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.
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
“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. “
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.
“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.
“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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