Life gives us so much and then takes away at the same time. I thought about this when I heard of the passing of Maurice “Moe” Bigras, a man I much respected who was a true member of the Greatest Generation.
An Air Force man, he raised four kids and built a business that he passed along to his son, and later, his grandsons worked there. He married his bride in the 1950s, Kitty Mae, and they raised their family in Barre Vermont, home of the great granite quarries. He was a stone engraver by trade, and he was as solid as the rock he carved.
I knew Moe and spent time with him for eight years when I was his daughter Cindy’s partner. We made many trips to the far north of Vermont to Barre where Moe lived with his cherished wife of so many years, Kitty. Sadly, he lost her to Alzheimer’s a few years ago. It was a terribly hard struggle for Cindy, her family and for him.
Recently, tragedy struck when his young grandson Collin passed away unexpectedly, he was the caretaker for Moe who lived in his house. I thought about what a terrible void that left, as Moe battled with painful arthritis and other ailments and was alone in his house. But Moe never complained. He never felt sorry for himself.
I have many memories of visits when Moe would look at me with a little twinkle in his eye and ask me if I’d like a drink. He wasn’t a big drinker, but when I visited he always wanted to offer me something, and he enjoyed having a glass with me. He loved to show people his garden, and his cellar, where he spent time puttering on projects. He was a fierce Democrat, and our conversations about politics were always in agreement, he cared about his town and his state, and he was liberal in his leanings.
One of the best memories I have of Moe is when we attended his 50th-anniversary party, and the whole family was there, dancing at the Canadian Club, his local spot. I remember that I was getting tired, and Kitty Mae just kept on wanting to dance and enjoy the night. They had a great time surrounded by so many well wishers and family and they didn’t want their special night to end.
Good night Moe. You will be missed by so many people and you’ll always be loved.