WATERVILLE — Osithee "Dolly" Chabot passed away in the home she loved at 29 Cherry Hill Terrace, Waterville, May 22, after a period of declining health and only a few months short of her 100th birthday.
She was born in St. Agatha, Sept, 13, 1912, the youngest daughter of Joseph Michaud and Osithée (Albert) Michaud. Her mother died in childbirth with her, so Dolly was raised by her older sisters, Laura, Matté and Alice. She attended schools in St. Agatha, graduating from Notre Dame de la Sagesse High School in 1930. That summer, she took courses at Presque Isle Normal School (now part of the University of Maine system) and received her teaching certificate. She spent the next six years teaching grades K-8 in various one-room schoolhouses in and around St. Agatha.
In 1936, Dolly moved to Auburn, where she taught at St. Louis School and later at St. Mary's School in Lewiston. She also spent a number of years as a governess for the Newton family of Hallowell. It was in Auburn that she met her future husband, Marcel R. Chabot, whom she married in 1942. They moved to Waterville in 1949 after purchasing Liberty Cleaners on Summer Street. Dolly was instrumental to the success of the cleaning business, working until she and Marcel retired in the early 1980s.
Dolly spent as much time as possible at camp — her own at first and then her son's — especially enjoying the sight and sounds of the loons. She loved all things associated with babies and animals, as well as music, the moon and fiddleheads. She could also spend hours playing cribbage or other card games. She was an excellent story-teller, regaling her large extended family with stories of her childhood on the farm, her adventures in teaching, her travels to be with Marcel during World War II and many other topics. She had an excellent sense of humor and a beautiful smile.
She is survived by one son, Grégoire of South Hampton, N.H.; two granddaughters, Michelle Chabot of South Hampton, N.H., and Hillary Chabot and her husband, Peter Ryan, of Somerville, Mass.; two great-granddaughters, Gwen Chabot and Claire Renales, both of South Hampton, N.H.; two special friends in the Ursuline order, Sister Adeline Coulombe and Sister Therea Pelletier; as well as many, many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by Marcel, her husband of 44 years, in 1986; her parents; and 11 brothers and sisters, including the following siblings who lived in the Waterville/Skowhegan area, Alice Carey, Simone Mullen, Matté Michaud, Eva St. Ledger, Yvonne Brown and Lee Michaud; her other siblings included, Laura Ouellette, Maxime Michaud, Onésime Michaud, Annie Ouellette and Marie Daggett.
The family would like to extend its profound thanks to her present and past long-term companions and caregivers whose dedication made it possible for her to live in her home until her recent sudden illness, with special thanks to current caregivers (in order of longevity of service) Marge Tibbetts, Paulette Chapman and Diane Hubert, as well as Gisèle, Tonya and Michele. Thanks also to Dr. Rich Charlebois for his outstanding care and to the nurses and CNAs of the Skilled Care Unit of Lakewood for their dedication during her three stays there.
Few, if any, may still remember Dolly's performance as Portia in the Notre Dame de la Sagesse High School's production of "The Merchant of Venice" back in the late 1920s. But the kindness, gentleness and compassion Dolly displayed throughout her life lead us to believe that she took to heart the message of her character's famous speech:
The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show like God's
When mercy seasons justice.
She lived her life in kindness, and we were all made kinder, gentler and better by it.
Condolences may be shared with the family at www.veilleuxfuneralhome.com.