County couple celebrates 75th wedding anniversary by renewing vows
MADAWASKA, Maine — Valier and Theresa Thibeault celebrated their 75th anniversary Sunday morning by renewing their vows at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.
The 98-year-old groom met his 93-year-old bride while living in Frenchville in the 1940s. Since then, the couple has grown their family tree with eight children, 10 grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren. At their celebration Sunday, six of their children were present with four grandchildren and one great grandchild. One of their children is deceased and another could not be there. Many friends and extended family members also attended, including Valier’s sister and her family.
Nelson Vaillancourt, Valier’s nephew celebrated with the couple at the reception at Orchids, a restaurant in Madawaska, following the church ceremony. Vaillancourt said the couple met while Valier had a girlfriend in Canada, but “when he saw [Theresa], he fell in love.”
After that, Vaillancourt said, Valier asked his mother if it was OK for him to marry someone who was as young as Theresa. They were 21 and 16 at the time.
“My father said he always knew from a young age that he was going to marry her,” said the couple’s eldest daughter, Marilyn Ruff.
In the end, the two sweethearts waited a couple of years until she was 18 to get married in the fall of 1943 and the former potato farmer and kindergarten school teacher have been together ever since. They still live together in their own home in Madawaska.
Their actual 75th anniversary is on Oct. 25, but the family wanted to mark it this summer to make it easier for friends and relatives to attend.
Theresa described her beau as a “caring, hard-working fellow” she met, fell in love with, and married.
“Looking back, it was a long time ago… It was almost too long ago I can’t remember,” she chuckled. “But he respected me.”
Valier reached over during the reception to take Theresa’s hand.
“She was so nice and always well-dressed,” he said. “She’s a hard worker and a good cook, that’s why I lived so long.”
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