Carmen Alice Gilbert

LEWISTON – Carmen Alice Gilbert (née Lavoie), 92, of Lewiston, Maine, was at home in hospice care when she died on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, after a long illness. Born on Jan. 4, 1929, in Lewiston, to Eugene and Simone Lavoie (née Boutin), Carmen attended St. Mary’s School and Lewiston High School.

On May 22, 1948, she married Wilfrid Maurice Gilbert Jr., at St. Mary’s Church in Lewiston. They were together for 48 years.

In her younger years, she worked in textile mills and later, at Bonon Shoe in Auburn, where she sewed running shoes.

Carmen’s hobbies included travel and cooking. She visited Canada, England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Bermuda, Florida, and Indiana. She succeeded in communicating, even when not knowing the local language, and one time, persuaded a train conductor in a village in Germany to delay a train so the rest of her group could board. Passionate about cooking, Carmen would explain technique, in addition to providing a recipe.

Ever fascinated by medicine, Carmen once gave her doctor a clinically accurate description of a stroke that she had recently suffered.

Active in politics, Carmen participated in local Democratic party presidential caucuses. In 1980, she rounded up votes in her ward for Ted Kennedy. In 1984, after she opened her home to two Mondale campaign volunteers, it became an informal campaign center. She attended the caucus to support Hillary Clinton in 2008 because she was deeply committed to the advancement of women in politics.

Carmen is survived by her daughter, Nancy Gilbert Cote and husband Paul Cote of Lewiston; her son, Gary Gilbert of Jackson Heights, New York; sisters-in-law, Connie Lavoie and Lois Gilbert of Lewiston, and Lorraine Lavoie of Michigan; many nieces and nephews; and friend of the family, Marie LeBlanc and her daughter, Shauna.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband; her siblings, Richard Lavoie, Eugene “Pete” Lavoie, and Yvette Henault; and a son-in-law, John Murdoch Matthew of Jackson Heights, New York.

At a later date, a private committal service will be held at the Central Maine Veterans’ Cemetery in Augusta, where her cremated remains will be interred next to her husband’s crypt.

Donations may be made in her memory to:

Androscoggin Home Healthcare & Hospice

15 Strawberry Avenue

Lewiston, ME 04240

Funeral Consumers Alliance

33 Patchen Road

South Burlington, VT 05403

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