Eddie Albert Cyr


d. March 13, 2008

MILO - Eddie Albert Cyr, 83, beloved husband, father and grandfather, died March 13, 2008, at his home, in the presence of his loving family. He was born at Eagle Lake, the son of Albert J. and Alvina D. (Belanger) Cyr. He grew up in Derby, where his parents had settled during 1922. He was a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church and was especially proud of his service as an altar boy during his youth. He attended schools in Derby and Milo, and was a graduate of Milo High School. Eddie was a World War II veteran, having been drafted into the U.S. Army Feb. 12, 1943. His basic training was completed in Fort Knox, Ky. He was transferred to Camp Campbell, Ky., where he attended auto mechanic school. He sailed to Europe on the Aqua Tania, arriving in Scotland. Eddie was assigned to Company C 38th Armored Infantry Battalion, 7th Armed Division, with a rank of private first class. He served in the Atlantic area, the European Theater and the Ardennes Forest, Belgium. Eddie was bilingual; he spoke French and had a command of German and Russian languages. These skills were utilized by the U.S. Army during his enlisted time. Eddie was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, sustaining injuries to his spine and right arm. He received the Award of Purple Heart Jan. 23, 1945. He was forced back to the battlefield before he was completely heal-ed. "I rejoined the same company, but was unable to fire and hold my M1 rifle. After a few weeks I was able to do so, but had to exchange my M1 rifle for a carbine which was lighter." Eddie was involved in the exchange of prisoners, due to his foreign language skills, when peace was declared. He was honorably discharged Dec. 2, 1945. In Eddie's own words, "I would like to address any young person who reads this account of one of my experiences during World War II. Please have compassion for any serviceman who is having a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. War is terrible and all that accompanies it. The human mind is not like a faucet that can be turned off at will. The residue may, for some individuals, remain for a lifetime." He received the Good Conduct Medal and Victory Medal. After his service time, he trained as a jeweler under the GI bill and was employed by Berries Jewelry Store, Belfast, before returning to Milo, where he established his own business. This trade became a lifetime skill. He was the official watch inspector for the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad. We have fond childhood memories of watching Dad at his desk repairing watches, being fascinated by his tools and the intricate work that he did. But, we would often remark that we felt like the cobbler's children who did not have shoes, we did not have watches! He was employed by the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad for 10 years, where he held various positions, including machinist apprentice and telegraph operator. He was employed for the U.S. Postal Service for 31 years, where he was promoted to postmaster during 1980 in Milo and then in Brownville for six years, until his retirement Nov. 30, 1990. Greater than his successful professional career, were his people skills. He taught his children that when "working with the public," his words, one was to always smile and be helpful regardless of the ire or attitude of the person on the other end of the counter or telephone. Eddie was loved by many a patron and had a reputation of being a kind, affable, humorous and accommodating person. Even subsequent to his retirement, many a patron would tell him how he was still sorely missed. He married his sweetheart, R. Eleanor Grinnell, May 12, 1949. He built a home for his family, where he had resided with his wife for 48 years and where they raised their three children. Eddie had a love of natural wood, perhaps cultivated by the carpentry skills of his own father. He spent many an hour in his workshop, whether doing a home project, creating a beautiful piece of furniture or crafting a small personal item for someone whom he loved. His craftsmanship was reflective of his heart, through shaping, molding and caressing wood in to an object of beauty. He spent many hours building a log camp on Flatiron Pond, fishing or exploring the Maine woods with his wife, "let's just go around the next corner" - how many corners did you negotiate during the course of your lifetime, Dad?, or enjoying his camp on Silver Lake at Katahdin Iron Works. Eddie embodied what his generation knew best, commitment, hard work, steadfast loyalty to family and church, and true patriotism. It is true that he had a genetic stubborn streak. He had perfected what we affectionately dubbed "the me mere look," his mother's snapping eyes, set jaw and "I have made up my mind" facial expression. There was no arguing with him. Yet, it is exactly this stubborn stoicism that gave him the strength to endure the rigors of war and a near fatal wound, including the lifelong post traumatic stress disorder, that was never validated for his generation; personal heartaches of one's lifetime and health issues. He rarely complained and it was his preference that no one knew his pain or even his personal thoughts. He had natural curly hair and dreaded the visits to his aunts, who loved to run their fingers through his hair! Eddie loved his wife's cooking and was the envy of many that he could eat whatever he wanted and could maintain his svelte build! He had a sweet tooth, especially for candy and ice cream. As kids we always knew that we would be more successful if we implored Dad to take us to town for an ice cream! Dad never complained about cleaning perch on multiple fishing expeditions, but would occasionally lose one out of the boat "because it slipped!" He enjoyed a bowling league, lugging canoes for fishing trips, playing cards with us at camp, a good game of cribbage, listening to the radio and reading the Bangor Daily News as a daily evening routine, and he loved a good family gathering. Eddie had his mother's gift of sociability and his father's gift of humor. Along with his great sense of humor, he could get his point across with sarcasm. Dad had no tolerance for people who sniffed or caused a raucous. Hearing Dad's heavy footsteps coming in our direction would stop fighting amongst us kids in a flash! The certificate signed by postmaster general on the occasion of Eddie's promotion to postmaster is actually a character reflection about Eddie and how he lived his life, "Know ye, that reposing special trust and confidence in the intelligence, diligence and discretion of Eddie A. Cyr..." During the last two years of his life, he became involved in the weekly meetings of the U.S. Veterans' Center, Bangor and these meetings became a catharsis for him. He grew close to this group of men and looked forward to each gathering of beloved veterans. He was especially grateful to Ralph Grover, R.N., for his support, encouragement and guidance. Eddie was a consummate patriot and felt the dilution of patriotism in our country was a crime against those who had fought for Am-erican freedoms. Eddie was, and his family is, deeply grateful to Eric Brown, M.D., his pri-mary care physician and Henry Atkins II, M.D., for their medical attention and emotional support. We will miss Eddie's winsome smile, his hugs, his faithfulness to his family and country and most importantly, his deep love for us. Eddie was predeceased by his parents; his sister, A. Corinne (Gero) Langevine; and his brother, Ronald R. Cyr. He is survived by his beloved family; his wife, Eleanor; his son, Joel E. Cyr; his daughters, Lisa B. Cyr Buchanan and Amber J. Murphy; his grandchildren, Samantha L. and W. Roger Bachelder III and Molly R. Cyr; his "other daughter," Cynthia Freeman Cyr; several nieces and nephews. At Eddie's request, there will be no visiting hour.


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