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Richard E Thibodeau

March 17, 1935 — January 19, 2022

Richard E Thibodeau


Richard E. "Rich" Thibodeau, age 86, of Hays, Kansas was freed from this earth on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at Brookdale Assisted Living Center in Hays, Kansas.

He was born in Woburn, Massachusetts to Ernest and Agnes (Gaudet) Thibodeau.

Rich leaves a legacy of creativity and inspiration to all those he encountered. Although he attended Sanborn Seminary in Kingston, New Hampshire, served in the US Army, and studied painting at Northern Arizona University and Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico, he always followed his own unique path through life.

He was proud to have studied under the artist Alfredo Zalce in Mexico. He also ran a successful frame shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico which he sold to move to Pilar, New Mexico. While in Pilar, he painted, ran a youth hostel, and created a program of summer workshops. He brought his passion for the arts to the High Plains in the late 90s where he was able to continue running galleries, teaching art, and painting. He continued to show throughout his life and currently has work on display at the Hays Public Library. His watercolors and his book "Pilar, Pilar" are available at the Hays Arts Center.

Rich is survived by his daughters Nicole, Yvette, Angelique; his sister, Carol; his grandchildren, Alyssa, Nathan, Alex, Kristen, and Hailie; his great grandchildren, Ascher and Shaelie; and his former wives.

He is preceded in death by both parents; his grandson, Gregory; his brother, Gene; his sisters, JoAnn and Sharon; and his daughter, Shawn Marie.

He was an avid hiker, cross country skier, and fly fisherman. He would like to be remembered joyously through creative expression, whatever form it may take.

His celebration of life gathering will be held January 28, 2022, in Pilar, New Mexico. Please email Nicole at for more information and times.

The family suggests memorials made payable to: The Sierra Club in care of Clines-Keithley Mortuary of Hays, 1919 East 22nd Street, Hays, Kansas 67601.

Condolences can be sent via e-mail to or can be left at guest book at


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard E Thibodeau, please visit our flower store.


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