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June 30, 2008

 

Greek Peak to rename trail after Thibeault

Friends, co-workers gather at ski resort to remember woman found strangled at her home

Memorial

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer  
Family and friends of Wendy Thibeault hold hands for a memorial service in her honor Saturday at Greek Peak in Virgil.

By IAN BOUDREAU
Staff Reporter
iboudreau@cortlandstandard.net

VIRGIL — Following a ceremony in which friends and co-workers remembered Wendy Thibeault, Greek Peak owners announced their plans to rename a ski trail “Wendy’s Way” as a tribute to the murdered employee.
About 70 friends, family members and co-workers attended the memorial ceremony Saturday in Greek Peak’s dining area. Led by pastors of local United Methodist churches, they listened to scripture readings and shared memories of Thibeault, who was found strangled Memorial Day weekend in her home on Tower Road. She was 47.
“As long as you remember Wendy, she lives on in this world,” said the Rev. Janet Lee, pastor of Virgil United Methodist Church and Harmony United Methodist Church in Harford. “Don’t be afraid of mentioning her name for fear of bringing sorrow to another. Mention her name in joy.”
The Rev. Jack Ford, pastor of McGraw United Methodist Church, where Thibeault attended services, remembered Thibeault as being dedicated to helping others.
“The word ‘altruistic’ is one word I think of when I think of Wendy,” he said. “She dedicated her life to serving those she knew, and those she had never met.”
Thibeault spent time helping local food pantries, and was involved in organizing Marathon’s annual Maple Festival. Friends and co-workers stood to share their memories of Thibeault, who worked as the program sales adviser for Greek Peak.
“When I heard about her death, all I could think was that I had missed an opportunity,” said Mary Kay Marks, who lived near Thibeault in Virgil. The two women had planned to get a cup of coffee together shortly before Thibeault died. “That cup of coffee that we were supposed to have is going to be the most missed cup of coffee ever,” Marks said.
“It was very nice to have something up here for the staff, and for her friends here,” said Michael Timmerman, who works with Greek Peak’s hill team. Timmerman said he also attended the funeral held June 14 in Towanda, Pa. “I’ll never know anybody better or nicer than she was.”
Others shared their memories of Thibeault, who they said was quiet and shy initially, but who loved practical jokes and laughter. Her friends wore large buttons bearing her photograph, and some attached colorful ribbons, which were meant to symbolize Thibeault’s sense of humor.
Her estranged husband, Charles “Randy” Thibeault Sr., 59, and her son, also named Charles, did not attend either Saturday’s memorial service or the Pennsylvania funeral.
Greek Peak General Manager Wes Kryger said one of the resort’s new trails, Meros, would be renamed “Wendy’s Way” in honor of Thibeault. He said the trail will be lighted and a bench with her name will be put up near the Greek Peak Welcome Center.
Greek Peak President Al Kryger said Thibeault was a model employee.
“If all my employees were like her, I’d have to beat the customers away with a stick,” he said. “She was the catalyst who really glued everyone together.”
Kryger said his staff has pulled together and unified since Thibeault’s death, but that tension remains due to the fact that police have yet to make an arrest in the case.
Friends have launched a Web site, www.justiceforwendy.com.
“A lot of people have asked, ‘Why haven’t they arrested anybody yet?’” Lee said. “I tell them that we need evidence that will hold up in court. The last thing we want is for the person who did this to get away with it.”

 

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