Lionel F. “Toots” Bouthot

BIDDEFORD — Lionel F. “Toots” Bouthot passed peacefully surrounded by his loved ones on July 2nd in Biddeford, shortly before his 94th birthday.

Born in 1929 to parents Philip and Rose (Girouard) Bouthot, Toots became a well known local music performer at the age of 5 with his brother Donald and spent his lifetime entertaining at dances, weddings, and events as a singer, guitarist and piano player — last performing at age 88 with his son Bernie’s band. After graduating from St. Francis High School, he married Therese Grondin in 1950 and they lovingly raised seven children and 11 grandchildren together through 63 years of marriage until Therese’s passing in 2013.

In addition to 27 years with Metropolitan Life Insurance, his professional music career celebrated Franco-American culture and included tours throughout New England and Canada, as well as multiple appearances at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. He performed regularly in Biddeford to sold-out crowds, and paved the way for future musicians by mentoring and sharing the stage. Toots gave back to his community serving as city councilor, fire commissioner, spokesperson and fish ladder tour guide for Central Maine Power, and spent many years in the local school departments educating children about salmon hatching and fishways on behalf of the Saco River Salmon Club. As a renowned fly fisherman and fly tyer, Toots could always be found out on the water throughout New England and Canada with his closest fishing buddies and family, passing down this passion to his sons.

His 101 year old surviving sibling, Sister Theresa Bouthot of the Good Shepherd Sisters (SCIM) of Biddeford, spent time with him singing and speaking in French during his last few days. He is predeceased by his parents Philip and Rose, wife Therese, daughter Jocelyn, brothers Renald and Donald, and his sister Shirley.

He is survived by six of his children including Marc of Biddeford, Jo-Anne of New Portland, Maine, Guy and wife Karen of Biddeford, David and wife Debbie of Austin, Texas, Bernard of Portland, and Carl of Bedford, New Hampshire; 11 grandchildren including Jesse, Craig, Tessa, Briar, Kami, Jacqueline, Alyssa, Adrian, Justine, Olivia and Matthew; and many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Per his wishes, a private celebration of life will be held by the family at a later date.