Michael “Boo-Boo” Frenette Photo courtesy of his family

Michael Frenette, a skilled mechanic and longtime employee at the former BBI Waste Industries in Old Orchard, died May 21 after a period of declining health. He was 60.

Mr. Frenette learned the value of hard work at a young age. He grew up on the family-owned Judy Ann Stables in Old Orchard Beach. He and his bother, Rodney Frenette, would wake up early and feed the horses and clean out stalls before school. By age 9, he learned how to operate a bulldozer and backhoe. He quit school in sixth grade to work full-time at the stables and excavation business.

“I remember the day I rolled a tractor down a hill,” his brother said Thursday. “He told me to start it up and go, so … We’ve had quite a journey.”

Frenette, known by many as Boo-Boo, lived in Old Orchard Beach for most of his life. He worked as a mechanic for BBI Waste Industries and Bestway Disposal for more than 25 years. Longtime owners Paul and Archie St. Hilaire reflected on Frenette’s work ethic and dedication to the company.

Archie St. Hilaire said Frenette repaired all the trucks in the fleet. He described Frenette Thursday as a go-getter who took pride in his work and got the job done.

“He was unbelievable,” Archie St. Hilaire said. “He was one of the hardest working guys you would ever want to meet. He worked day and night. He used to say, ‘I’ll do anything you ask as long as you pay me on Friday.’ And we did … every Friday.  We could ask him to do anything. He was a good guy. We’re going to miss him.”

His brother Rodney Frenette reflected on their years working together. The brothers operated Frenette Brother’s Excavation and Frenette Brother’s Trucking. They sold the trucking company in 2001.

“We seemed to get along pretty good,” his brother said. “He had my back. I’d have his back. When something needed to get done, we both got right on it and got it done. It’s just the way we worked. My father left when my brother was born in 1960. We never had a father, so we kind of stuck together pretty good.”

Mr. Frenette was married to Roxanne Frenette for 36 years and the couple lived in Old Orchard Beach. She said they met when he worked for her father at Mike McCallum Excavation. She laughed, saying at first she didn’t like him.

“He was persistent, kind and he always smiled,” his wife said. “He loved me like crazy. He was crazy about me. He went to my high school graduation and the party following and we were inseparable from that day on.”

Mr. Frenette had a passion for working on cars. When he wasn’t working, he was home working in his garage. He wife said he lived to work.

“He worked 10 to 12 hours a day, and would come home and play in his garage which is 30 feet by 50 feet and in better shape than our house, of course,” his wife said. “Being in the garage made him happy.”

In 2001, Mr. Frenette fulfilled a longtime dream of earning his GED.

“He was thrilled,” his wife said. “He cried while walking to the stage to get his GED. We all did.”

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Mourners are asked to follow COVID-19 guidelines at the service.

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