Theresa's Story

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HOULTON - Theresa Kathleen (Downing) Gervais, 87, died peacefully after a long illness on October 27, 2015, with her devoted family at her side. She was born February 14, 1928, in Limestone Siding, New Brunswick, the daughter of Allen Joseph and Cecilia Rose (Hartt) Downing.

She was the tenth of twelve children. In 1952, she became a naturalized American citizen and settled in Maine with Milton (Pete) Gervais. With six children at home, life was busy, but she was never happier than when surrounded by her family. Holiday gatherings with thirty or more seated around the dinner table and time spent with her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at the family camp at Drews Lake filled her with joy and gratitude. Her family was the most important part of her life. In the 1960s, she worked at Madigan Memorial Hospital in the X-ray Department. In 1975, she and Pete took ownership of the Shiretown Motel from his parents. Together, they developed it from the 24-room motel his father and mother had started in 1953, to the Shiretown Inn and Suites of today. In 1992, they officially retired from the family business, though Terry continued to keep the books for the motel and a family apartment complex in Caribou.

A creative artist, Terry found outlets in oil painting, knitting, and quilt making. She created beautiful quilts for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Tucked among the Christmas presents each year were hand-made mittens and socks.

Terry was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and sister. She will be deeply missed by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Carol, Richard and Jess Speake; Sally and Brian Cole and Emily, Dan, Collin and Jacob Lilley; Katherine, Bruce and Greta Currie; Linda Goodall and Becky, Jeff, Alexis, Jackson and Blake Cowie; Mark Gervais and Carolyn Campbell, Hannah and Olivia Gervais, Megan and Connor Arnott, Heather, John, Jazmine, John Jr. and Micah Curtis; Marty, Leslie, Porter and Ian Gervais; Judy and Dana Williams and Dana, Casey, Saige O'Keefe and Justin and Benjamin Wisniewski; Rachael, Chris, Anna and Gavin Yarsevich; Carie, Spencer, Orley and Vita Garrett; Elizabeth and Kristen McIntire; Hayley, Dan, Willow and Rowan Newman; George Eyerer and Andrew Gervais; her sister, Mary Graham; her sister-in-law, Nancy Ellis; and several nieces and nephews. Terry was predeceased by her husband, her parents, her husband's parents and ten brothers and sisters.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. November 2 at St. Mary of the Visitation Church in Houlton. A reception to celebrate Terry's life will be held immediately following at Saint Mary's Family Center. Interment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make gifts in Terry's memory to the Theresa K. and Milton J. Gervais Scholarship Fund, care of Dunn Funeral Home, 11 Park St., Houlton, ME 04730. Guest book and condolences at www.dunnfuneral.com.
Published on  October 30, 2015
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