a brief, hard fought battle with cancer. He was born in St. Prosper, Quebec on December 26, 1946, the third child of Jeanette Buteau and Emile Brochu, both of St. Prosper. He leaves behind his wife of fifty years, Celine Brochu; his four children Tabatha (Blake Andrews), Jason, Stephanie (Jake Voter), and Christopher (Ashley Nickerson-Brochu) and 15 beloved grandchildren - Zane, Leo and Emmett Andrews; Leora, Effie and Glenna Brochu; Benjamin, Sam, Nate, and Abby Voter; Ella, Drouin, Charlotte, Henry and Mabel Brochu; his siblings Lise Quenville (Paul), Guy Brochu (Viola), Luke Brochu (Pam), Lucy Comber (Randy), and Jimmy Brochu (Mary). He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Andre, and his sister Louise. Speaking only French, Adrian moved to Jackman, Maine as a young boy and remained there until he was drafted into the US Army in 1966. He served a year long tour of duty in Vietnam from 1967-68. Upon his return in June of 1968 he moved to Stratton, Maine to work with his father and brother Andre eventually taking over his father's logging business and forming A&A Brochu Logging. He married Celine Drouin in November 1968, and they settled in Stratton. For the next decade he and his brother, Andre, built A&A Brochu into a successful, well-respected company. A highlight of this time was their experience with his brothers dredging wood that was left from the old log drives at the bottom of the lakes along the Kennebec River. In the early 1980's, with money made from the log dredging activities, Adrian and his brothers entered the sawmill industry and partnered with the Fontaine family to build Stratton Lumber. In 1993 Adrian’s brother and business partner, Andre tragically died in an accident. Although absolutely devastated by the loss of his brother, and again by the tragic loss of his sister Louise in 2007, Adrian continued his work in the logging and sawmill businesses. In 2004 he and his remaining brothers sold their stake in Stratton Lumber and began a new era with the purchase of Pleasant River Lumber. Pleasant River Lumber brought together as partners himself, his two brothers, two close family friends, and his two sons which was a source of tremendous pride for him. As a result of Adrian’s vision and passionate entrepreneurial spirit the company succeeded and over the years grew. One highlight of this growth was the purchase of Moose River Lumber in 2015. Adrian took great pride in bringing a company owned by close family friends in the town he grew up in into the Pleasant River family. It completed a circle in his life and positioned both mills to prosper. In the end Adrian took tremendous pride in the fact that the company is well-respected in the business community and regarded as a great place to work by its more than 300 employees. For Adrian business and life were about people. He cared most about the people and his visits to the mills were always filled with incredibly positive interactions with everyone. He truly enjoyed visiting the mills, and especially loved the log crane in Dover Foxcroft. He often said that when he got old he wanted to be “parked somewhere” to watch the crane all day. He also looked forward to the opening of a new mill the company is building in West Enfield, ME and his visits to that project brought him true joy. As he aged, Adrian had the time to pursue other interests. He was a passionate traveler. He loved to say he had visited every continent but one. While he spent much time travelling with close friends, his grandest adventures were always with Celine – together their travels spanned the world to places including Machu Pichu, Sweden, France, Germany, Poland, Jordan, Scotland, Ireland, Israel, Australia, Fiji and many more. He had a passion for motorcycles that started with a trip across the country on two Harleys with his son after he graduated college. He continued riding bikes until very close to the end of his life with several of his closest friends and kept a bike in Las Vegas and one in Florida so he could ride year round with ease. Adrian believed that travel was the best education. Time and money were always in short supply in the early days, but that never stopped Adrian and Celine from packing the kids into the car for a long weekend. Sandwiches at rest areas and all-you can eat buffets were the norm, but they never balked at paying for experiences. As the family grew the trips didn’t stop. These adventures led the family to Florida, California and The Dominican Republic. He truly loved that we all enjoyed spending time together. He also enjoyed exposing his grandchildren to the world through travel. Older grandchildren were lucky enough to road trip through Quebec with him, ride motorcycles through the west, and two even went to Paris with Gump. The grandchildren looked forward to “Gump trips” because there was certainly never a dull moment. They would also say that going out to dinner with Gump was the best, "Order anything you want.", he would say “just make sure you eat it.” It is impossible to think of Adrian without also thinking of wine. There was hardly an afternoon that didn't see a bottle being corked. A visitor’s glass would be poured as soon as they were spotted on the driveway. His interest in wine began in the 90's. Father Paul would come over for dinner before mass each week and he and Adrian would sit and talk about wine. Adrian began seeking out specific wines for those dinners. He was fussy - he only drank French Bordeaux. He built a wine cellar modeled after those he saw during his travels in France. He often travelled to France, touring wineries and purchasing bottles for his collection. His collection grew over the years and the quality and quantity were certainly shocking to those who were lucky enough to be invited to Adrian’s cellar. Adrian's formal education ended in 8th grade when he left to work in the woods with his father and brother. He was told by the principal that if he left school so young he would shovel “dirt” his entire life. He replied by saying he would then be the best “dirt” shoveler there was. His lack of education was made up for by his love of reading. He would tell everyone that he learned everything he knew through books. He was never without a book, often reading a few at a time. He had no patience for fiction. He could not figure out why anyone would want to read about something that was not true. No book intimidated him. He didn't just read them, he studied them as evidenced by the pencil marks and notes scattered throughout his books. What seems like common knowledge to most he learned in his reading – history, science and psychology. He valued education above all and had great pride in his voice when he talked about his four kids all graduating from college. He was lucky enough to see his two oldest grandchildren head off to college in recent years. Adrian's grandest projects had to be Ira Mountain and Quill Hill. He purposely travelled to the world's ancient places to find his inspiration for the rock monument at IRA. From the day he moved his first rock, he had found an outlet for all that he wanted to express. It was a project that had no end in sight - he was going to work on it until he died. He did just that, moving rocks just days before he passed. Equally impressive is Quill Hill. It is a testament to Adrien's will that he single-handedly turned Quill Hill into a Maine treasure. “The best view in the state”, he often said. Last month, during a difficult stretch, he was able to go to the top of Quill Hill and witness the busiest day of visitors ever. It was a completion of sorts for him. "Build it and they will come", he said. Well, he built it and they came. They will continue to come for generations. This filled him with a level of peace and joy that is impossible to describe. Adrian’s generosity was well known. Those who were direct recipients know that he had an uncanny ability to know exactly how to help someone get through a challenging time. Many organizations were recipients of his gifts. The grills he built at Camp Sunshine and Pine Tree Camps were sources of pride for Adrian and he loved giving kids “magic rocks”. He was a humble man, and never wanted acknowledgement of his gifts. Anonymity suited him and countless people remain unaware that they were recipients of Adrian’s generosity. Adrian's last months were fraught with challenges. He faced those head-on with a determination to beat it. He told everyone he had a private nurse - his daughter Stephanie provided him with the care and compassion and advocacy only a loving daughter could. Family provided comfort and companionship in the final months. Celine hardly left his side, her patience and loving ways were a fitting tribute to their fifty years of marriage. Tabatha visited often and spent her visits keeping Adrian company, sitting by the fire and driving often to Quill. He loved hearing about all the goings on at the mills from Jason and Chris. He met each grandchild with open arms and one of those big Gump hugs. He had a lot of time to think and he made it clear that his focus would be on his family in the end. He was a man of many passions and interests, but nothing mattered more to him than his family - his wife, children and grandchildren were blessed by more love and generosity from their beloved Gump than seems possible. He adored his siblings, their spouses, and his countless nieces and nephews. Many, many people in Maine and beyond were touched by his openness, kindness, generosity and life loving spirit. In his presence there was never a dull moment. Given more time, one wonders what he could have accomplished. He had hundreds of plans in his head, many outlined in the countless legal pads he filled with notes throughout his life, but he was also quick to say he lived a good life and had no regrets. He shared his wisdom often - appreciate the little moments in life, do what you want now, don’t wait until it is too late, raising children is the BEST time of your life, you can’t unring a bell, drive fast and take chances and lastly the wisdom that truly was Adrian - don’t worry about what you say to people instead think about how you make people feel and above all treat everyone as equals. He instilled these values/life lessons in his children and they will certainly be passed on to future generations. Adrian was the best son, brother, husband, father, uncle, father-in-law, grandfather, mentor, and friend. The world may never see his likes again. He bent reality to fit his will. That bend in reality will be here for a long time, even though he no longer will be… Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday Novemebr 9, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church, Water St., Skowhegan, Maine, Internment immediately following the service at Calvary Cemetery. A celebration of life will follow at Lakewood Theatre, 76 Theatre Road, Madison, Maine. Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan, Maine. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made, by mail, to Camp Sunshine, 35 Acadia Rd, Casco, ME 04015 or via their website with tribute to Adrian Brochu. He spoke often about Camp Sunshine and was inspired by the campers to create his magic rocks.

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  • He leaves behind his wife of fifty years, Celine Brochu; his four children Tabatha (Blake Andrews), Jason, Stephanie (Jake Voter), and Christopher (Ashley Nickerson-Brochu) and 15 beloved grandchildren - Zane, Leo and Emmett Andrews; Leora, Effie and Glenna Brochu; Benjamin, Sam, Nate, and Abby Voter; Ella, Drouin, Charlotte, Henry and Mabel Brochu; his siblings Lise Quenville (Paul), Guy Brochu (Viola), Luke Brochu (Pam), Lucy Comber (Randy), and Jimmy Brochu (Mary). He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Andre, and his sister Louise.

Past Services

Saturday, 09 November, 2019

Funeral Mass

Saturday, 09 November, 2019

Celebration of Life Following the Service