GILLETT (NBC 26) — Every 4th of July, the town Gillett does it big. Two days of fun and patriotism that includes everything from fireworks to a parade.
However, this year things will look a lot different as the parade's Grand Marshall is no longer here.
"He passed right here at home,” said Diane Rivard.
Diane’s husband Stuart “Stu” passed away in April following a battle with a rare blood condition.
She describes her husband as someone who went all out to make their town's 4th of July celebration a success.
"He was very very involved with helping the 4th of July for many years. He was treasurer for the 4th of July,” Diane said.
So with Stuart now gone, parade organizers encouraged Diane to ride instead.
"They ended up getting a bigger carriage and almost our whole family can ride I think. So anyways, it's going to be a family affair in memory of Stu,” said Diane.
And it wasn't just with his family where he had such a significant impact, but also with other members of the community such as his former students.
"He was a pretty big public figure in the community with his connections through the school and just being an overall good person. He was definitely a staple in the community for a long time,” said Joe Farrell, Owner of OJ’s Midtown restaurant.
So as Independence Day approaches, the community will be keeping Stuart in their hearts.
"Somebody said do what Stu would want us to do and I guess this is what he would want us to do,” said Diane.