George E. Ouellette

1929 – 2009

SACO — 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 that, he worked as an announcer at WLAM Radio in Lewiston.

In 1951, he joined the U.S. Army and served in Korea, assigned to 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, 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-producer. He was 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 where he served on its board and as its third president.

In his last four years at Channel 8 he was 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 PR career at St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston before moving permanently to Old Orchard Beach in 1980. He became executive director of the Chamber of Commerce in Old Orchard Beach and served in that role until he retired in 1992.

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

He is survived by his son, Daniel G. Ouellette and his wife, Debra, of Saco; his daughter, Elaine S. Ouellette and her husband, Craig Greaves,  of Winchester, Mass.; two grandchildren, Alexander and Rebecca; and several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife, Sonia Forgue Ouellette, on Dec. 16, 2004.

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