MADISON — Wilfred J. "Fred" Therrien, 91 peacefully passed from his home that he built and loved on Boulder Road to his new home with God on May 18, 2016. He had enjoyed a long visit with his family, friends and caregivers that very morning listening to funny stories, travel adventures and daily life.
Fred began coming to New Hampshire back in the late 1950s after he found the perfect piece of land he had always wanted which he purchased from Guy and Nellie Nickerson. They graciously made their screened-in porch available for him to sleep on while he built his "cabin in the woods." He traveled to Madison every Friday night, worked diligently until Sunday afternoon, then returned home to Amesbury, Mass., where he was born and raised.
Boulder Road was, at that time, a dirt road and there was no electricity. Fred cherished this place, and all he ever wanted was to retire and live there until he died. There were lots of cookouts, games, parties and lobster feasts that he and Flo (his partner of 35 years) had for their family and friends. His first building after the cabin was a two-bay garage, office, summer kitchen with a fieldstone fireplace, then he added "the shop" for the tractor (his retirement present to himself). Later he added his own personal duck pond, paths through the woods to his daughter Donna's house and an oval loop path on the property so he had access to wood for the fireplaces — later known as the "15-Minute Walk About Path" which continues to be enjoyed by his family and neighbors. He and his dear friend Ed Marshall had many harrowing experiences cutting trees and dealing with the "fall-out" of same — it was all good. He loved his cabin in the woods.
Fred was born in Amesbury, Mass., on Jan 24, 1925, to Alfred Joseph Therrien and Celestine Marie (Quellette) Therrien. On Jan. 26, 1942, two days after he turned 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, his prior employment having been "student." He served for four years on the USS Chemung and the USS Escambia, covering Iceland, Africa, Sicily, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England, the Azores, Hawaii, Ulithi, Okinawa and Japan. He received various medals for his service, including the World War II Victory Medal, American Theatre, Asiatic Pacific Theatre, European African Middle Eastern Theatre (2 stars) and Good Conduct.
While in the Navy he married his sweetheart, Theresa Francis Chretien, on Nov. 22, 1944.
He received an honorable discharge in January 1946 with a rating of 1st Class Petty Officer.
On Aug. 25, 1948, he and his wife welcomed their only child, Donna Marie, into the world.
After the service he worked for Haverhill Paperboard (later purchased by the Continental Can Co.) for 28 years. He was always studying to improve his knowledge and his job position in the power plant. He took Dale Carnegie courses to improve his management skills and studied continually to improve his education, earning 1st and 2nd Class Fireman License and later 1st, 2nd and 3rd Class Engineer's License and Nuclear Power Plant Senior Supervising Engineer License in 1972. He valued education and& self-improvement. He retired from Kraft General Foods after 11 years as chief engineer.
He belonged to the National Association of Power and Mechanical Engineers.
Fred's wide-varying personal interests included drafting (he sold some of his work to Popular Mechanics Magazine), target shooting and creative writing. He earned his private pilot's license in 1963. He purchased his first motorcycle, a Motoguzzi, and enjoyed touring with his friend Bob Emond and his wife.
He and Theresa divorced in November 1962.
Fred was introduced by a friend to June Lane. They enjoyed spending time together, and sshe was like a second mother to his daughter, Donna.
Years later, he married ZoeAnn Warakomski in 1972. They divorced in 1980, after many joyous adventures of traveling around Canada and the US
Later he met Flo (Flora Gunn) who became his constant companion until her death in 2011. They shared many retirement years together. In 1979, Fred's first granddaughter, LeeAnn Stevens, was born. They raised Flo's granddaughter, Susan Russell, until she left home. Fred and Flo took the two girls to see as many of the New Hampshire and Maine attractions as they could, and both girls have fond memories to cherish.
Fred said himself, "I've lived a long and full-filed life and did everything I wanted to do."
He is survived by his daughter, Donna Nichols and her husband, Charlie. of Madison; granddaughter, LeeAnn Stevens of Los Angeles, Calif.; his sister, Irene M. Mason of Amesbury; nieces Nancy Bowman of Stratham, Sandra Fortier of Salisbury, Mass., Susan Paolino of Amesbury, Mass. and Doris Borges of Antrim.
He was pre-deceased by his parents, his brother, Norman, and nephews, William, Arthur Leonard.
The family would like to thank all of Fred's dedicated caregivers who have facilitated him being able to live his life, at his cabin in the woods to the fullest until he passed: Virginia Thomas, David (Taffy) Case, Venna Wilcox and Kachina Price, Claudia (Rose) Eastman, Mary Jeanne Luckey, Robin Jensen and Gretchen Behr-Svendsen.
Remembrance gifts may be made to the American Cancer Society, Manchester, N.H.
Cremation arrangements are in the care of Lord Funeral Home, Route 28, Wolfeboro, NH 03894. Stories, tributes and condolences may be shared by visiting www.lordfuneralhome.com.
There will be a celebration of Fred's Life held at the Madison Community Baptist Church on Sunday, May 22, at 2 p.m., and a reception after in church's undercroft.