Obituary of Omer J. Lebel
Van Buren – Omer John “Ti-Mer” Lebel, 85, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, January 14, 2024, at Presque Isle Rehab & Nursing Center. He was born in Van Buren on August 1, 1938, son of the late Leon G. and Corinne (Parent) Lebel.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Bobbie, of Van Buren, and four children – his daughter Jana Curran and her husband Bob of Portland, ME; sons David and his wife Judy of Queensbury, NY; Mark and his wife Kim of Turner, ME; Brian and his fiancé Trisha Gagnon of Minot, ME; seven grandchildren – Bethany Lebel, Patrick Curran and his wife Julie, Eric Lebel and his wife Rosie, Michael Curran and his fiancé Miranda Harris Martinez, Hailey Lebel, Deanna Lebel, and Emily Lebel; one great-grandson, James Lebel; and two sisters, Jeannette Parsons and Cecile Lebel, both of Van Buren. He was predeceased by his brother, Guy Lebel.
Widely regarded for his strong work ethic, he worked on the snow removal crew at Loring Air Force Base in the wintertime and as a self-employed heavy equipment operator helping people with their building and landscaping needs in warmer months. He ended his working career on the paper machines at Fraser Paper.
Omer was involved in his community by serving as a volunteer firefighter for the Van Buren Fire Department, as president of the Snowmobile Club, and as a Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
In his retirement years, Omer would regularly cross the border into Canada to meet with his Canadian friends for coffee, breakfast, and animated conversation. He loved music and dancing, and always maintained a positive outlook and a good sense of humor. Most of all, he loved the outdoors and spending time at his camp at St. Mary’s Brook beautifying the property, feeding birds, and enjoying nature. In 1987, while ice fishing for the second time in his life, he hooked an 8.4-pound brook trout, breaking an ice fishing world record that landed him in the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin. In this sense and many others, Omer was always a lucky man.
Omer’s faith sustained him through many medical challenges and was very important to him – whether in person or on TV, he and Bobbie never missed Sunday Mass in either French or English. He would pray for all the nurses who cared for him to pass their exams – which they did.
The family would like to thank the staff at Northern Light Home Care & Hospice for their compassion, and especially the nurses and staff at the Presque Isle Rehab & Nursing Center for their friendship to Omer during the past two years.
Relatives and friends may greet the family Friday, May 10 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Lajoie Funeral Home, 118 High Street, Van Buren. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 11 at 10:00 am at St. Bruno-St. Remi Church, Van Buren, where Omer was a lifelong communicant. Burial will follow in the cemetery behind the Church, with a luncheon afterward in the Parish Hall.
Because Omer enjoyed participating in activities at the nursing home, in lieu of flowers, those who wish may donate in Omer’s memory to: Activities Center, Presque Isle Rehab & Nursing Center, 162 Academy Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.directcremationofmaine.com