Tylar Michaud holding a lobster in an undated photo. Michaud, 18, was was last seen July 21 heading out for the day to haul and set traps near Petit Manan Point. Credit: Courtesy of Mack Kelley

A Steuben teenager and lobsterman was collectively remembered for his positive attitude, wisecracks, blue eyes and bushy eyebrows when several hundred people gathered Sunday for a memorial service in a Sullivan school gymnasium.

Nearly a month after Tylar Michaud, 18, went missing at sea while hauling lobster traps — and roughly 10 weeks after he graduated from Sumner Memorial High School — Michaud’s extended family, friends and members of the community gathered for a celebration of his life at the school.

Several of Michaud’s lobster buoys — tapered foam cylinders painted green with a white band around the middle — adorned the school gym and hallways during the service. Inside the gym, two large video display screens on either side of a podium scrolled through photos of Michaud fishing, hunting, mugging for the camera, playing baseball and posing with friends.

Michaud’s sense of humor, dedication to his family and friends, and his love of the outdoors figured prominently in their remarks.

His father, Ron Michaud, said Tylar Michaud was introduced to outdoor pursuits on family fishing trips he went on at a young age. During the service, Ron Michaud was wearing a green and white striped necktie, as were Tylar Michaud’s uncles, grandfather and other male relatives, in homage to his son’s lobster buoy colors.

“Hunting and fishing is part of our family,” Ron Michaud said. “That’s what got him started.”

Tylar Michaud wasn’t shy. His uncle Jake Hanna recounted a story of Michaud loading a table into the back of Hanna’s truck in a busy Bangor parking garage during a family outing, and how traffic was blocked for a few minutes while they lifted the table into position.

As they finished and just before Michaud gave his uncle a hug, the teenager used his index fingers to give “one-fingered salutes” in either direction, asking for patience from motorists who were annoyed at being delayed, Hanna said, laughing through his tears.

Friends of Michaud who graduated with him from Sumner this past spring told stories about Michaud mildly pushing boundaries, but always doing it in a way that made people laugh. He once called one friend to ask permission to stop by to use the bathroom at her house, even though he was already walking up to the front door. And earlier this summer he sent a condolences card to another female friend’s soon-to-be college roommate for having to live with her.

“It didn’t matter how long or how well he knew you,” one friend, Rachel Colby, said. “He would always leave you with a smile on your face.”

Michaud had planned to attend Maine Maritime Academy in Castine this fall. Charles Kelley, a lobster fisherman and Michaud’s pastor, said the last time he saw Michaud, the teeanger had shaved his head. Some were impressed with Michaud’s blue eyes, Kelley said, but having no hair really made Michaud’s bushy black eyebrows stand out.

“‘I’m going to Maine Maritime and I figured I’d beat them to the punch and get used to it,’” Kelley said, quoting Michaud about why he shaved his head. “Tylar was as likable as they come. I know I will see those eyebrows again some day.”

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....