Philip “Skip” Dumais

VAN BUREN – Philip “Skip” Dumais, 77, husband, father, grandfather, mentor, and community leader, passed away from a neurogenic bladder on Nov. 22, 2023, at the Aroostook House of Comfort in Presque Isle.

Born and raised in Van Buren, Skip got his nickname as a young child when uncles serving in the Navy sent him a sailor suit to wear. His grandmother called him “Skipper” and the name stuck. But instead of joining the Navy, Skip joined the U.S. Army. After graduating from Van Buren Boys High School in 1964, Skip enlisted and got stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia as a food inspection specialist and veterinary aide caring for the pets of high-ranking officials, including President Lyndon B. Johnson’s dogs.

After military life, Skip learned numerous trades from relaying sewers in Boston, Mass. to building jet engines as a machinist for Pratt and Whitney in Connecticut. On returning to Maine, Skip became a licensed master plumber and started his own business known as Aroostook Country Mechanical, which he kept for over 40 years.

Skip’s notoriety in the State of Maine came from 30 years as General Manager of the Van Buren Water District and Van Buren Light and Power District, which he retired from in 2020. During his tenure, Skip was instrumental in creating a conservation easement on 333 acres of property that surrounds the town’s reservoir, Violette Brook Lake. Skip spent countless hours maintaining trails around the lake for recreational use and there are now plaques affixed there in his honor. Skip also served on the board and committees of the Maine Water Utilities Association and in 2021, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to public drinking water.

Skip was renowned in the community for his sense of humor and easygoing nature. In his spare time, he enjoyed canoeing, biking, cross-country skiing, and bird watching. He loved being outdoors in every season, even switching to studded tires on his bicycle in winter months so he could continue to ride. Skip also loved spoiling his grandkids with all the treats Tulsa could provide and playing pool with his daughters at the American Legion where all of them were longtime members.

Skip is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mona J. (Doucette) Dumais. He is also survived by his daughter, Nicole “Nicki” Pellenz and her husband, Jason of Scarborough, his daughter, Shelli Dumais and her husband, Gregory Gibbons of Fort Gregg-Adams, Va.; his four grandchildren, Jacob and Brynn Pellenz and Syla and Gregory Kevin Gibbons. Skip is also survived by his youngest sister, Maureen Chick and her husband, Scott of Lisbon.

Skip was predeceased by his parents, Louis Dumais and Velma (Tilley) Green; his brother, Gregory Dumais and his sister, Louise Violette and her husband, Larry.

Please join the family for visitation on Sunday, Dec. 3 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Lajoie Funeral Home on 118 High St. in Van Buren. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 4 at St. Bruno-St. Remi Catholic Church, 174 Main St., Van Buren. Interment at St. Bruno-St. Remi cemetery to be held at a later date.

To share condolences online, please visit

Skip once said,

“throw away your

electronics and get outside”

so, in lieu of flowers, please consider volunteering your time to help maintain the 14-mile trail that surrounds Violette Brook Lake

or offer a donation to

Aroostook House

of Comfort,

P.O. Box 867,

Presque Isle, ME 04769

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