JAY – Yvonne Claire Brochu Dunham, 80, of Jay, was called home to her Savior Jesus and His mother, Mary Immaculate, on Friday, March 13, at home after a brief illness.

She was born in Jay on April 10, 1928, the daughter of Frank Xavier and Irene (Yokell) Brochu.

She married James Allen Dunham on July 11, 1948, at St. Rose of Lima Church by the Rev. Maurice Plourde.

She was a “daily” communicant of St. Rose of Lima Church in Jay, until no longer able to drive. In 1991, she was presented with the “Parishioner of the Year” award for her services to the church and its members. She was a Eucharistic Minister and assisted numerous priests over the years, in setting up and aiding them with their Communion calls for shut-ins and people in the local nursing homes. She headed up the SPRED program for God’s intellectually challenged people. Long after she could no longer drive her car, she was often on the phone talking to the mentally challenged that she had worked with previously. She wanted to help them overcome or deal with many of life’s challenges they were facing as they grew older.

After her education from St. Rose School and in the Jay Schools, she worked at Forster Manufacturing, where she met her spouse, then at the Bass Shoe Shop, and the Livermore Falls Shoe Shop.

Family members recall occasions when she ensured that some paupers were afforded a proper funeral and burial. She always had a very soft spot in her heart for the less fortunate and made donations to many charities. When she was no longer able to drive, she frequently called the shut-ins and lonely people that she had met to assure that someone would look out for them and that they would have someone to reach out to. If they needed something that she was not able to provide, she found someone who could.

In earlier years of her marriage, she and her husband enjoyed snowmobiling and until her husband’s death they enjoyed camping and were members of the North American Family Camping Association. They were charter members of the Maine Rovers Camping Club for which she served as secretary.

After the death of both parents, being the oldest child, she became the matriarch of the Brochu clan. Having had no children of her own, she became the mother to five siblings. She had 48 nieces and nephews. She also had 139 great-nieces and great-nephews, and 67 great-great-nieces and -nephews and derived great joy from entertaining them up to the very end of her life.

Yvonne is survived by four brothers, Rene Brochu and his wife, Beverly, of Jay, Roger Brochu of Rockland, Gerard Brochu and his wife, Pauline, of Livermore Falls, and Raymond Brochu of Brighton, Mass.; a sister, Rita Brochu Melendy and her husband, Ronald, of Auburn; a brother-in-law, Joseph Dunham and his wife, Clarice, of Dixfield.

Yvonne was predeceased by her parents; her husband, James, who died on Sept. 2, 1991; brother, Francis Brochu; and sister, Lillian Nichols.

The family would like to thank Androscoggin Home Health and Hospice for the excellent care provided by the Support Services Department over the last seven months of Yvonne’s life. A special thanks goes to Barbara Buzzell for her daily care that was second to none, and to Sharon Tapley, with whom she also developed a special bond. Androscoggin’s hospice team also proved to be invaluable to Yvonne and her family in her last days.

An “extra special thank you” to Aline Fournier, her dear friend for many years, who has given of herself consistently and selflessly to meet many of Yvonne’s daily needs; in other words, her “angel in disguise.”

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