New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer
"Sonny" Rabideau Dies at Age 82

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Moran H. Rabideau 1929-2011 BRATTLEBORO Moran H., "Sonny" Rabideau, 82 of Walker Place died unexpectedly early Tuesday morning, August 9, 2011 at his home following a period of failing health. Mr. Rabideau was born in Brattleboro on May 16, 1929 the son of Henry and Lena (Burdo) Rabideau. He was raised and educated in town and had attended Saint Michael's Parochial School. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War stationed in Austria. He returned home to Brattleboro following his honorable discharge from active service in 1951.

Mr. Rabideau had been employed as a machinist working at Tri-State Automotive where he retired from following 42 years of faithful service with the company. On a part-time basis he plowed snow during the winter months for Chester Majdak. In his earlier years while residing in the Fort Dummer section of Brattleboro, he worked at the former Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates on Cotton Mill Hill. Active civically, he was a life member of the American Legion, Brattleboro Post #5 and the V.F.W. Carl M. Dessaint Post #1034. Mr. Rabideau also held membership in the F.O.Eagles, Brattleboro Aerie #2445, the F&AM, Brattleboro Lodge #102, the Brattleboro Shrine Club and the Cairo Shrine Temple of Rutland where he served as captain of its skimobile unit.
An accomplished stock car driver known as the "Flying Frenchman", he competed throughout the New England circuit winning 109 feature races in the 1950s, 60's and 70s. To his credit, he won five New England Dirt Track championships, four Vermont Dirt Track championships and in 2005 was inducted into the New England Antique Racers Hall of Fame. Previously he was inducted into the Claremont (NH) Owners and Drivers Association Hall of Fame. Mr. Rabideau was highlighted in a January 2005 feature article published in the Reformer. In conjunction with his lifelong passion for auto racing he enjoyed hunting, travel and time shared with his family especially his grandchildren. With his wife he always looked forward to annual vacations in Florida.

On August 1, 1959 in Brattleboro he was married to Beverly Anne Houghton. His wife of 50 years predeceased him on August 19, 2009. Survivors include, one son, John Rabideau and his wife Kate of Dummerston, his daughter, Wendy Fletcher and her husband Donald of Brattleboro, three sisters, Freda Kingsbury of Dayton, Ohio, Florina Bokum of Dummerston and Shirley R. Squires of West Brattleboro. Additionally he leaves six grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two brothers, Howard and Homer Rabideau and two sisters, Valeda Kozyra and Anne Morgan. FUNERAL NOTICE: The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, August 22nd at Saint Michael's Catholic Church with Rev. Richard O'Donnell, pastor, celebrant. Burial with full military honors will follow in Saint Michael's Parish Cemetery. A reception will follow the services to be held at the Eagle's Club on Chickering Drive.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Rabideau's name may be made to; Saint Michael's School, 47 Walnut Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301 attn: Elaine Beam, Principal, or to the Shriner's Children's Hospital, 516 Carew Street, Springfield, MA 01104. To sign an online register book with messages of condolence please visit Arrangements are under the direction of the Atamaniuk Funeral Home.