Family remembers Toussaint for stories, outdoors, cars, and heart

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7 May 2012

EAGLE LAKE– On Monday, April 30, the family of Ron Toussaint held a funeral for family and friends of the recently deceased man in the St. Louis Catholic Church inFortKent. Toussaint passed away in a boating accident onBlakeLake on April 24.

ron toussaint

RON TOUSSAINT

In a strange coincidence, Kacey Toussaint, Brandy Millington, and their brother Travis lost their mother three years ago, almost to the day. Their mother passed away from lung cancer onApril 25, 2009.

Kacey said she was touched by the number of people who came to the wake for their father, which the family held in the morning before the10 a.m.mass. Some people who had hoped to pay their respects were unable to make it into the funeral home before the service. 

“We had so many people it was unreal,” she said. “There has been an unreal amount of donations. I never thought that people were so generous.”

“A lot of love,” she added.

Kacey said her father, an active member of American Legion Post 176 inEagleLake, was a big outdoorsman, a “world-class fisherman” who was also a hunter and who loved four-wheeling. He was also a man who was “all about family time.”

Kacey and dad

Kacey Toussaint and her dad. - Contributed image

She said, “Anytime he got a day or had one to spare, he was out fishing. And if I would work all day or go to school all day, and I came home, and it was whatever time, and I said, 'Dad, let’s go waterskiing,' or whatever, he would drop everything for that. He was very, very proud of his kids and his family members.”

She said after she and her father and brother had spent all day fishing without a single bite, her father’s response was, “Well, we didn’t catch a damn thing, but at least we were all together.”

Kacey said that many people knew her father for the number of vehicles he owned.

brandy and dad

Brandy Millington and her dad. - Contributed image

“He had dozens and dozens of vehicles,” Kacey said.

The family had names for all of the ancient fleet, from the 'Eagle Lake Submarine,' a pickup truck that Toussaint had sunk crossing the ice one year, to 'Stupid,' a truck they were unable to make run, and 'Big Blue.' In fact, some of her fondest memories will forever be tied to his collection.

One day, Kacey's dad had borrowed her car for a long-distance trip. She agreed to the loan under one condition - that he leave her one of his to use. She said she woke up the following morning to find not one, but three vehicles in her yard.

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Ron and his son Travis. - Contributed image

Unfortunately, she was unable to start any of them.

When she called her father he laughed since were all running when he drove them to her place.

She recalled, “I took a dump truck to work because it was the only one I could get to work.”

Toussaint was so well-known for his vast collection of vehicles, that one of the last things family and friends did for him was to repair a previously damaged dump truck he had been working on just prior to his death. Toussaint’s children and their friends, his friend Jason Dube, who was with Toussaint the night of the boating accident, and others all pitched in to fix the truck and to give it a brand new coat of paint, with the words “In Memory of Ron Toussaint” on the side.

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Ron and his friend Jason Dube. - Contributed image

“His last ride was in the dump truck. We took his ashes in it from the funeral to his burial in Soldier Pond.”

She said the primary thing that people will miss about him was his storytelling.

“That man could tell stories,” she said.

She described her father as a loud, big man, with big hand gestures, sometimes clumsy, who greeted everyone enthusiastically and with love.

“Every time I would see him, he would give me a big hug and a big kiss, even if I just saw him the day before. “

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Family and friends set up a makeshift memorial at the corner of Slybrook Rd. in Soldier Pond where they set up his eclectic collection of vehicle for which he was well known. - Contributed image

She added, “If he was in the room, you knew. You would never look over and say, 'Oh, Ron, I didn’t know you were here.' There was no sneaking him in anywhere.”

She said her father was a hard worker, a jack of all trades, and a good cook.

“Anything that was broken could be fixed,” she said, describing him as someone who couldn’t bear to throw anything away.

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Family and friends completed Ron's unfinished project by fixing up this dump truck to use in his funeral procession as tribute to the man and his legacy. - Contributed image

“He didn’t waste anything, especially food,” she said, laughing. She told a story about how her boyfriend had found a dead deer beside a woods road and had received permission from Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to bring it home for coyote bait. When Toussaint found out, he couldn’t believe thatTroywas going to use the meat for bait.

“He said 'That’s still good,'” Kacey related. “He cut it up and ate it. He was such a goofy guy. Why would you eat roadkill? He was goofy like that.”

She said her father was a generous person with a big heart, and a compassionate side.

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The sign in Soldier Pond at the car memorial. - Contributed image

“He would help anyone, it didn’t matter if he didn’t know the guy,” she said. “One of his main things was  to pay it forward.”

When the stress of school and work got to be too much and she called him, her father would advise her to take it one day at a time. 

“Whenever he’d leave, he’d say, 'Do what you can, girl,'” she said.

The family of Ron Toussaint would like to extend their heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the sympathy and donations they’ve received. Ron Toussaint will be missed by many, but never forgotten. 

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Ron Toussaint enjoying one of his favorite pass times. - Contributed image

Comments

A very good story on Ron

Ron will be missed by the camp owners on Eagle Lake. I will miss him for his prompt attention when I needed him to work done on my property that required heavy duty machines. One day he was riding by with his truck and I asked him if he could cut down a big spruce that was leaning towards my garage when he had time to do it. He said, "how about right now." He took out his chain saw, cut the tree down and dragged it away with his truck. Before I left for Virginia last Fall I saw him at Bert Collins' cottage. I said goodbye and he gave me a big hug. I know his son Travis was injured quite badly last year, but I hope he is able to take over his dad's business and continue the work ethic his father always provided to the camp owners on the lake.

What a great article about a

What a great article about a great man. I too was stuck on Sly Brook one day. All it took was a call to Ron and before I knew it, he was coming to my rescue, never charging for his help. He really was a giving man and a great story teller. One time, while telling a story and making hand gestures, he knocked over a citronella candle and nearly burned the picnic table. What joy he had in his heart and that joy spread to all who spent time with him. And those bonfires! And his makeshift fire truck! And the family reunions! Sly Brook will never be the same. We all mourn the loss of a great friend, an 'always ready' helper and a keeper of a huge and giving heart. RIP Ron, I know you and Jesus are having a good time and he is patting you on the back while saying, "well done good and faithful servant."