The Bethel school community is coping with the sudden loss of High School teacher Albert Bibeau, Jr. Mr. Albert J. Bibeau Jr. passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Albert was born on June 16,1947, the son of the late Albert J. Bibeau Sr. and Theresa A. (Montano) Bibeau. He attended Quinnipiac College and Southern Connecticut State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in History, with a minor in English, as well as a Master of Science in Sociology. He later earned a Sixth Year Degree in Administration from Southern Connecticut State University.
His passion for teaching can be seen in his long and distinguished career of forty-six years in the Social Studies Department of Bethel High School, as well as his service as a long time adjunct professor at both Western Connecticut State University and Naugatuck Valley Community College. During his career, Al also enjoyed coaching the Bethel High Girls' Tennis team as well as serving as advisor to the Student Council.
Al was beloved and respected by all for his wit, knowledge, and the concern he showed for each of his students as unique and important individuals. As a result of his lengthy teaching career, Al had the rewarding opportunity to teach two generations of Bethel students and gained great satisfaction from the relationships he formed with them. His expressions and sayings came to be known as 'Bibeau-isms', and are today a part of the lexicon of thousands of current and former Bethel High School students.
Al had a lifelong passion for music. He attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, now known as CBS Media Arts Center, where he trained to be a disc jockey before pursuing his teaching career. While growing up, his family loved gathering to listen to his extensive record collection, and learn from his vast knowledge of music.
Al possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of the Sixties, in particular social justice issues, such as the Civil Rights Movement and the 'New Frontier'. He could never resist a discussion of his favorite historical figure, President J. F. Kennedy. In November 1960, he had a life-defining experience when he witnessed candidate John F. Kennedy's historic speech in downtown Waterbury during one of the final campaign events. Throughout his life he remained a student of the Kennedy Era and collected and read virtually every book written about the time period.
The 2014 'Wildcat' yearbook was dedicated to Mr. Bibeau. On the dedication page, the students identified why Mr. Bibeau was special to them. It read, in part, “When alumni think back to what made their experience so great, it is Mr. Bibeau and his brilliant personality. He's someone you can tell great news to and be guaranteed one accolade or twenty. Even though there may be an age gap between him and us, he's one of the few teachers who is able to truly connect with the kids and keep them enthralled day in and day out. Anyone can tell, that what he wants to do is teach and be there for all of us. He's not doing what he does because it benefits him, he is doing it because he truly loves to spend each of his days, with each one of us. It will be a sad day when a graduating class is unable to be delighted by the illuminating superstar that is Albert Bibeau”.
Albert is survived by his loving wife of thirty-six years Jacqueline Cains Bibeau and their beloved daughter Theresa Marie Bibeau of Newtown. Albert leaves behind his sister, Lorraine Carver (William) of Middlebury, and his sister Estelle Cote (Ralph) of Bristol.
In addition, Albert is survived by his father-in-law Ronald Cains (Madeline) of Charlotte, NC, his sister-in-law Valerie Cains Moss (Scott) of Sandy Hook, and brother-in-law Parker Cains (Devon) of Charlotte, NC and several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews and his closest friend of 47 years and fellow educator Loren Euvrard of Danbury.
Funeral services will be privately observed at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newtown. A private Christian burial will follow in the spring at Newtown Village Cemetery. A Memorial Service/Celebration of Life will be scheduled at a time to be determined, when larger gatherings are safely permitted.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in memory of Mr. Bibeau to The Bethel Education Foundation, PO Box 92, Bethel, CT 06801.