Man honored for his 33 years of service to Richmond Twp.

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Richmond Township's board held a retirement party to honor a man for his 33 years of service to the township.

More than 25 family and friends gathered at the township offices on Friday, May 9, to honor Paul Thibodeau, 84, for his 16 years of service as township supervisor and his 17 years of service as deputy treasurer. After some refreshments and snacks were served, township officials presented a plaque to Thibodeau.

“He has been an all-around devoted man to our township,” said Maynard Bluhm, township supervisor. “The work he has done speaks volumes to our community and we will miss Paul and his work with us.”

Thibodeau was certainly surprised he was being honored by officials and he will miss his time serving the people of Richmond Township.

“I have enjoyed all my years of service to the people of the township,” Thibodeau said. “I wish I could serve longer, but I can no longer do that, so it's time to retire.”

The sentiment among all those present was it was an honor and a privilege to know and work with the retiring Thibodeau.

“Anything that needed to be done Paul was there offering to do it,” said Township Treasurer Edie Betzing. “He was my deputy treasurer and he has so much prior information about the job that he taught me. I would of never made it through without his help when I first became treasurer. He has a wealth of knowledge and history of the township.”

Thibodeau was the founder and president of the Richmond Township Downtown Development Authority, and is a former Michigan State Trooper. He is a longtime resident of the community and officials, who have worked with him felt this was the right moment to honor him.

“He is the best source of history of what has going on in the community and has been in the Reed City area for many years,” Bluhm said. “We feel it was appropriate to honor him for his service as he retires.”

Linda Stieg, township clerk has known Thibodeau for sometime when the grandchildren would play sports together. She recalled him coming to her and convincing her she would make a good clerk for the township.

"When he asked me to run, I didn't know if it was something I could do," Steig said. "He told me I could do it. He never mentored me, but he is a wealth of information. He is a good man to know."

After the plaque presentation Thibodeau reflected on the night's festivities.

"This certainly is a bit overwhelming," he said. "After serving as supervisor and then working as deputy treasurer you would think I would be prepared for something like this, but I never expected it. It is an honor that these folks would take the time out for me."