Lucien “Lou” Trempe, a well-known auto parts salesman and musician who sang and played the keyboard for numerous bands throughout southern Maine, died Jan. 25 after a brief illness. He was 72.

Mr. Trempe’s passion for music began as a teenager.

He was a lead vocalist and keyboardist for bands including Spectrum, with which he played with since 1987.

The band played throughout the Portland area, in Old Orchard Beach, and as far south as New Hampshire.

Spectrum played regularly at the former Disabled American Veterans Club in Biddeford.

Mr. Trempe also played at dozens if not hundreds of weddings.

“It was his passion,” said his son, Bruce Trempe, of North Waterboro.

For Mr. Trempe, music was also an alternative to his day job. He worked at Palmer Spring Co. in Portland as a salesman for heavy duty truck parts for more than 35 years.

His son said he would leave work and play gigs at night to make extra money to support the family.

He and his wife, Priscilla Trempe, who were married for 52 years, lived in Saco and raised three sons.

Mr. Trempe was remembered this week as a simple, modest and hard-working man who put the needs of others before his own.

“He wasn’t a Cadillac kind of person,” his son said. “He didn’t care what other people thought of him.”

He drove a 1995 Toyota Corolla but “he could have bought a couple of Cadillac Escalades and paid cash.”

Mr. Trempe’s focus was family.

He worked and his wife took care of their children. He also enjoyed working in his garden growing vegetables and flowers.

“He was an excellent provider,” his son said. “I didn’t have someone in the stands rooting me on, but I had a new bike to pedal myself to the game. I never ever had Kraft Mac and Cheese or Hamburger Helper. I could eat off my mother’s floors with my father’s tools. That’s where she found her self-worth, … taking care of my dad. My dad always prided himself on taking care of my mother. He did everything for her.”

A couple of years ago, Mr. Trempe took a job at NAPA Auto Parts in Saco delivering parts. His son said he loved the work and felt valued and appreciated.

“The one thing he enjoyed about life was interacting with people,” his son said.

“My father (had) no idea of the lives he impacted along the way. My father was always whistling, singing or telling jokes to make people laugh. It’s the one thing that saddens me – that he didn’t know how many people he affected.”

On Nov. 5, Mr. Trempe was diagnosed with lung cancer.

A couple of weeks ago, he got on stage with his band members for one last performance.

“He went up there and rocked it for a 72-year-old man. I set out to let him know he could not be defined by his illness,” said his son, who was also diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. “My inspiration was my dad.”

Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]