LEWISTON — Pauline Goulet Gelinas, 85, of Lewiston, passed away at home in peace and comfort, with her family around her, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, of ovarian cancer.

The 13th of 16 children, she was born at home on January 14, 1932, to Ernest Goulet and Sylvia Turcotte Goulet of Lewiston. She described her early childhood neighborhood near Maple and Lisbon streets as a lively one, full of French speakers and tiny businesses, teeming with children and adventure. In recent years, she often expressed satisfaction that the old neighborhood was once again a vibrant immigrant community.

Pauline left school after eighth grade to begin work at Maine Baking. In 1951, she married Robert Gelinas, with whom she had seven children. She worked as a waitress in Lewiston, and later in Skowhegan after the family moved there in 1965. Following the death of her husband in 1967, Pauline moved her family back to Lewiston, where she worked as a housekeeper in the rectory of Saint Patrick’s Church until the mid-1970s, when she began work as an aide caring for disabled children at Pathways Inc. of Auburn. In 1983, she graduated from Mid-State College, after which she moved to Minot and worked as a receptionist and secretary at Tri-County Mental Health Services in South Paris until her retirement in 1986. She moved back to Lewiston in 2011, where she enjoyed meeting neighbors during her frequent walks in her neighborhood near Pleasant Street. Throughout her adult life, until she lost her hearing, Pauline’s beautiful voice could be heard in local choirs and choruses.

In addition to being an incredibly loving mother to her son, Richard, who continued to spend Sunday afternoons with her throughout her illness, Pauline was a fierce advocate for him during his residency at Pineland and beyond. For years, Pauline also helped advocate and care lovingly for Katina, whom she considered one of the blessings of her life. She also served as guardian for Louis, an adult patient at Pineland.

Pauline was an avid gardener, and first attempted to plant beans in a downtown Lewiston alley when she was 9 years old. She planted many flowers and trees at her Minot home, and in the last years of her life could be found in working happily in the yard of her home in Lewiston. In her final months, she enjoyed the daily newspaper, jigsaw puzzles, books, and the companionship and support of close and extended family. She especially loved sitting in her favorite chair and observing birds and the progress of spring.

Pauline was predeceased by 11 brothers and sisters; daughter, Janet Beane of Hebron; and son-in-law, Joseph Dessent III of Auburn. She is survived by sisters, Vivian and Suzanne; and brothers, George and Paul; children, Claire, Diane, Jane, Richard, Robert and Susan; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was loved by her daughters-in-law, Deborah and Gabrielle; and her sons-in-law, Ron and Jim.

The family is grateful for the care and support they and Pauline received from Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice; and in particular, from nurses Holly and Jamie, home care aide Michelle, and volunteer Kevin.

Pauline Goulet Gelinas

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