Leo B. Groleau
1907 – 2010
BIDDEFORD — Leo B. Groleau, 102, of St. Andre’s Health Care Facility, died peacefully Saturday, March 20.
Born at St. Ephrem, Beauce, Quebec, June 11, 1907, to Ulric and Marie Anne (Mercier) Groleau, Leo, the oldest of 10 children, grew up in Lewiston. He was married on Aug. 31, 1935 to Juliette Dussault of Auburn, who predeceased him in January 2001.
In the early years of their marriage, they lived in New Auburn; they later moved to Holy Cross Parish in Lewiston and finally to St. Gregory’s in New Gloucester, where they spent the last years of their married life at Sabbathday Lake. They also summered at Sabattus Lake for many years and wintered in Bradenton, Fla., for the last 20 years of their 65-year marriage.
He was a kind, gentle and happy man with an engaging smile. He loved people and was loved by all who came in contact with him. A self-made man with little formal education, he was known to many in Lewiston-Auburn as a shoe shop foreman who spent most of his working life at the Shapiro Factory. In mid-life, he embarked upon a new career as a successful insurance salesman for the Monarch Life Insurance Co. His hard work won him numerous trips to national insurance conferences. A member of the Elks Club for many years, he was known to many as a “cribbage shark.”
He is survived by a daughter, Jeannine and her husband, Dr. Roland Cronkhite Jr., of Biddeford and Florida; a son, Normand and his wife, Michelle of Mill Valley, Calif., and Sabbathday Lake; three grandchildren, Thomas Cronkhite, Christopher Cronkhite and his wife, Julie Vogel, and Kara Cronkhite; two great-grandchildren, Liesl and Jack Stemas; a sister, Lorraine Gomm of Auburn; a sister-in-law, Joanne Groleau of Aurora, Ill., wife of the late Joseph Groleau; on his wife’s side, a brother-in-law, Lucien Dussault and his wife, Gennie of Auburn; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by five brothers, Albin, Paul, Alphee, Joseph and Laureat; and three sisters, Rose St. Pierre, Lucienne Berube and Jeanne Levesque.