Robert Victor Thibault

Resided in Rapid River, MI
Died November 29, 2019

Robert Victor Thibault, age 93, of Rapid River, passed away peacefully Friday, November 29, 2019, at Unity Hospice in DePere, WI.

Bob was born July 10, 1926, in Nahma, the son of Victor and Margaret (Krutina) Thibault. He was raised in Nahma and was a 1944 graduate of Nahma High School. Upon graduation and conscription into the Armed Services, Bob joined the United States Navy, where he served in both the Philippines and Japan during WWII. He returned home to Nahma following his honorable discharge. Bob then enrolled at Western Michigan University where he received his Bachelor Degree in Education and later his Master’s Degree in Education Administration. On June 20, 1953, Bob was united in marriage to the former Eleanor Collins and together the couple made their home and primarily raised their family in Rapid River. Throughout his career, Bob taught school in Cooks, Kingsford and Escanaba. For several years Bob coached the Escanaba High School Basketball team. He retired in 1988.

In addition to his loving wife Eleanor, Bob is survived by:
Sons: Andrew (Yuko) Thibault, Paul (Beth) Thibault,
Thomas (Kelli) Thibault and Joseph Thibault
Daughters: Patrice (James) Waters, Elizabeth (Troy) Johnson,
Jacqueline (Mark) Majestic and
Kristen (Eric) Thompson
Brother: Paul (Nancy) Thibault
Also listed among the surviving family are 24 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Victor and Margaret:
Son: Theodore Thibault
Sisters: Corinne Lawrence and Jean Lucey

Family will receive friends on Friday December 6, 2019, from 5:00PM to 7:00PM, at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Military rites will follow at 7:00PM on Friday, at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone, with the Rapid River American Legion Post #301 presiding. Vigil prayers will conclude visitation following military rites. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday December 7, 2019 at 9:30AM, at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Rapid River, with Rev. Fr. Joseph V Augustine officiating. Luncheon will follow Mass at the Rapid River American Legion Post #301. Bob will be laid to rest in the Rapid River Cemetery in the spring. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting with arrangements.

18 Tributes for “Robert Victor Thibault

    It is with great sadness that we say farewell to Bob, our neighbor, family friend, and coffee buddy at Jack’s. We cherish the time we spent with him, and will hold dear many precious memories. We send sympathy to each family member and to Ellie may you find comforting peace. Pete and Cindy

    Kristen and the Thibault family-Thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. His smiling face will be missed in the Rapid River community. May you cherish the memories of your time together.

    … Our sincerest condolences to the family of Bob. Though we know heaven has welcomed a very special person, our hearts still feel the sorrow. With sympathy and loving prayer …

    We were lucky enough to enjoy Bob’s joyful spirit in Florida, a couple of winters. We will treasure that time. Sympathies to all his family and friends.

    Coach Thibault
          By Bud Lemire on Aug 28, 2009

    When I was younger, several years ago
    There was a coach, I came to know
    I was a student at Escanaba High
    I wasn’t good at gymnastics, although I did try
    This coach treated everyone equal and fair
    I knew with all my efforts I was glad to be there
    It was at that time in the gym
    That I came to know and admire him
    I didn’t follow sports, but always heard his name
    In the news, Coach Thibault’s team won the game
    I didn’t know then, but soon it would be so
    This coach and special man, I would come to know
    As in every case, time seemed to pass by
    I’d see him at the City Band concert, and I’d say hi
    Or I’d see him walking around in the grocery store
    He always remembered me, and share a little more
    After telling him who I was, he looked at me
    A smile crossed his face, with a returning memory
    “Yes, I remember you,” is what he said
    And it took me back to those days in Physical Ed
    I couldn’t let this moment pass without honoring this special man in this poem. He has given so much to the High School kids through the years.
    I saw him recently at Elmer’s and he remembered me with a smile. He asked where I was living now. I told him The Harbor Tower. He said his Mother use to live here. He smiled and thanked me for the conversation. I went away with a memory of a man I was glad to have known in my lifetime.

    My dear cousin, you and your lovely Eleanor (Ellie) have been beacons of life and goodness throughout my life going back to your wedding day. Your family values, community spirit and love of life will always be remembered. Diana and I will miss the wonderful chats we would have and especially those political conventions. You made the world a better place and will be missed. Rest In Peace, Ted and Diana Cunningham

    It is with great sorrow I read today’s Daily Press obituary in my winter Florida home. Bob and I taught together for nearly two decades at EHS and for most of those years shared a common lunch hour where sports was the dominant topic of conversation. My wife Sue and I send our respect and condolences to all of Bob’s family.

    Mr. Thibault was truly a great man. He had a major impact on my life growing up. I had a bird’s eye view on how to coach, as my brother and I sat right behind the bench as he coached the greatest basketball team in Escanaba High School History, the famous 1972 team. I also had him as a teacher, and his enthusiasm for Health and Fitness was second-to-none. In August of this year, after many years of not seeing him, I was able to sit down and have a cup of coffee with him. We talked about the history of sports in the UP. As much as he loved sports, his true love was family and faith. All will miss him. My deepest sympathy to Mrs. Thibault and his family.

    Mr. Thibault was my junior high phys ed instructor my 7th grade year. During my school years in the Escanaba Public School system, we were blessed with many dedicated teachers who were not only good educators, but good role models. Mr. Thibault was just that for us young boys during important developmental years. He conducted himself in an exemplary manner, especially as a coach and even in the heat of a game or in the face of defeat. He was a very honorable man.

    The problem with death is that the survivors often feel left behind, but your husband/father/brother/grandfather didn’t leave you. He just went on ahead of you. You will see him again one day. In the meantime, it is my prayer that your tears of sorrow soon turn to tears of joy as you remember all the good there was in Bob.

    To Mr Paul Thibault-
    So sorry to learn of the passing of your brother. I read his obituary in the Daily Press and realized he was a member of your family from the UP. From the comments I have read here, he was as cherished and respected as you are in the Saline community.
    May he Rest in Peace.
    Dick & Sue Anne DeGrand

    Our sympathy to all of you as you remember and celebrate Mr. Thibault’s life. He and my Dad were the basketball coaches at Escanaba High School and during those years i spent lots of time around Mr. Thibault, admiring him as a person and a family friend. He spoke well of Western Michigan and that was one of the reasons I chose to go to WMU. I also loved the way he and my Dad would rehash each game aferwards sitting in the locker room office, allowing me and my brother to sit in and listen or allowed me to help as a “tiny tikes” manager and clean up in the locker room and take stats. I later because the Stat Manager for the basketball teams at Esky while I was in high school. I also recall lots of visits at the Thibault home in Rapid River. A great man who lived a good life. Blessings to all in this time of sadness. RIP Mr. Thibault.

    Sorry to hear of the passing of Coach Thibault. He was truly a role model for me and a true gentleman. I always enjoyed running into him throughout my life and our conversations He was a good man

    To Patti and all your family. So sorry to read of your dads passing. It is so hard to lose a parent. Sadness never goes away.

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