Ellery 'Arms' Labbe, originally from Wallagrass, ME has called Fort Kent his home since graduating from high school in 1954, the same year he married Muriel Cyr. Together they raised five children. His father worked for the Maine Highway Department and his mother operated a 'Mom & Pop' store in Wallagrass. He has one sibling, Emery 'Legs' Labbe.
Mr. Labbe spent twenty-four years as a noncommissioned officer with the Maine Army National Guard. In 1976, he purchased Nadeau's House of Furniture. The business originally started in 1882. When Mr. Labbe purchased the business was a hardware and sporting goods store, which also sold caskets, and LP Gas. 'Arms' sold off all but the furniture and appliance portion of the business over the years, working with and teaching his sons the business. Together, they built a solid reputation for customer service around the state. He kept the business in the family by passing it on to his sons, who continued to serve the St. John Valley and the State of Maine.
With the business well established, Mr. Labbe turned his attention to several civic duties. He has been a central figure with the Fort Kent Lions for over fifty years. He is best known for his character Ti Joe in the ever popular "Lions Minstrel Show." In 1968, Mr. Labbe served as the President of the Lion's Club. He became involved with the local Senior Citizens Club, where he was chair of the membership. Under his leadership, the club grew from 147 to more than 800 members over a four year period, which is an accomplishment he is very proud of. He was the first President of the Fort Kent Senior Senior College. The organization offers a range of courses and activities to area seniors. 'Arms' was also chair of the Finance Board for the St. Louis church. In 2012, Mr. Labbe was named the 'Fort Kent Citizen of the Year." He stated, "Only in Fort Kent could I have lived life the way I lived. I love the people of this area and I have gotten to meet a lot of them over the years."
Now, in his retirement, he is still active with his son's flooring business whenever he is called. He enjoys golfing and spending time with his grandkids and friends.
Today the University of Maine at Fort Kent is pleased to honor Ellery 'Arms' Labbe for his many years of service dedicated to the people of his community and state-wide.