1934 – 2014

LEWISTON — Armand Henry Arsenault, 79, a resident of Auburn and formerly of Rumford, passed away on Monday, April 28, at d’Youville Pavilion.

Armand was born in Rumford on Dec. 19, 1934, the second-youngest of 10 children born to Henry and Philomene Arsenault. He was educated in Rumford schools and graduated from Stephens High School in 1953. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served four years of active duty, stationed at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, until his honorable discharge. Following his service, he returned to Rumford and worked for Oxford Paper Co. in the maintenance department for the next 20 years, retiring as a foreman.

On Aug. 8, 1962, he married the former Bette Magno of Auburn and they settled on Somerset Street in Rumford. Bette taught sixth grade at Rumford Middle School and the following year, their son Peter was born. In June 1975, on the last day of school, the family moved to Auburn. They built a house and Armand and Bette went to work at Florian’s Market, founded by Bette’s father, on South Main Street. He continued to work there until his stroke in August 2011.

Armand enjoyed downhill skiing and had his son, Peter, on skis at age 3 at Black Mountain in Rumford. In younger years, he liked skiing trips on the weekends with buddies to some of the bigger mountains in Maine and New Hampshire. He was also a wonderful handyman, as he did most of the finish work in their new home once completed. He was always good with a hammer, saw and tape measure, and taught Peter those skills as well.

Armand was a steady fan of the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots, but disliked driving in Boston. He was an excellent dancer and also loved to sing around the house — Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and others. He loved ice cream and spending time with his dogs, and nearly every night he enjoyed preparing a bowl for them — as well as himself — and watching TV together. He loved the many dogs they had over the years, including Rascal, Pepe, Skippy, Skippy Tu, Spanky and their current West Highland white terrier, Scooter, as well his granddaughter’s dogs, Masada, and currently, Molly and Jack.

In addition, he enjoyed traveling, as he and Bette took annual vacations to Aruba for about 20 years and they also had a chance to visit Bette’s cousin, Mike, in Germany and Washington state. He, Bette and Peter took many camping and road trips when Peter was growing up, including a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

He had a special, animated relationship with his granddaughter, Aimee, which was always fun to watch; he liked taking her for ice cream and to the carnival when she was young. Aimee called him “Gee,” a name that came about from her trying to say “grandfather” as a baby. He taught her to drive, helped her move into many apartments and finally, her first house, where he also completed many home improvement projects. He, Bette and Aimee enjoyed many, many dinners together, either prepared by Bette and around their dining room table or out at local restaurants. Armand and Aimee even had a few food fights at home and she was the only one he’d let put his hair into pigtails and take pictures of him holding her many dolls on the couch.

Armand was a quiet man and a loving, independent, generous and very hardworking husband, father and grandfather. He had a wonderful smile and sense of humor, and loved hearing jokes and funny stories. He helped many, many people in need — both those he knew and strangers alike — whether it was giving them rides, clothes, food, money or just a second chance; he did so without a need for recognition or even thanks, but because he felt it was the right thing to do. Armand will be dearly missed by many.

He leaves his wife of 51 years, Bette Arsenault, of Auburn; a son, Peter Arsenault and his wife, Ann, of Lewiston; his granddaughter, Aimee Arsenault and her companion, Christopher Labbe, of Poland; a sister, Alvine Arsenault, and a brother, Gerald Arsenault, both of Rumford; many nieces, nephews and cousins; friends of the family and longtime customers of the store; and pets, Scooter and Greta and great-granddogs, Molly and Jack.

The family wishes to thank the d’Youville staff on 4 West for their compassion and care, as well as the staff of Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice — especially Steve — who treated Armand with incredible dignity and kindness for the past seven months.

You are invited to share your thoughts, condolences and fond memories with Armand’s family by visiting their online guest book at www.thefortingroupauburn.com.

Guest Book

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