ORANGE – Paul R. Robichaud Sr. from Orange, MA passed away on Friday, June 11, 2021 at the age of 90.
He was a beloved family man and friend who touched the lives of people in his community with friendship and kindness. He was the son of Donat J. and MaryJane (LeBlanc) Robichaud. He married his high school sweetheart, Irene M. (Sokolowski) Robichaud, in Gardner, MA on September 16, 1950.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife and four children: Paul R. Robichaud Jr., AnnMarie Hess and her husband Dr. Steven Hess, Katherine Bagshaw and her husband Seth Bagshaw, and David Robichaud; six grandchildren: Dr. Kristen Hess, Dr. Kathryn Hess, Elizabeth Bagshaw, Ryhan Robichaud, Nicholas Robichaud, and Nathan Robichaud; two sisters: Louise Frei and Gertrude St. Clair; and all family members and friends.
He was predeceased by three brothers: Raymond Robichaud, Henry Robichaud, Roland Robichaud; and sister: Lorraine Tollison.
Paul was born in Gardner, MA on December 24, 1930. Throughout his life, he befriended or lent a hand to everyone he met. Paul attended Gardner High School and graduated in 1949. Five years later, he moved with his family to Orange, MA to work as an insurance salesman. In 1960, he started The Paul R. Robichaud Insurance Agency, which he sold after 20 years in business. He also served his community as a Probation Officer, appointed in 1963, and then a Clerk Magistrate, appointed in 1978, of the Orange District Court for 30 years until he retired in 1993.
Paul enlisted in the Massachusetts Army National Guard as a private in 1948. During his 26 years of service, he graduated from the United States Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas and worked his way up through the ranks retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Paul loved antique cars, aviation, videography, history, and travel. He maintained a collection of 6 antique cars that were in parades, movies, and car shows. He patiently taught his children and grandchildren how to have fun driving his cars.
In 1976, he became a private pilot and flew all over the Eastern part of the United States. Over 12 years, he was the chairman of the Orange Airport Commission and member of the Athol-Orange Aero Club. Even as the technology changed from 8mm film to digital recording, he always enjoyed taking and editing home videos to capture the moment, especially in the lives of his children and grandchildren. He loved sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of Civil War and World War II history.
During his lifetime, he traveled throughout the United States, all the Hawaiian Islands, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Canada.
Paul was an active member in numerous clubs and organizations: Knights of Columbus, Athol-Orange Aero Club, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association (Chapter 726), Massachusetts Clerk-Magistrate Association, Camp Cheno Association Inc., Connecticut Valley Antique Automobile Club, Antique Auto Club of America, the 1929 Buick Club of America, Swift River Valley Historical Society, Orange Historical Society, Orange Savings Bank (Board of Directors), Orange Armory Commission, Athol-Orange Community Television (Board of Directors), 104th Infantry National Guard Retiree’s Association, Military Officers Association of America, St Mary’s Church, and St. Mary's Parish Council (lector and sextant).
In this time of transition, social distancing will be observed and face masks will be encouraged for all memorial services.
A calling hour will be held on Monday June 21, 2021, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 S. Main St., Orange, MA.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Tuesday June 22, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 19 Congress St., Orange, MA.
Burial will be at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Gardner, MA.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to St. Mary’s Church, 19 Congress St., Orange, MA 01364 or St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry, 19 Congress St., Orange, MA 01364.
Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 S. Main St., Orange, MA is assisting the family.
You may offer your sympathy online at www.wittyfuneralhome.com
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