Cape Neddick, ME-Roland Labrie died Wednesday, March 7 after a short illness due to complications of pulmonary disease. He was 71 years old. He was born in 1946 in Dover, N.H. the fourth of five children of Pete and Lillian Labrie, a plumber and a factory worker. He was very proud of his Franco-American heritage, his working-class upbringing and his very large extended family. He had over 100 first cousins.
After living in New Hampshire for many years, he has resided largely in Cape Neddick for the past 28 years, with a few years in Weston, Vermont.
He is survived by his sister, Rita Green, of Wildomar, CA and Paul Mazgelis, his former partner of 23 years, and many other relatives and dear friends.
Roland graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, and received a Bachelor’s degree in French and English and a Master’s degree in Counseling from The University of New Hampshire.
Roland spent most of his working years as a house painter and later as a decorative painter of furniture. In recent years he has worked as a gardener, expressing his deep love and knowledge of plants, flowers, nature and landscape. And he was an enthusiastic member of the Old York Garden Club.
Roland was passionate about many things; history, poetry, politics, the woods, art, social justice, old time things, sobriety, walking, information, and life itself. His passion was often closer to exuberance.
Roland was a great advocate for the underdog and a crusader for fairness.
One of his proudest accomplishments was publishing “Reaching For Quiet”, a volume of his poetry.
Roland was a real individual, a “character.” He was true to himself at all times and not inclined to cloak his opinions. He was genuine and sincere without an excessive concern for how his words might land on less sturdy souls.
He had many friends of vastly diverse origins, realms, and interests. Regardless of the interest that someone shared with Roland, they all shared an appreciation for Roland as an original, unusual human being.
Roland’s life will be remembered and celebrated on Saturday, March 17 at 2:00 pm in the First Parish Church, "FELLOWSHIP HALL", 180 York Street, York, ME with a memorial service and refreshments to follow.
His ashes will be scattered somewhere in the natural world he loved at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Christian Children’s Fund or the Olde York Historical Society. Lucas & Eaton Funeral Home, York, Maine is assisting with arrangements. Visit www.lucaseatonfuneralhome.com