AUBURN — Irene Mercier passed away Wednesday, Sept. 12. A third-generation Mainer, Irene was born Dec. 5, 1931, to Gerard Morin and Jeanne Bernard Morin. She was educated in Auburn schools and graduated from Edward Little High School. To hear her tell it, she experienced an idyllic childhood. Their home was the epicenter for extended family and neighbors to gather. These parties always included vocal music, fiddles, piano and dancing. They often played the latest hits or Franco classics well into the night.

On Oct. 24, 1960, Irene married Laurent Mercier of Lewiston. Together they raised four children whom she loved with all of her heart. Irene was an active volunteer in her community and her parish, Holy Family Church, throughout the years. She taught religious education to teenagers preparing them for confirmation, participated faithfully in a prayer group, Bible studies and ministered to shut-ins. She volunteered at the Clothes Closet and was eager to help the poor. She will be remembered for her hospitality, her kindness, her wise words and generosity.

Irene brought her wonderful joy and love to everyone she met. This included the local community through her efforts to preserve and promote her French heritage. She shared her stories and songs while performing with the Franco group, The Troubadours, often performing at nursing homes and the Franco-American Center. Students from Colby College interviewed and recorded her stories, adding to the library of local history.

Family meant everything to her, and that included anyone who walked through her door. She was happiest when surrounded by them at family gatherings. Irene will be loved and greatly missed by those she leaves behind: her children and their spouses, Jeanne and Dennis Leaver of Topsham, Phil and Kathy Mercier of Lewiston, Rachel and Chris Dymkoski of Lewiston and Louise and Richard Mills, also of Lewiston; her sister, Helene Sylvain of Auburn; her brother, Robert Morin, and his wife, Joan; sisters-in-law Rachel Morin, Pauline Bourgoin and her husband, Joe; her 13 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren, a legion of cousins and friends who loved her very much. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Androscoggin Hospice House in Auburn or to Operation Smiles. You are invited to attend a Mass celebrating her life at Holy Family Church, Sabattus Street, Lewiston, on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m.followed by a reception.

Irene Mercier

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