AUBURN — Anita C. Ouellette, 95, of Poland Road, Auburn, passed away surrounded by her loving family on Saturday, Feb. 18, after a short illness at Clover Manor.
She was born in Skowhegan on Aug. 21, 1916, the daughter of Alice and Alphonse Bellefleur. She was the widow of Adesse Ouellette who passed away in 1990. She was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish at Sacred Heart Church for more than 60 years.
Anita grew up in St. Leonard, New Brunswick. She met her husband, Adesse, while they worked at the tuberculosis sanitarium in Presque Isle. Anita came to Lewiston with their two daughters during World War II to be near extended family while Adesse was stationed in France. After the war she and Adesse bought a two-apartment house on Court Street in Auburn, with her sister, Regina. There they raised their three daughters and one son, upstairs from Memere Bellefleur, her sister, Regina, and brother, Lorenzo.
Although Anita was a stay-at-home-mom until her youngest child went to school, she always found ways to earn extra money. She cared for children in her home, cleaned houses, cooked for parties and sewed. She began working at Central Maine Medical Center in the laundry, then in the operating room, and eventually in the sewing room. She retired from CMMC after many happy years.
Anita was a lifelong learner. Speaking only French when the family moved to Auburn, she taught herself how to read and write in English while she helped her children with their homework. She was an accomplished seamstress. She made countless quilts, dresses and costumes for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She taught herself how to do crewel work, embroidery, knitting, crocheting and quilting. She loved providing mittens for family members, her daughter’s students and the schoolmates of her great-grandchildren. She made several quilts for school raffles so that teachers would be able to buy books for beginning readers. For the last few years of Anita’s life she spent time everyday, except Sunday, knitting shawls for the Hospice House and Clover Manor. Every Sunday evening Anita’s extended family met at Memere’s house to share stories of their week and enjoy a treat made with love by Memere.
Anita was a good listener who always had words of encouragement. During the tough times she would always remind us that things could be worse. She believed that true happiness was gained by helping others and she spent her whole life caring for and helping others. Her wants and needs always came after the needs of others.
Her love, quiet strength and generosity will be missed by those who survive her: daughters, Marie and husband, Ray Adams, of Hanahan, S.C., Charlene and husband, Normand Lacasse, of Lewiston, Jacqueline and husband, Richard Strong, and son, Roger Ouellette, of Auburn; grandchildren, Cheryl Lacasse, Gary Lacasse and wife, Carrie, Nancy Lavertu and husband, Marc, Cindy Dyson and husband, Jacob, Jeffrey Adams and wife, Michelle, Michael Strong and wife, Vanessa, and Matthew Strong; great-grandchildren, Katie and Kristen Lacasse, Chantalle and Kevin Lavertu, Adam, Taylor and Kelsey Austin, Ansley and Ashton Adams, and Maximillian and Dante Strong; and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband; her parents; eight brothers and five sisters.
Online condolences and sharing of memories may be expressed at www.lynchbrothers.com.