SCARBOROUGH — Michelle (St. Pierre) Arpin, 44, of Scarborough, was summoned by the Lord for an important mission up in heaven on Friday, April 7.
Michelle was born in Lewiston, on Aug. 30, 1972, to loving parents Henri and Louise (Bouchard) St. Pierre. She grew up in Auburn with her older brother, David and dog, Missy. Michelle attended Auburn schools and was an avid dancer in her younger years and a star cheerleader for the Red Eddies through high school. She graduated with high honors from Edward Little High School in 1990.
In the fall of 1990, Michelle headed off to Boston College to study nursing and met her soul mate, Matt Arpin, on the second day of freshman year. She quickly adopted her future husband’s outstanding study habits and became an all-star student. Throughout their college years, Matt and Michelle developed a deep bond with each other and a passion for all things involving Boston College athletics. Michelle excelled in the classroom and received many academic accolades. In 1994, she graduated Summa Cum Laude and No. 1 in her nursing class.
After graduation, Michelle returned to her hometown and got her first nursing position at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Michelle and Matt kept up a long distance romance for over a year, but realized they could not be apart any longer. In the summer of 1995, Michelle headed out to Fond du Lac, Wisc., so they could be together again.
While living in Fond du Lac, Michelle continued her nursing career at St. Agnes Hospital where she developed a passion for oncology nursing. After a year at the hospital, she moved on to the Agnesian Cancer Center to focus exclusively on oncology. On Aug. 2, 1997, Michelle and Matt were united in marriage at Holy Family Catholic Church in Lewiston. After a wonderful honeymoon in Alaska (the first of many cruise vacations), they returned to life in Fond du Lac.
In the fall of 1998, Michelle and Matt headed back to the Boston area so Matt could pursue a graduate degree. Now the sole breadwinner, Michelle landed a position on a bone marrow transplant unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. At Beth Israel, Michelle developed into a true professional. She had a passion for caring for those stricken with cancer and had a natural ability to help both patients and their families find peace and comfort while facing extremely difficult circumstances.
After Matt’s graduation, they headed back to the Midwest, landing in Ann Arbor, Mich., where Matt began a career with Ford Motor Company. Although she was still passionate about nursing, Michelle and Matt decided to focus on starting a family and on May 10, 2001, they were blessed with the birth of their beautiful daughter, Caroline Louise. Michelle’s passion for caring for her patients translated well to caring for her family. She quickly became an all-star mom, in addition to being an all-star wife. After a brief period of only having two kids to care for (Matt and Caroline), Michelle and Matt welcomed their first son, William Edmund, on Dec. 13, 2002. While carting around Caroline and William to various infant and toddler activities, Michelle developed many lasting friendships with other young mothers, including a very special friend in Jennifer Heise.
In February 2005, Ford Motor Company moved the Arpin family to a new home in Chesterfield, Mo. During this crazy time, Michelle had to adapt to new surroundings and build new friendships. Her magnetic personality and bubbly nature helped her manage the chaos that goes along with having two young children and a husband who often had to work long hours. Then, on June 9, 2005, life delivered another blessing with the birth of their third and final child, Andrew Henri.
Living with three young children in an area far from family was a challenge, so when the Arpins had an opportunity to get back to the East Coast, they jumped on it. In the spring of 2006, Matt took a position with the Hinckley Company in Trenton, Maine, and they settled in a house in beautiful Bar Harbor, much closer to Michelle’s family.
Although a picturesque place for vacationers, Bar Harbor proved a bit isolating for a young family used to suburban living so Michelle and Matt decided to pursue an opportunity even closer to her family. In November 2006, Matt took a position with Prescott Metal and they relocated to Scarborough where they finally settled down.
Over the last 10 plus years in Scarborough, Michelle has made many close friends. She has volunteered countless hours in support of her daughter Caroline’s swim club, Coastal Maine Aquatics, acting as both a meet director and author of the CMA Times — a club newsletter. She became active at St. Maximillian Kolbe Parish as a lector and participant in a women’s prayer group. She also became passionate about education in Scarborough and frequently attended school board and town hall meetings, particularly around school budget season. She was relentless, in a kind and considerate way, but was always clear about where she stood on any issue. Even those who disagreed with her had to admire her passion and conviction.
With the children becoming more independent, Michelle decided to return to the nursing world, this time as a school nurse. In 2012, she took a part time position as the nurse at Frank I. Brown Elementary School in South Portland. At Brown School, Michelle became an admired staff member and key contributor to the South Portland school nursing team. She continued in this position until her illness forced her to resign in 2016.
Michelle is survived by her loving husband, Matt; three children, Caroline, William and Andrew; parents, Henri and Louise St. Pierre of Auburn; brother, David and his wife, Lisa (Giroux), of Yarmouth; her Aunt Pauline (Bouchard) Gilbert of Lewiston and Uncles, Don (Pat) of Lewiston and Gerry (Carol) Bouchard of Fort Meyers, Fla., Uncle Paul (Rachel) St. Pierre of Mechanic Falls, and Aunts, Diane of Auburn and Claire St. Pierre; countless cousins, nieces and nephews on both the St. Pierre and Arpin side and an army of friends including childhood friend, Michelle (Mahon) Caron; dear friends, Kristen and Michael Schuler, Kim and Mike Wallace and so many more that would take up far too many pages to name.
She was preceded in death by both sets of grandparents, Gabrielle and Gilbert Bouchard and Cecile and Leo St. Pierre.
Michelle and her family would like to thank all those involved in her care, particularly the nursing staff of Gibson Pavilion on the fifth floor at Maine Medical Center, the nurses and staff at the Gosnell House, her surgeon Dr. Karin Cole at Mercy Medical Center and her oncologist, Dr. Devon Evans and his fantastic staff at New England Cancer Specialists.
Visitation will be Monday, April 10, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Hobbs Funeral Home, 671 U.S. Route 1, in Scarborough and a funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, April 11, at 11 a.m. at St. Maximillian Kolbe Church in Scarborough. A memorial service and burial will be held sometime later this spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to someone participating in the Tri for a Cure — an annual event dear to Michelle.