Richard E. Michaud Sr.

SCARBOROUGH – Richard E. Michaud Sr., 79, founder of Michaud Distributors, died peacefully at his home in Punta Gorda, Fla., on Jan. 10, 2020.Dick was born in Presque Isle, the son of the late Edmond and Catherine (Beaulieu) Michaud. He spent his childhood in Ashland, moving to the Greater Portland where he lived and worked until retiring and moving to Florida.Dick began his working career with Seltzer & Rydholm where he worked for eight years before progressing to a sales manager position for Circus Time, Inc, a Maine Potato Chip company. He remained there for 20-plus years before deciding to start his own business. It was in November of 1980, in a garage on Highland Avenue in Scarborough, that Dick along with his wife Sharon Michaud and his sons began Michaud Distributors. He started as a sub-distributor selling Wise Potato Chips. With Dick’s keen business sense, drive to succeed and loyalty to his customers, the business grew quickly. In 1982 they moved the business from his garage to a new building on Lincoln Street in South Portland. It was then he became a distributor for Tom’s Foods. They developed a strong business relationship which carried on for more than 16 years. The business continued to grow and in 1992 Dick developed a food brokering company which gave the Michaud Distributors name a presence all over New England and upstate New York. In 1996, the company expanded once again, moving to its new location in Scarborough which he quickly outgrew. The company then built a larger facility in Saco where they employed over 200 employees and served four States with their snack food business. Throughout his business career, Dick mentored many people and with his inspiration giving them drive and encouragement. He was an icon in the industry and greatly respected by his peers. He was a pioneer in the snack food business reaching the national level of snack food distribution. Throughout his career, Dick earned many awards and accolades in top sales and distribution from national snack food companies.A believer that with hard work came good play. Dick enjoyed spending time at the hunting camp on Rowe Lake with his uncles, brother, sons and nephews. The excitement that would come over him and his brother, Dana, was comical. The two county boys heading north to be with their uncles was a treat to watch. The memories created with each visit would only hold them over for the year, but for their families it was a lifetime.Dick was an accomplished race car driver setting many records in the drag car racing circuit. In 1965, Dick set the east coast record for his class, hitting 168 mph in a quarter mile, a title he still holds today. He was a member of the Punta Gorda Elks Lodge and the Order of Moose. Dick and his wife have been traveling to Florida since 1987. Dick lived life to the fullest and left nothing on the table. He was always the life of the party. He continuously persevered through his health issues, which was indicative of his lifestyle and work ethics. Dick is survived by his wife, Sharon Michaud of Florida, of 47 years; three sons, Patrick and his wife, Abby Michaud of Madison, Richard Michaud Jr. and his fiancée, Susan Flynn of Scarborough, Peter and his wife, Theresa Michaud of Scarborough; two daughters, Andrea and her husband, Joseph Reali of Portland, and Tara Michaud and her fiancée, Larry Leighton of Hollis; a stepson, James and his wife, Diane Godfrey of Windham; a brother, Dana and his wife, Maureen Michaud of South Portland; also, his grandchildren, Maria, Joseph, Angalee, Monique, Nathalie, Chelsey, Kathryn, Michael, Mark, Ryan, Jake, Emily, Christine and Caitlin; great-grandchildren, Skylar, Taylor, Lailah, Damian.Dick was predeceased by his stepdad, Walter Lee; aunts, uncles; and cousins.Visiting hours celebrating Dick’s life will be held on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. Prayers will be recited at 10:15 a.m. at the Chapel on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 followed by an 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Rd., Scarborough. Burial will be in the spring at Highland Memorial Cemetery, South Portland. The family wishes to extend the celebration Dick’s life following the ceremony at the Italian Heritage Center, 40 Westland Ave, Portland. To view Dick’s memorial page, or to share an online condolence, please visit www.ConroyTullyWalker.comIn lieu of flowers, please make contributions in Dick’s memory to:Maine Kidney Foundation470 Forest Ave. Suite 302Portland, ME 04101