ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Col. Bertrand (Babe) L. Couture, 79, passed away on Feb. 23, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

He was born Dec. 31, 1929, in Auburn, to Joseph and Marie Anne Montreuil. He went to high school in Victoriaville, Calif.

He first worked for a family owned business called Maine Baking Co., makers of Golden Heart Bread, until it closed. He played a major roll in introducing Wonder Bread to the Maine area. He worked for them first as a route salesman, then a supervisor and then an agency manager.

One of his achievements was turning their Malden, Mass., agency into a model showcase for the company. He retired from Wonder Bread in January 1990, after 35 years of service. He was in the National Guard for more than 41 years. He was in Charlie Company, an infantry unit, a tank and heavy armor unit and then the 133rd Engineer outfit.

He took many courses at Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Knox, Ky. He received an award for best battalion while he was a captain from Governor Reid. He said he could have made general but preferred the eagle to the star. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus and was a Fourth Degree Knight.

He sang in the church choir and was a strong believer in his faith. In high school, he was a ping pong champion and he loved to play billiards. He also enjoyed playing cards, reading, camping, golf and even dabbled in painting, by the numbers that is. He was a member of many social clubs in the Lewiston-Auburn area. He enjoyed watching hockey and football, while eating popcorn. He also enjoyed having his head massaged.

He married Dorothy Gagne on June 24, 1950, and had three sons and one daughter. He later married Dolores Bisson Ouellette. After they retired, they lived their life together in St. Petersburg, Fla.

He is survived by his wife, Dolores; three sisters, Lucille Lauzier of Connecticut, Ruth Dumont (Marcel) of Washington, and Pauline Begin (Normand) of Maine; two sons, Andre Couture (Debbie) of Lisbon Fall and Claude Couture of Poland Spring; one daughter, Elaine Little (Duane) of Auburn; one stepson, Marc Ouellette (Julie); nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his son, Daniel; and his first wife, Dorothy.

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