AUBURN — Ralph J. Nadeau, 77, a longtime resident of Auburn, died Friday, July 20, in Auburn with his loving wife and family at his side. He was born in Lewiston on Sept. 29, 1940, the son of Robert J. Nadeau and Germaine D. (Berube) Nadeau.

Ralph was an altar boy at Sacred Heart Church in Auburn serving the Revs. Emilien Grondin and Gilbert Chalaux. He also was in one of the last Boy Scouts of Troop 100, under the guidance of Scout Master Walter P. Babbitt, that met on the 3rd floor of the Auburn City Building on Spring Street. He was educated in Auburn schools and graduated from Edward Little High School, Class of 1959. He went on to graduate from the General Electric Apprentice Program as a Tool and Die Maker; the General Electric Technical School in Lynn, Mass.; and the General Electric Manufacturing Training Program.

His working career at General Electric Co. spanned 32 years. He held several engineering and management positions while working at the Medium Steam Turbine Generator and Gear Department; the Flight Propulsion Division and the Circuit Protective Devices Department in Auburn, from which he retired at the age of 50. He also had been a member of the American Federation of Technical Engineers.

Ralph was an entrepreneur involved in selling used cars and operating a bargain furniture outlet in Auburn. He also owned several rental units and sold properties, having had a designated real estate brokers license and proprietorship for 30-plus years.

He married the love of his life, Donna Paiton, on Feb. 24, 1979, at St. Philip’s Church. The Rev. Louis L. Berube officiated.

Ralph had a witty and spontaneous sense of humor. He liked to laugh and make others laugh. He was a storyteller and would remember lots of past local places, events and personal histories of many people. He would meet daily for coffee and conversation with his “Dunkin’ Donuts Gang.” He also was a man of faith, being a member of St. Philip’s Church in Auburn and a participant in a neighborhood Bible study for 30 years. One of the things he was most proud of was his acumen for using sales, discounts and coupons for self-finance and self-directed many charitable causes over the years.


Surviving are his wife, Donna Nadeau, of Auburn, his daughter, Katie Nadeau, of Greenville, S.C., his sister, Janie Lavoie and husband Roger, his brother, Mike Nadeau, and his companion Kathy Simon, all of Lewiston. Also surviving are several nieces and cousins and grandnephew Joseph Mancini of Portland.

He was predeceased by his parents and his father- and mother-in-law, Dwight and Beverly Paiton.

His family would like to thank the nursing staff at CMMC T-1 unit, d’Youville, and Hospice House for their kindness and excellent care of Ralph.

Ralph J. Nadeau

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