1920 – 2015

LEWISTON — Pauline R. Fortier Wise, 94, of Lewiston, died May 4 at Montello Manor surrounded by love.

She was the daughter of Mary Louise and Albert Fortier of New Auburn. Pauline came into this world three months prematurely and weighed less than 1½ pounds. While most people would see this start as a challenge in 1920, Pauline was a child of the ‘greatest generation’ and turned what could be considered a struggle into a strength that would serve her for the rest of her life.

She was a graduate of Edward Little High School, Class of 1940.

She raised nine children, including two sets of twins. They are all giving and accomplished in their own right and inherited their mother’s determination and strength in facing life. Pauline was given a wonderful foundation of love by her parents, instilling in her a capacity to love family and friends deeply. She nurtured those who came from her and those who came to her.

Pauline faced life with a quiet strength, knowing when to use her warrior self and when to use her gentle spirit. Pauline often said that she had the most loving parents and was thrilled that her children got to have them as grandparents for the same reason. She was focused, witty and charming and possessed a great work ethic, all of which she passed on to her children. Pauline was at her best when she had a job to do, whether raising her children, working in her brother-in-law’s medical office, mothering the students at Bates College or helping to raise her grandchildren.

Pauline was a music enthusiast for her entire life, loved talking about the old movies and actors and was delighted with having friends and family able to Google information for her. She enjoyed her seasonal visits to the coast, visiting family, eating lobster rolls and savoring butter pecan ice cream cones. For many years, she enjoyed game shows and a daily dose of Judge Judy — that said, enough said! Pauline loved looking at old photos, always accompanied by telling stories that brought her joy.

She is survived by her children, twins John and Frank, Daniel, twins Michael and Patricia, Gail, Marc, Carole and Mary-Lou; their spouses; 12 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a sister, Rita Fortier Beliveau (1917- ); and good friends whom she welcomed into her life.

She was predeceased by her parents; and a sister, Claire Fortier Spugnardi (1919 – 2002).

In her final days, even faced with the uncertainty of what was next in her journey, she spoke with warmth and gratitude for the staff of Montello Heights, Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice and Montello Manor. She carried in her final journey the knowledge that she had loved and was loved.

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