Dorothy M. LeClair

LEWISTON – Dorothy “Dot” LeClair, 86, died Monday morning, Feb. 10, 2020, at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, after a sudden stroke.

Dot was born in Lewiston on Nov. 13, 1933, the first child of Margaret (Juul) and Albert Edwin Merrill.

She grew up in the family home on 515 Court Street, on Merrill Hill, attending Auburn schools, and graduating from Edward Little High School in 1951. She played the clarinet in the school band. After high school, Dot went on to attend Farmington State Teachers College (now the University of Maine, Farmington), and graduated with a B.S. in education in 1955. Dot attained a master of education degree from UMF in 1963, and a master of library science degree from the UMO (now the University of Maine) in 1972.

Dot taught school in Maine and Rhode Island, retiring from teaching to pursue her a career in library science, working as a librarian in Rhode Island in North Smithfield and Woonsocket, retiring from that profession, and then went on to work at a Stop and Shop grocery store for several years before finally retiring for real. She also volunteered her time at libraries and museums in Rhode Island and Maine, with the National Park Service, a theater, and after she returned home to Auburn in 2008, she joined the Auburn Community Band as a clarinetist.

Dot married Louis Adrien “Gus” LeClair on Nov. 6, 1976, in North Smithfield, R.I., and they were married until his death in September 1990.

Dot loved to travel and was an avid reader. She enjoyed painting in oils and later watercolors, and learning painting techniques at adult education opportunities and workshops. She participated in tai chi classes, and was teaching herself to knit, crochet, and quilt in her later years. She was a member of the Arnold’s Mills United Methodist Church in Cumberland, R.I., and joined the United Methodist Church of Auburn at 439 Park Avenue when she moved back to Auburn to be closer to Larry, Mavis and David, and niece, Barbara in 2008.

Dot especially enjoyed spending time with her niece, Barbara, talking about genealogy and life, and traveling. As a young teacher with summers off, she would travel with friends around the United States, to Canada, and to Europe, visiting Denmark where her maternal grandparents were born, and to Puerto Rico. She and Gus traveled to Montreal, Quebec, and the Gaspe Peninsula, and after Gus’ death, she went on an Alaskan cruise, something that she and Gus had always talked about doing, but which Gus’ prolonged bout of prostate cancer made an impossible dream.

Gus was an angel in her life, and she always talked about how he insisted that she take the time to travel to Maine to attend her nephew Jeff’s wedding to Anne in August 1990, even though Gus himself was very sick and unable to attend with her. Gus died the next month.

“Aunt Dorothy” traveled from Rhode Island to her nephew Albert’s wedding to Jane in 2003 in South Carolina; and with Barbara’s help, Dot also traveled from Maine to niece Emily’s wedding to Mark in 2011 in Massachusetts, and nephew Ernest’s wedding to Andrea in Georgia in 2013.

For her 80th birthday, Dot traveled with niece Barbara to Minnesota to see family on the “Danish” side, exploring interesting places in Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota as they drove from Omaha Neb. to St. Paul Minn. In 2016, Dot and Barbara went on a Caribbean cruise to the Panama Canal, a trip of a lifetime. Dot and Barbara went on a roadtrip to Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for a few days in the summer of 2018, which was the last big trip that they took together.

Dorothy is survived by her little sister, Mavis (and David) Pomeroy of Detroit, Maine; her niece, Barbara Jean Pomeroy, whom she loved and cherished like a daughter, also of Detroit, her nephew, Jeffrey (and Anne) Pomeroy of Epsom N.H.; her sister-in-law Carolyn Merrill of Loudonville, N.Y.; nephews and niece, Albert (and Jane) Merrill of Greenwood S.C. with daughters Leslie Juul and Rebecca, Ernest (and Andrea) Merrill of Atlanta Ga. with children Alice and Daniel, and Emily Merrill and her husband Mark Ottensmeyer of Watertown Mass. with twins, Scott and Katie; niece Deborah (and Raymond) Carlson of Jacksonville Fla. with children Autumn (and Chris McCahill) and Jeremy (and Elisha) Carlson, also of Jacksonville Fla., and Autumn’s four children, Jasmine Carlson, Aidan Clayton, and twins, Dillon and Logan McCahill; and nephew Brian Merrill of Augusta. She is also survived by Gus’ family in Rhode Island and elsewhere; and several cousins out-of-state.

In addition to her parents, stepmother Evelyn, and husband, Dorothy was predeceased by her two younger brothers, Albert Lawrence “Larry” Merrill and Leonard Juul Merrill, both in 2012; Larry’s wife and daughter, Muriel (Jones) and Donna Sue Merrill; and all of her aunts and uncles.

Condolences and fond memories of Dot may be shared at www.thefortingroupauburn.com

A celebration of her life will be held at the Park Ave. United Methodist Church on Sunday Feb. 16, 2020 at 2 p.m. Interment will take place at St. John’s Church Cemetery in Slatersville, R.I. at a later date.

Arrangements are under the care of The Fortin Group \ Plummer & Merrill Funeral Home, Cremation and Monument Services, 217 Turner St., Auburn, 783-8545.

Those wishing, in lieu of flowers, may make a charitable contribution in Dot’s memory to either the

Auburn Community Band at www.auburn

communityband.com or

Park Ave. United

Methodist Church

439 Park Ave.

Auburn, ME 04210

or at

www.auburnmethodist.org.

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