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90 Years of Loving Service to Others

Posted on May 28, 2024 in: News

90 Years of Loving Service to Others

Up in The Quiet Corner of northeastern Connecticut, Albert “Pete” Marcoux’s 90th birthday was big news!

 

The local Putnam radio station, WINY, and radio personality Gary O. spoke with Pete Marcoux on the occasion of his birthday, walking down “memory lane” with him as he reflected on his lifelong devotion to his faith, family, and Church. Ninety years young, Pete Marcoux is still finding new ways to serve his country, community and Church. 

A lifetime resident of Thompson, Pete was born amid the Great Depression and grew up with Catholic values instilled in him by his family and the nuns who taught him.

A lifelong parishioner at St. Joseph Church, North Grosvenordale, his service to the parish began as an altar server in his youth. Decades later, he would serve as a school board member of the former St. Joseph Elementary School until it closed in 2020. In that capacity, Pete was instrumental in organizing and sponsoring the Julia Marcoux Memorial Golf Tournament, named for his wife of 58 years who died in 2013, raising thousands of dollars for the school. 

He also worked tirelessly to raise the money and maintain the grounds surrounding the parish’s grotto. He was later instrumental in the purchase and installation of the Mother St. Teresa statue on the church grounds.

Mr. Marcoux, who for years has served his community in various civic positions, continues to share his time and talents with his neighbors. He helps place U.S. flags and Knights of Columbus medallions on the gravestones of departed military personnel at cemeteries in town every Memorial Day and regularly visits some senior friends who are confined to local facilities due to health issues. 

To recognize his service to his parish, a special Mass in his honor was celebrated on his birthday by his pastor, Father David Choquette, followed by a reception hosted by the St. Joseph “Bingo Ladies,” who praised him for his constant support of the parish fundraiser throughout the years. Father Choquette wished Pete many more years of good health, noting he has quite a fan club in The Quiet Corner. At the reception. Father Choquette presented Pete with a letter from Bishop Michael R. Cote congratulating him on his 90th birthday and service to his parish and community. 

Before the Mass, Pete Marcoux started his day at WINY radio with his interview with Gary O. While reminiscing with Gary O., he was interrupted by a caller who wanted to personally wish him a happy 90th birthday — retired U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, a lifelong friend of Marcoux and his family. Dodd felt compelled to call in to express more than just a birthday message. “Pete, what a difference you made in my life, and I don’t mean just politically. You made a difference in my life by your example, and what you have done as a human being and as a community leader. You have made a huge difference in young people’s lives, both in Little League and all the way down the list of things you involved yourself in. You’ve taught me great lessons as a great human being to others, especially how to be a great community leader. I will always be grateful to you and Julia for what you have done for me,” Dodd said. 

Marcoux recounted stories of his friendship with Dodd, who would stay at “Marcoux Manor,” as his home is affectionately known by locals when Dodd was in town. That meant that Dodd had to share the bathroom with Marcoux and his wife and their eight children, meaning Dodd had to wait his turn in line for the shower/bathroom just like everyone else. 

When Pete reflects on his 90 years, he highlights the fact that the only time he left his hometown of Thompson, was for the four years he spent in the U.S. Air Force. While stationed in England, he met his wife Julia, the love of his life, who was working as a midwife at the base hospital. He was also stationed in North Africa before returning home to the States. The couple married at St. Joseph Church in St. Helens, England, on April 23, 1955, and returned to Thompson, settling in the village of North Grosvenordale. Throughout their marriage, he lovingly referred to Julia as “his queen,” in honor of her British heritage and love of the royal family. In time, the couple would have eight children in 11 years — four boys and four girls — with no twins or multiple births. Today, Marcoux is the proud grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of four. His oldest son Albert, ordained to the priesthood in 1993, serves in a parish in Manchester, New Hampshire. 

The couple purchased their family home in 1961 in the Quaddick section of Thompson, where he still resides today. He was a founding member of the Thompson Little League, where he served as league president for many years. He was also an entrepreneur through the years owning numerous businesses that, he says jokingly, helped jumpstart the economy in The Quiet Corner. His involvement on the Thompson Democratic Town Committee is where he met Dodd, who was just beginning his political career. Marcoux was the local volunteer chairperson for Dodd’s successful 1974 campaign for U.S. Congress. 

It was Marcoux’s devotion to his faith that led him to become involved in the St. Bernard Council 2087 of the Knights of Columbus organizing annual events and countless fundraisers, including Wednesday night bingo. In 1982, the Knights honored Marcoux’s family as the International Catholic Family of the Year at its international convention held in Hartford. Marcoux is a Fourth Degree member and served as a Grand Knight of his council. 

As his 90-year milestone approached, Pete humbly offered these words of wisdom, “I will be here as long as the man upstairs wants me to be and there’s nothing anyone can do about that. I have lived a great life and I have God to thank for that.” 

Well done, good and faithful servant, on 90 years of love and service to others!

By Andrea D. Hoisl


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