Romeo J. Huppe, 92: Became a citizen at age 80

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BRUNSWICK — Romeo Julien Huppe died Dec. 26, on what would have been his 69th wedding anniversary, following a festive Christmas celebration with his family. He was 92.

Huppe was born on a farm in St. Isidore d’Auckland, Quebec, in a family with nine children. In 1946, he married Rita Bijeau; the couple moved from Canada to Brunswick in 1957. The Huppes worked hard to support their five children, and eventually saved enough money to buy a lot on Mallett Drive in Topsham, where they built the family home. Huppe retired from the Pejepscot Paper Mill in the late 80s after nearly 30 years. He then devoted himself to caring for his wife, who battled cancer for five years before succumbing to the disease in 1993.

Huppe was proud that all his grandchildren attended college because he did not have much formal schooling. However, Huppe’s knowledge of current events, as well as the daily vagaries of the stock market, was unparalleled.  A milestone in his life was when he became a U.S. citizen at the age of 80 and was able to vote for the first time.

Like the French-Canadian that he was,  Huppe was a family man who loved a spirited card game, a good glass of whiskey and any kind of gravy on everything. He was quick to laugh and long with a story, and the curl on his head was matched only by the twinkle in his eye.

Huppe is survived by a brother, Antonio; five children, Alain Huppe, Andre Huppe, Suzanne Mason, Dianne Mahar and Louise Howe; his daughters- and sons-in-law, Diane Huppe, Christine Huppe, Lloyd Mason and Wayne Mahar; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and his long-time companion, Charlotte Jacques.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Dec. 30 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Brunswick. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Romeo to the American Cancer Society.