SOUTH PARIS – Ernest W. Pariseau, 89, of 78 Kimball Ave., Mexico, passed away Sunday, April 19, at the Maine Veterans’ Home. He was a communicant of St. Theresa’s Church in Mexico, and a 50-plus year member of the Rumford American Legion Post

He was born in Woonsocket, R.I., on Sept. 19, 1919, the son of Christina Diana (Peloquin) and Ernest Joseph Pariseau. Ernie grew up in Central Falls, R.I., and attended the Notre Dame School, the Sacred Heart Academy, Broad Street School and Lincoln Street School.

He did odd jobs as a young boy to help his mother after his father died. On Saturdays and Sundays, he worked as a shoeshine boy and gave the money to his mother. He eventually had to quit school to work and had various jobs. He worked for the town of Central Falls, worked in a mill making threads on bobbins, and in an army/navy equipment mill.

He was inducted into the U.S. Army on July 21, 1943, and received his military training at Fort Edwards, Mass., where he became a member of the Battery A, 132nd AAA Battalion (Anti Aircraft Artillery Gun Battalion) as a gun crewman. He and his comrades hit Utah Beach on Aug. 23, 1944, where they began their trek through Europe toward Berlin.

He was honorably discharged from the Army on March 23, 1946 with a Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, and European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon. He often told his “war stories” and was extremely proud of his service to his country. His love and patriotism for his country was a constant throughout his life and no one could stand taller or salute sharper than Ernie when he heard “God Bless America” or any other patriotic song.

After his discharge from the Army, he attended the Rhode Island School of Design for approximately a year and a half. He was a talented and gifted artist and used his craft in the Mexico/Rumford communities after he moved here … one job was designing the Oxie Safety Posters for the Oxford Paper Co., painting signs for St. Theresa’s Church, and other various projects.

In 1947, he and some friends came to Rumford, to get a job in the mill. He started work at the Oxford Paper Co. as a 5th hand on a paper machine and was the No. 12 machine tender when he retired.

It was in Rumford that he met and married Bridget Gaudin Epps on Aug. 29, 1949. He also fell in love with the state of Maine and their home and neighborhood in Mexico. he lived and worked for his family and was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend.

He was a contented man who loved life and lived it to the fullest. he took on many projects and hobbies – building a boat (called the ARK), clearing land at Garland Pond and building his own camp, collecting coins, planting huge gardens, remodeling the house, fishing, hunting, snow-mobiling, bow and arrow hunting, roller skating, swimming, watching the Red Sox and Patriots on TV – just to mention a few.

One of the things that he loved the most was singing … anytime, anywhere. He loved the holidays and went all out to make each one a fun-loving, exciting event for his beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Ernie, lovingly called “Gaggy” by the grandchildren, is survived by his two daughters, Linda Petrie and her husband, William Petrie, of Mexico and Maddy Arsenault and her husband, Thomas Arsenault, of Mexico; grandchildren, Kelly Arsenault Fitz-Randolph and her husband, Doug, of Freeport, Lee Petrie and his wife, Jeannie, of Eliot, Amy Cox and her husband, Dan, of Oxford, Kerri Arsenault and her husband, Andrew Wood, of Oakland, Calif., Jill Herrick and her husband, James, of Cibolo, Texas, Thomas Arsenault and his wife, Stephanie Morgan, of Ashville, N.C., and Joel Arsenault and his wife, Melissa, of Alton, N.H.; six great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; a sister, Rita Corneau of Central Falls, R.I., and a special sister-in-law, Madeline Crawford of Harrisonville, Mo.

He was predeceased by his parents; his beloved wife, Bridget in February 1998; and a young sister, Rita Pariseau.

His family extends a very sincere and special thank-you to the caregivers at the Maine Veterans’ Home in South Paris. The love and care that they showered on him was more than anyone could ever expect. They became a family to him and he loved them all.

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