JAY, Maine — Lyle LaPlante thought he might be in trouble when a town official wanted to visit him Friday.
When several town officials and fire department members filled his kitchen, LaPlante and wife, Doris, were overwhelmed.
They came to give LaPlante the first copy of this year’s annual town report, which is dedicated to him. It has his photo on the front cover.
“What an honor,” Doris exclaimed after Steve McCourt, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, presented the report to LaPlante.
“It really is an honor,” Lyle LaPlante said. “It’s a relief. I thought I must be on the carpet for something.”
“We’re pretty proud of you,” Town Manager Ruth Cushman told him.
LaPlante, 78, worked for the Highway Department for 23 years and has served as a Jay firefighter for 47 years.
He retired from the highway department in 1997. Although his firefighting days are over, he still faithfully helps the department.
“I really appreciate this. Working for the town of Jay was a pleasure,” he said.
LaPlante plowed the roads around his North Jay home for those 23 years. People still stop him and tell him what a good job he did, he said.
“Everyone is good to me. I like the people,” he said. He said his philosophy is to treat others as he wants to be treated. “If someone’s rude to you, you don’t have to be rude,” he said.
He also likes helping people, according to the dedication.
LaPlante said he likes meeting people through the Fire Department where he still helps direct traffic, cleans and drives trucks. He does whatever he’s told to do, he added.
“I thought they were coming to tell me it was time to give it up,” he said.
He also participates in the town’s Wellness Program, in which he’s often seen hiking, walking and staying in contact with everyone, according to the dedication.
The LaPlantes have been married for 60 years. They met at Bear Pond. He was from Canton, she from Chesterville. They moved to Jay, where they’ve lived 60 years and raised five children.
He worked for the state highway department in the 1950s prior to his work for Jay.
The annual report is now available at the town office and stores around town, Cushman said.