OBITUARY

Joseph A "Tony" Poirier

March 22, 1922June 11, 2012

Joseph Antonio “Tony” Poirier transitioned from this life today after a gradual three year decline with dementia. While in the midst of his decline, he would often talk about moving to his ‘other home’ and today he got to take that journey to his final Home, to be at one with God in Eternity. Even though dementia had robbed him of his brilliant mind, through the end of his life, his indomitable spirit could still be seen shining through in the gleam in his eyes and his soft smile.

He was known by many names during his life and whether you knew him as Tony, Red, Joe, Jo-Jo, Little Caesar, JAP, Pips, PipsWilly or just Dad – if you got to spend any time with him, then you know that he conducted his life with great kindness, reliability, honesty, humility and integrity. He was a person who could truly be called the “salt of the earth”. It is said that at the end of life, what matters is how well did we love. The life lived by the spirit-soul embodied as Tony Poirier exemplified how well one can love others by giving of himself as an enduring and humble servant. His country, his community, his church and his family were all deeply blessed to have him in their lives. His life was a model of service to his community. In providing this service he brought excellence and integrity to all his involvements. He tirelessly volunteered thousands of hours on numerous boards, organizations and projects.

Born in Rumford, Maine on March 22, 1922, he was the son of Nicholas and Diana (Paulin) Poirier. Tony graduated from Stephens High School in 1941. A member of the Greatest Generation, he was drafted into the US Army in 1942. Because of his bilingual capabilities, he served as a French interpreter in the European theater during WW II from1942 to 1945. He was a staff sergeant in the 2nd Signal Center Team. While overseas, he formed many life-long bonds with a number of French and Belgian families.

He married Lillian Rose Quirion –his ‘darling Lilly’ - on August 12, 1946 and soon after this they bought a home in Rumford where they raised their 6 children and lived for the next 65 years.

He began employment at Oxford Paper Company in 1946, where he worked for 40 years in the maintenance department. He started out as a laborer and worked his way into a supervisory position. Though a man of small stature, his quiet and humble ways readily won the respect of his peers and those he supervised. He was very ingenious in working out solutions to problems and truly was a mechanical engineer without the formal education. He was the construction superintendent on many major projects at the paper mill. He knew the inner workings of the mill like the back of his hand.

Tony was on the board of directors at Oxford Federal Credit Union for 51 years, including 43 years as Chairman. He was instrumental in the location, design and construction of the current OFCU building. In recognition of his leadership in that project and his tenure at the credit union, the community training room at the Credit Union was named in his honor. In addition, the OFCU recently established an award entitled the Tony Poirier Volunteer Service Award, recognizing outstanding volunteer service.

Tony also served on the Rumford Hospital board of directors for over 40 years, including 13 years as board Chairman. His crowning achievement was in bringing about the modernization of the hospital. To recognize his contributions, the hospital named the solarium in the recently completed addition in his honor.

As a communicant of the Holy Savior Parish, he served on the Parish Council, was a lector, taught CCD, and was instrumental in the installation of the elevator at the Church. He was Faithful Navigator of the 4th degree of the Knights of Columbus and Past Grand Knight of the 3rd Degree. He was a 55 year member of the American Legion and also a VFW member. He was a founding member of the local chapter of SCORE. Tony was also an active member of the Chisholm Ski Club.

He was awarded Citizen of the year in 1995-96 by the Rotary Club, and Citizen of the Year in the town of Rumford in 2003-04.

Tony is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lillian. When asked by a nurse very recently what he was most proud of in his life he promptly stated, “My children”. Proud to call him father are: Connie and her husband Ben Venskus of Rumford; Louise and her husband Robert Stickney of Rumford; Richard and his wife Mary of Oswego, IL; Phil and his sweetheart Heidi Wilde of Livermore Falls, ME; Michael and his wife Caro of Gilead, ME; and Antoinette and her husband Mark Metivier of Winchester, VA. He had 11 grandchildren: Amy Lavallee and her husband Paul; Michael Stickney and his wife Jennifer; Elaine Zeller and her husband Josh; James Poirier; Aaron Venskus and his wife Gina; Ian Venskus; Jason Poirier and his sweetheart Melanie Dunn; Eliot Poirier and his sweetheart Jamie Colpoys; Nathan Martin and his sweetheart Trish Heidin; Caleb Martin and his sweetheart Jenny Page; and Maysa Martin and her fiancé Toby Schingeck; and 6 great grandchildren: Joe, Tom, and Sam Lavallee; Isaac and Hannah Zeller, and Sydney Martin.

He is also survived by two sisters, Yvette Gallant of Rumford and Yvonne Gallant of Bridgeport, CT, and three brothers, Joseph Poirier and his wife Audrey of Dalton, MA, Ernest Poirier and his wife Elizabeth of Waltham, MA, and Leon Poirier and his wife Yvette of Rumford, and a sister-in-law Orella Poirier of Mexico. He was predeceased by his parents and a brother Edgar.

His spirit, love and life-long service to others will live on in the hearts of all those he touched.

In lieu of flowers contributions in Tony’s memory may be made to the Rumford Hospital Community Relations 420 Franklin Street Rumford, ME 04276 or Ending Hunger in Maine sponsored by Maine Credit Union League c/o Oxford Federal Credit Union PO Box 252 Mexico, ME 04257.

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, June 13, 2012
  • Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, June 14, 2012
REMEMBERING

Joseph A "Tony" Poirier

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Alden Sampson

July 1, 2012

To Tony's family, my heart goes out to all of you. I am so honored that he was a part of my life and that I go to know at least a little of him.

Kelley Bova

June 16, 2012

Dear Antoiniette and family,
Our hearts go out to you and your family.
Your friends from AVNT and The Scrappy Apple

Connie Venskus

June 15, 2012

Dad, thanks for giving us the blessing of being with you when you passed to your NEW LIFE. You will always be in our hearts.

Irene Beane

June 14, 2012

It is very fitting indeed that this kind and gentle man be buried on Flag Day! He was a true patriot, a devoted and loving family man, a concerned and involved citizen, and a faith-filled son of the heavenly Father!! "Come all you who have labored, and I will give you rest." Mr Poirier has certainly 'earned' his eternal rest!! May his loving family rest also...

Tommy & Cheryl Grace

June 14, 2012

Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with the entire family.

June 14, 2012

Thinking of you all today. Ethnee

Paul & Loretta Briede

June 14, 2012

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

George and Holly Johnson

June 14, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the Poirier family. May you find comfort in knowing that one day you will meet again as your hearts are forever joined with love.
George and Holly Johnson
Capon Bridge, West virginia

Beverly Desjardins

June 14, 2012

Aunt Lillian and Family, So sorry for your loss. Know that you are in our thoughts and Prayers. Bev and Pete Desjardins

Linda Barton

June 14, 2012

Michael, Bill and I are very sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad. He led an amazing life and touched so many lives. We hope that those memories comfort all of you at this sad time.