FARMINGTON — Arlene M. Bernard Castonguay, 81, a resident of Emery Street in Jay died the evening of May 24, at Franklin Memorial Hospital surrounded by her loving family following a short illness.

She was born March 5, 1931, the daughter of Pierre J. Bernard and Alice M. Bernard Chicoine. Arlene attended schools in Jay graduating in 1949.

On June 28, 1958, she married her loving husband of 44 years, Marcel Bertrand Castonguay. Bert passed away on Oct. 28, 2002. Bert and Arlene moved to Jewell Street in Jay shortly after marrying, where they raised their family.

Arlene began working at the North Jay Grange Store as a bookkeeper in high school. She later worked at Livermore Falls Shoe Shop as a French cord pressor until she was married. Arlene than stayed at home to raise her family. After marrying, her bookkeeping skills were put back into use as she became the bookkeeper for the family business, Castonguay and Sons Construction. She did “the books” at home and other secretarial duties until the business closed in the early 80s. Arlene also held a part time job cleaning at Franklin Savings Bank in Jay, while her kids were in college.

Arlene was a communicant of St. Rose of Lima Church in Jay. Arlene was a member of the American-Canadian Genealogy Society — Manchester chapter. She and her sister, Rita, spent many hours of enjoyment researching their roots.

Arlene especially enjoyed traveling with her husband after his retirement. One special trip for them was when they traveled by car to British Columbia, Canada, stopping along the way visiting many sites as they traveled across the country.

Many wonderful summers were enjoyed at the family camp on Round Pond in Livermore. Arlene especially enjoyed this time when grandchildren and great-grandchildren were present — the more the merrier. Arlene would comment that the best time at camp is when it is full of family members.

Arlene kept herself busy always having a project in process — crafts, quilting, knitting, crocheting and most recently counter cross stitching. She was especially proud of the 16-by-20 pictures she crossed stitched of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She created many wonderful memories for each of us.

She enjoyed following the kids ballgames, Mikenzie’s gymnastic meets, and Doug’s races. She enjoyed cheering everyone on. Arlene was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Arlene especially enjoyed visits from her family. Arlene felt extremely blessed to have her family support and thankful for “a good life.” Family was extremely important to her.

She is survived by her daughters, Barbara Poisson of Jay, Rosanna Coombs and her husband, Doug, of Livermore, Angela Beckwith and her husband, Stan, of Clinton and Francine Castonguay of Jay; grandchildren, Dorine Wright of Jay, Cherie Parker of Jay, Bert Poisson of Livermore Falls, Allison Coombs of Farmingdale and Erika and Shawnna Beckwith of Clinton; great-grandchildren, Shawn and Adrianna Wright, Mikenzie and Isaac Parker and Tyler and Zachary Poisson; and her companion and protector, her little dog, “Missie.”

Arlene will be greatly missed by her family as she provided strength and safety to our family foundation; always providing a home for all of us and advice in those tough times.

Arlene was the last surviving of her siblings. She was predeceased by her sister, Rita Bradley; brothers, Albert Bernard, Gerard Bernard and Francois Bernard; step brothers, Francois Chicoine and Roland Chicoine; and step sisters, Valerie Crosson and Rena Reynolds.

Arlene will travel safely home to be her husband in their final resting place.

The family would like to say a special thank-you to Dr. Heidi Decker and all of the staff at Wilton Family Practice for the wonderful support and care given to our mother. Also Kristy Brochu of Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice, as well as the physicians, nurses, and staff on Med Surg at Franklin Memorial Hospital during her illness.

Words of condolence and tribute may be shared with Arlene’s family and friends at www.wilesrc.com.

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