1917 – 2004

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Dorothea M. Martel, 86, of Turner died Thursday, Feb. 19, at her Florida home following a long illness.

Born in West Roxbury, Mass., on June 16, 1917, she was the youngest daughter of James P. and Katherine Keyo Snow. She was baptized at St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church in West Roxbury. When she was four years old, she and her family moved to Lewiston. She attended local schools, graduating from Lewiston High Schol in 1935, and was in the first class to graduate from Lewiston High School after completing all four years in the then new Central Avenue building.

Before marrying Charles C. Martel on June 14, 1943, she worked at the F.W. Woolworth Store and the Lincoln Store on Lisbon Street.

During World War II, she devoted her energies to selling war bonds along with Helen McGillicuddy Harkins.

After her marriage and the birth of her two children, she was a stay-at-home mom for several years. She then went back to work as a bookkeeper and office manager for three local W.T. Grant’s stores. She worked at the newest W.T. Grant’s on East Avenue until the national chain closed.

Before retiring at the age of 71, she was employed part-time by the Lewiston Job Service/ Employment Office in Lewiston, and also worked under a grant from the University of Maine as volunteer coordinator for the Turner Elementary School where she loved both seeing and helping the “little ones.”

For many years, Mrs. Martel was an active member of St. Patrick’s Church in Lewiston. There, she was a member of the Rosary Sodality, serving as its Prefect for two terms during the late 1960s and 1970s and also was a member of the world-famous, world-traveling St. Patrick’s Church Choir led by the Rev. T. Lee Burns.

For many years she sang faithfully at the 11 o’clock High Masses on Sunday mornings and also traveled extensively with the choir to the Vatican in Rome, singing for His Holiness Pope Paul VI twice, to Boston, Washington, D.C., the World’s Fair in New York, the Montreal Expo, South America, Japan and Greece. These journeys strengthened her faith, as well as the pilgrimage she made with her son to the Vatican, Assisi, the Holy Land and Egypt in 1981. The highlight was walking in the footsteps of the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and Jesus the Lord.

Throughout her life, she also took great pleasure in tending her many gardens, enjoyed visiting and taking care of her grandchildren when they were little, golfing with friends, doing ceramics, painting, making scrapbooks and working on her class reunions. She was co-chairperson of the 65th and final reunion of the Class of 1935 in 2000. She also enjoyed vacationing at Goose Rocks every summer.

Among her other accomplishments was the composition and printing of the music and verses to the song “Turn Back the Time.”

She is survived by a son, the Rev. C. James Martel of Turner and Fort Pierce, Fla., with whom she resided; a daughter, Karen Bernier and her husband David of Lewiston; two granddaughters, Julie Bernier and her fiance Jay Champagne of Portland, and Rebecca Bernier and her fiance Christopher Branagan of Auburn; her sister, Carolyn Harkins of Lewiston; many nieces and nephews; and many wonderful friends, both in Maine and Florida.

She was predeceased by her parents; her husband; her infant sister Beatrice; and her sister Louise McCormick.

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