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Fort Kent dedicates new plow truck to late business pioneer

FORT KENT, Maine — A new snow plow truck the town of Fort Kent acquired several weeks ago honors the memory of a local business pioneer. 

The town dedicated the Western Star truck to John R. Daigle, who died on May 8, 2020, at the age of 88. 

The dedication is embossed in silver lettering on the side of the red plow truck. 

Daigle was instrumental in the development and expansion of the Fort Kent-based truck dealership Daigle and Houghton, which his relatives, along with members of the Houghton family, founded in 1951.

At that time, Daigle and Houghton was a dealer of Massey-Harris farm equipment.

Fort Kent Town Manager Suzie Paradis described Daigle as, “the man who built the very foundation of what today is recognized as one of the largest and most successful truck dealerships in the State of Maine.”

Daigle joined the family business in 1956, after attending the University of Maine at Orono and serving in the Air Force for four years, Paradis said. 

Three years later, Daigle and Houghton moved their concentration to truck sales. 

“By 1964, the Daigle’s bought out the Houghton’s interest in the company and were on their way to becoming the only International truck dealer in Northern Maine,” Paradis said.  

“Daigle and Houghton has been in business for for the last 70 years; we are very fortunate to have such a staple business in our community,” Paradis added. “The company has seen many growth opportunities and today,  the company has a presence in Fort Kent, Herman and Scarborough, Maine.”

Fort Kent public works director Tony Theriault said his department supports the dedication to Mr. Daigle. 

“The Town’s Public Works department is proud to fly his name on the side of our new plow truck for years to come; He was a great man, business owner and will greatly be missed,” Theriault said. 

“Mr. John Daigle had always prided himself with honesty and integrity, has viewed his employees and customers as family, and was always willing to lend an ear and a helping hand whenever needed,” Paradis said. “Mr. Daigle’s two sons, Greg and Gary Daigle, continue to honor those same values to their employees and customers.”

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