SANFORD – Armand Talbot was a regular at Town Council meetings who wasn’t afraid to criticize town officials about budget issues or controversial decisions relating to the airport or Estes Lake.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Mr. Talbot questioned a proposal to relocate the fuel depot at the airport. He was not in favor of the proposal.

He had returned from the meeting just before 9 p.m. when he discovered a fire in his small converted camp on Armand Lane. He asked a neighbor to call the fire department, then went inside.

Mr. Talbot was overcome by smoke and died in the fire. He was 74.

He was a well-known carpenter who had a passion for town politics. In the late 1990s, he served a stint as selectman and was a longtime dedicated member of the town’s airport advisory committee.

Town officials expressed shock and deep sadness Wednesday after learning he died in the fire.

Councilor Joe Hanslip said he spoke with Mr. Talbot briefly after Tuesday’s meeting. He said he was a strong advocate for issues relating to the airport and Estes Lake. Over the past few years, he was relentless in asking town officials for funds to clean the contaminated property on New Dam Road.

“Armand was a hawk on the clean-up of the CGA property,” Hanslip said. “He cared about Sanford. It’s funny … Armand and I were about as far apart on political philosophy as we could be, yet I liked him and respected him. I know he cared about the town, and I believe he felt the same way about me.”

Paula Simpson, the town’s treasurer and tax collector, said Mr. Talbot came into Town Hall a few times a year to pay his bills. He also stopped by to voice his concerns about the town budget.

“He was like a little watchdog, making sure everything was done right,” Simpson said. “He was very passionate about things, always very deeply concerned. I’ll miss him being here.”

Town Clerk Sue Cote said he often stopped by the office to share stories and pictures of his motorcycle trips across the country.

“He lived life, I think, to the fullest,” Cote said. “He didn’t let the grass grow under his feet. He liked to go out and have a good time.”

Mr. Talbot was a self-employed carpenter who built and remodeled houses throughout York County. He also owned several rental properties in the Sanford area.

He was married for 22 years and raised five children. His daughter, Donna Legere, of Shapleigh, said he was a good father who worked hard to provide for his family.

“He was a go out and get it done kind of guy,” Legere said. “He loved working with his hands. He loved working outside. He was a very hands-on type of guy.”

Mr. Talbot had a passion for dancing, traveling and riding his Goldwing 1500 motorcycle. He made several cross-country trips from Sanford to California.

Lola Matteau, 94, of Biddeford said she accompanied him on many of his motorcycle trips.

The couple also enjoyed dancing and often went to Bentley’s Saloon in Arundel. Matteau said they met seven years ago at a dance in Biddeford. At the time, she was recovering from a broken hip and using a walker. She said he asked her to dance.

“He tells everyone that he’s been carrying me ever since,” Matteau said. “He was a wonderful man.”

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Carll-Heald & Black Funeral Home at 580 Main St. in Springvale.

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

[email protected]