WELLS — Peter Gregoire, a co-owner of a popular campground in Wells who worked for the Maine Turnpike Authority and had a passion for hunting and fishing, died Sunday. He was 57.

He co-owned Gregoire’s Campground on Sanford Road for the past 17 years. He ran the business with his wife, Becky Gregoire, and his brother and sister-in-law, Albert and Diane Gregoire, also of Wells.

Mr. Gregoire helped maintain the 130 camping sites on 30 acres. His wife worked on the business side on the operation. He enjoyed working outdoors and meeting new people, she said.

“It was a family business and he wanted to carry on his father’s legacy,” his wife said. “We thoroughly enjoyed it.”

During the day, Mr. Gregoire was a highway maintenance worker for the Maine Turnpike Authority. He mowed grass along Interstate 95 from Wells to York. In the winter, he plowed the same stretch of highway. He worked for the turnpike for the past eight years.

“He loved it,” his wife said. “He didn’t have to deal with the stress of life. He was just out there mowing. He always said he had plenty of time to reflect on his life.”

By all accounts, Mr. Gregoire had a great life. He was married to his wife for 35 years and they raised a son, Peter Gregoire Jr., of Fredonia, Wis.

His wife said they met when he was a senior at Wells High School. That year, he spent a lot of time at his automotive shop class. She had to walk past there to get where she was going.

“He was tall, dark and handsome,” his wife recalled. “But I’ll be the first one to admit that I liked his car before I liked him.”

Mr. Gregoire enjoyed being with his family and doing what he loved most: hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, snowmobiling and racing cars at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.

Mr. Gregoire usually went hunting in Wells and at his camp in Starks. He planned vacations and road trips to visit family and friends and hunt with them. He traveled as far as Vermont, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where he visited his son and hunted. The younger Gregoire usually visited his father at the start of open fishing season in Maine.

“It wasn’t about the hunt, it was about the people he was with,” his wife said. “He loved being outdoors in the fresh air and solitude.”

Asked how she felt about his hunting, his wife said she gave up a bedroom closet so he could mount a bear he killed on their living room wall.

“When a woman gives up a closet to let a man mount a bear on the wall, it must be true love,” she said, chuckling.

Mr. Gregoire made it up to his wife in a big way. The couple bought a piece of land on Schoodic Lake near Brownville and built a log cabin home there. At the time of his death, the camp was almost finished. His wife said he did get to go fishing there in May.

In December, Mr. Gregoire was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer that is usually caused by exposure to asbestos. He continued to work both jobs for the next six months. In late June, his health began to decline. He spent his final days at the Hyder Family Hospice House in Dover, N.H.

His wife struggled Monday to accept the magnitude of the loss. “He has been all I’ve ever known,” she said. “We did everything together. We were inseparable. I’ll miss his companionship.”

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]