Candide E. Slattery
1923 – 2010
BIDDEFORD — Candide Elise Slattery, formerly Paquette, departed this world at Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford on Monday, March 8, at 10 a.m. In true form, she did not exit this world without a valiant fight, but her heart did not have the resilience of her soul. She was surrounded by family and tenderly cared for by the skilled hands of SMMC ICU unit in her final hours. We are extremely grateful for the tender care and attention she received there.
She was born Oct. 16, 1923, in Topsham, to Marie Louise Carlos and Joachim Veruchien Paquette. Candy grew up in Brunswick, was baptized and married in St. John the Baptist Church and attended St. Johns grammar school, St. Josephs Academy, graduated from Regis College and did graduate work in French at Middlebury College.
She was brought up in French Canadian community where French was her first language and life revolved around the immigrant traditions of first generation Franco American citizens.
An only child, she forged lifelong friendships in Brunswick and met her husband Patrick Andrew Slattery while tutoring him in French at Bowdoin College. She married her student on June 26, 1948, at St. Johns church. Together they raised five children, Patrice, Karen, Joseph, Michael and Ann (a pleasant surprise), and had a home on Boody Street for many years before moving to Lewiston. She returned to teaching in 1967 and taught English and Latin languages at Walton and Lewiston High schools. She was a serious and challenging teacher who loved languages and literature and was particularly concerned about the usage of proper grammar. She will forever be associated with the “red pen.”
She retired in 1985 to Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport, with her husband Patrick to live a quiet, though never boring or sedentary, retirement. She remained very active in the senior community pursuing her passion for bridge and social activates. Her family was paramount to her and she daily catalogued the activities of each of her children with great enthusiasm.
Her faith was challenged many times, from the sudden death of her father when she was 18 to the loss of her dear sons, Michael in 1991 and Joseph in 2001. Never one to dwell in self pity or question life’s big challenges, she put her faith in God that everything happens for a reason. She believed in always counting her blessings.
She sought comfort in the everyday pleasures of life and family. A lifelong animal lover, she enjoyed the company of many feline and canine personalities over the years. She welcomed nature into her yard and as a bird lover she kept a reference guide near the window to be certain of all the species that visited.
She was a voracious reader, often consuming several books simultaneously. She believed reading was enlightening, educational and entertaining. One of her delights was reading to her grandchildren and she instilled in all of her children and grandchildren her love of books and music. Even during her final years as she struggled with macular degeneration one would find her patiently edging her way through the daily paper or a good book with her magnifying glass. It’s unfortunate she did not have the time to finish her last book, Dewey.
She knew no boundaries in her life interests. The world was her oyster She relished world-wide adventures, traveling with her husband and children to China, Russia, Canada, Italy, France, Greece, Ireland, Scotland, England and wherever she could and whenever she was able. Alaska was the “road not yet taken.” She loved the arts, especially music and theater. An occasional thespian, she performed with the Bowdoin Players before she was married and throughout her life she continued to enjoy all of the performing arts.
She was the epitome of a classic beauty and classy lady and lived her life respectfully and politely. Timeless and traditional she lived a full and rich life.
She is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, Pat; and three of her five children, Patrice Slattery of Winston Salem, N.C., Karen Barter and husband, Rick, of Pretty Marsh, and Ann E. Slattery of Kennebunk; grandchildren include, Katherine and husband, Dan Coombs, Nathanial and wife, Noreen Tobin and Patrick and Joe Barter; great-grandchildren include, Alexander and Nicholas Coombs of Sturbridge, Mass., and Michael Roland and Molly Bridget Tobin of Norwood, Mass.
She was predeceased by her sons, Michael George, 1991; and Joseph Andrew, 2001.
She was an unbridled force of nature; a ray of sunshine one minute, a feisty tempest the next. Joyful and sunny, forever a peacemaker, thoughtful, gracious and a true classic beauty.
She laughed, she loved and she lived as full and rich a tapestry of life as anyone could wish for. Her spirit and moxie will live on forever…the spring peepers she so looked forward to will miss their most ardent audience member this year.