George E. Ouellette

Old Orchard Beach — George E. Ouellette, 80, a resident of Old Orchard Beach, passed away on Friday, Oct. 23, at Seal Rock Healthcare in Saco.

He was born in Lewiston on June 20, 1929, son of G. Emilio and Alice (Parent) Ouellette. He attended elementary schools in Lewiston, and Sherbrooke, Quebec. He graduated from Assumption High School in Worcester, Mass., and attended Assumption College.

Following his gradation from college, he worked as an announcer at WLAM Radio in Lewiston.

In 1951 he joined the U.S. Army and served in Korea, assigned to the Armed Forces Radio Service. Part of his duties included live on air interviews with well known entertainers who were visiting the troops.

He married Sonia Forgue, of Lewiston, in 1953, and resumed his career at WLAM Radio. He and Sonia, who was also working at WLAM at the time, co-hosted a morning radio program called “Coffee Time” and regularly appeared on Maine’s second television station, Channel 17 in Lewiston.

In 1956 George joined WMTW-TV, Channel 8, as an announcer and producer. He worked there for 14 years producing and hosting popular local programs such as “Ski Trails,” “Let’s Play Golf,” “The Fun Afloat Show,” and “Engine House Eight” among others.

Starting in 1959, “Ski Trails” was the first television program in the country devoted exclusively to the sport of skiing. The show ran for 11 seasons. Ouellette was also one of the founders of the Eastern Ski Writers Association — serving on its board and as its third President.

In his last four years at Channel 8 he acted as the “weatherman,” appearing daily on early and late newscasts.

He left television in 1970, relocated to Worcester, Mass., with his family, and started a new career in public relations. Ouellette remained tied to the ski industry and was responsible for public and media relations for the World Cup ski races held at Sugarloaf USA in 1971. He also worked at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., where he was a stadium announcer.

He returned to Maine in 1978, where he continued his public relations career at St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston before moving permanently to Old Orchard Beach in 1980. He became the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce in Old Orchard Beach until he retired in 1992.

In 2006, he was the first person from the media inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame in recognition of his many contributions to the sport.

George was a very talented singer and never shied away from playing the entertainer. He was also an avid golfer and general lover of life.

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