Late retiree’s candy cane tradition lives on at Laramie River Station

Eileen Keck Christmas Tree

Eileen Keck, Laramie River Station administrative assistant II, will continue hanging candy canes on the lobby Christmas tree, a tradition carried for 10 years by the late Raoul Laganiere, former workplace safety representative.

Sometimes, people just need a little extra holiday cheer. A Basin Electric retiree who passed away this fall believed that with all of his heart.

For the past decade, Raoul Laganiere returned to the Laramie River Station, near Wheatland, WY, during its annual Christmas dinner. When everyone was busy eating, the former workplace safety representative would sneak in to the building’s lobby to hang candy canes on the Christmas tree.

“Our Christmas tree would just appear with candy canes on it. That was kinda cute,” says Eileen Keck, Laramie River Station administrative assistant II.

Raoul Laganiere

Raoul Laganiere.

Keck has put up the tree since she started working at Laramie River Station 21 years ago. For a while she had the help of another late colleague, Laramie River Station Engineering Assistant Richard Bower. Decorating the tree continues to be something she looks forward to all year.

When the holiday season arrived, Laganiere would always ask Keck what color scheme she planned on using for the tree ahead of time, so he could use matching candy canes. His simple act was something employees looked forward to every year – and it’s a tradition that continues to live on.

“I’m going to continue decorating that tree in his memory,” Keck says. “Raoul always said, ‘A Christmas tree’s not complete until candy canes are on it.’”

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