1919 – 2013

AUBURN — Marie-Blanche Cote, 94, formerly of 47 Louise Ave., Lewiston, passed away peacefully, with her family by her side, on Thursday, April 18, at Clover Manor, where she had been a resident and patient for the past eight years.

She was born in St. Methode, Quebec, Canada, on Jan. 10, 1919. to Willie and Lydia (Masse)Fortin.At the time of her birth, the Fortin Family was in the process of relocating to Lewiston.  The youngest of nine children, Blanche grew up in Lewiston and attended St. Mary’s school.  She became a US Citizen on Jan. 21, 1942. 

Blanche married her beloved husband of 67 years, Lionel E. Cote, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Lewiston, on Sept. 7, 1940.The newlyweds were separated by World War II.It was during the liberation of France, when landing on the beaches of Normandy, that French-speaking Lionel was asked to find food for his U.S. Army battalion.Lionel befriended a 13-year-old farm boy, Pierre Lebrun, whose family helped feed the troops.When Pierre wrote to Blanche to inform her that Lionel was alive and well, a lifelong friendship was established.Pierre and his family came to the U.S. to meet Lionel’s family and  traveled to Canada to meet Blanche’s Canadian family.Lionel and Blanche visited Pierre and his wife, Genevieve, in Normandy, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Invasion.

Throughout Blanche’s life, she worked for various local companies, including the Continental Mill, Koss Shoe, Raytheon, as well as Maine Electronics, from where she retired in 1985.

Blanche was a communicant of Holy Cross Church in Lewiston, a member of the Holy Cross Dames de Ste. Anne, Holy Cross Senior Citizens and Pine Tree Warriors Drum and Bugle Corps.She loved knitting, playing cards and dancing.Blanche and Lionel enjoyed traveling to Florida, California, and France and especially to Canada.  She was an avid Boston Red Sox, Bruins and Mainiacs fan.For several years she held a season’s pass to the Maineiacs games and would swing her white glove whenever her team scored. Her ultimate love was spending time with her family.She will be remembered for being a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.She will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by family and friends.

She is survived by three sons, Donald and wife, Kim, Paul and wife, Louise, all of Lewiston, and Roger and partner, Lisa Mullen, both of Turner; and favorite daughter, Diane Kirouac of Auburn; a son-in-law, Daniel Kirouac, of Auburn; sisters in law and brother-in-law, Simone and Lionel Landry, Muguette Cote, all of Lewiston, and  Raymonde Cote of Pomona, Calif.; eight grandchildren,Angela Wojcik, Dawn Kelley, Kara Cougle, Chandra Sturgis, Olivia Cote, Thomas Cote, Justin Cote, and Allen Kirouac; eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents; and all of her siblings, including brothers,Joseph, Willie Jr., Albert, Antonio, Adrien; and sisters,Rose-Amee Tardif, Marie Fortin and Yvonne Robert.

The family wishes to extend a warm, heartfelt, and sincere thank-you to the staff at Clover Manor and Androscoggin Home Health.

Online condolences and sharing of memories may be expressed at www.lynchbrothers.com.

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