AUBURN — Louis P. Roberge 97, of Clover Manor in Auburn, died Friday Aug. 25, into the welcoming arms of the Most Merciful Jesus Christ, surrounded by his loving wife and family, after a long illness. He was born on June 18, 1920, in Pawtucket, R.I., son of Mederic Roberge and Wilhelmine Ouellette.

Phil as he was commonly called enlisted in the U.S. Army in Jan. 1941 and served for five years earning an Honorable Discharge in Jan. 1946. Phil earned the rank of corporal with Cannon Company 381st Infantry Regiment in the Pacific Theater. He was involved in the Philippine liberation, which earned him a Bronze Star for service above the call of duty. He was then deployed to the Japanese Island of Okinawa, where he earned a second Bronze Star.

Upon his discharge he worked as an outer sole tacker, with the Clark Shoe Co. in Auburn and started courting in earnest a young lady that he had met prior to the war. He had his future goals set in stone to become a devoted spouse and married his sweetheart, Juliette P. St. Marie, on October 5, 1946. Within a short time they had three children, Robert L., Claudette M., and Roger P. Roberge. In Lewiston, they lived and loved together the American dream, raising their family in the peace that he had helped to secure because of his honorable service to his country. Although a rather shy and withdrawn man, Phil was a very devout communicant of the Holy Cross Catholic Church, he raised his family with those same principles held firmly in his heart. Jesus Christ and His Holy Mother Mary were ever on his mind and heart. Phil is now forever at peace.

After the children had grown up, married and on their own, the local shoe economy suffered severe setbacks with shoe shops closing. Phil set off on his own before being laid off and in 1966, found good work at the GE manufacturing plant in Auburn, as a fiber saw operator, a job that he quickly mastered. He became the primary and only operator, covering the plant requirements for three shifts, in his eight-hour shift alone. He worked at the GE plant for 15 years after which he retired to his home in Lewiston, with his sweetheart Juliette.

During this period Phil became a member to the K. of C., Holy Cross Council 12652. He used to kid others by saying that he would remain a private in the council, happy, not wanting to progress to upper degrees. Phil and Juliette enjoyed retirement years vacationing and traveling to many places, their favorite being to Florida during winter months. He loved to play cribbage with anyone, especially when he would skunk a new victim. Not happy to sit in the house all day, he would go on walks around the neighborhood to stay fit. Over the months the walks were extended to a mile and then three, then five. The five-mile walk became his new daily routine unless inclement weather restricted him to the neighborhood again. He loved the outdoors, the fresh air, no dough to clear his lungs from the many years working in manufacturing plants, surrounded with toxic chemicals and other hazardous materials.

In June of 2014, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Maine Army National Guard Col. John Mosher presented the medals Phil earned but never received while serving in the Pacific campaigns of WWII. This presentation was a very proud moment that he never forgot and spoke about to everyone.

He is survived by his loving wife, Juliette of 71 years, who unfortunately passed away four days later after Phil on August 29; his children, Robert and his wife Norma of Lewiston, Claudette Gorey of Lewiston and Roger and his wife Lorraine of Lewiston; his grandchildren, Kristine Roberge, Nicole Roberge, Jeffrey Gorey, Cindy Gorey and husband Corey Gagnier, Adam Roberge and wife Kym, Nicholas Roberge and wife Allison; 10 great-grandchildren, Kaylee and Caleb Gorey, Drew Nichols, Josie Gagnier, Hunter Nichols, Macie Gagnier, Brylee and Isabella, Corbin and Lauren Roberge.

Phil was predeceased by his parents, Mederic and Wilhelmine Roberge; and his younger brother Romeo.

Thank you to the staff at Clover Manor in Auburn, whose care and dedication to Phil this past year is greatly appreciated. Very special thanks to Margaret Quinn of the Androscoggin Home Health & Hospice team, for your dedication and professional compassion shown by you toward Phil and his family during this difficult time.

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Louis P. Roberge

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