1920 – 2015

SOUTH PARIS — Fernand “Coe” E. Potvin, 94, formerly of Turner, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Maine Veterans’ Home in South Paris, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Auburn on Oct. 22, 1920, the son of Arthur and Victorine Cote Potvin. He attended school in Auburn and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in January 1942 as a baker. During World War II, Fernand was stationed in India and Iceland. While in India, he sponsored two young adults so they could attend a ministry to become priests. He was also in London at the time St. Paul’s Cathedral was bombed.

Fernand loved learning languages and could recite the Lord’s Prayer in at least five different languages, including English, French, Latin, Bengali and Spanish. In his late 1960s, he took classes at the adult education center to further improve his Spanish. While in the military, Fernand earned the EAMET Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, American Theater Campaign Ribbon and the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon. He was honorably discharged in November 1945.

Upon returning home to Auburn, he worked in a shoe factory, where he met his wife, Yvette R. Raymond. They married on Thanksgiving Day in 1948 and had 11 children, 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

In 1950, Fernand purchased Patty Ann Pies, where he baked pies for several years. He later worked at Jake and Andy Donuts in Auburn and Decoster’s Egg Farm in Turner until he retired in 1982. His hobbies included playing baseball and tennis, ice-skating and playing football with his children. He enjoyed the horse races, playing cards, gardening, watching sports and singing country music.

Fernand is survived by his wife of nearly 67 years, Yvette Potvin; five daughters, Rejeanne Bisson and her husband, Michel, of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada, Denise Potvin of Hallowell, Ann Nichols and husband, Clay, of Turner, Joline Timberlake and husband, Jeff, of Turner, and Monique Cote and husband, Stephen, of Lewiston; five sons, Robert and his wife, Stephanie, of Lexington, Okla., Donald of Lewiston, Richard of Auburn, Gerard and his wife, Arlene, of Virginia Beach, Va., and David and his wife, Sally, of Leesburg, Va.; 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and sister, Theresa of Auburn.

He was predeceased by his daughter, Gina; his granddaughter, Desiree; brothers, Maurice, Andre and Ernest; and sisters, Simone Lachance and Yvette Moulin.

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