Bernadette's Story

SACO - Bernadette "Bunny" Egan Bolduc, 95, passed away peacefully with her family at her side at Seal Rock HealthCare in Saco on Mother's Day, May 10, 2015, which was also the birth date of her youngest son, Jim. She was born on the Brown family farm in Eagle Lake on February 25, 1920, to Ludger and Mattie (Brown) Michaud. She was the first of four daughters.

Beginning at a young age, she became interested in becoming a school teacher and followed in the footsteps of her maternal grandmother, Sophie Brown, who became her mentor. After moving with her family to Fort Kent, she began teacher training at the Madawaska Training School which would later become the University of Maine at Fort Kent. She graduated in 1939. The year she graduated she was given her first teaching assignment, a one room schoolhouse in Eagle Lake. That first year she had 10 students ranging age from 5 to 12. She had to teach all subjects across 4 grades. Since many of the students in those days only spoke French, she had to teach her lessons in both French and English. Some of those students would contact her many years later and thank her for teaching them in that one room schoolhouse.

Not long after marrying Fred Egan in 1945, they moved from northern Maine to Old Orchard Beach where she began her lifelong career teaching in the OOB school system. She also operated a rooming house at the Beach during the summer and made good use of her French language skills. She had four sons during this period. During the 60s, in addition to her teaching duties, she was made vice principal at the Jameson School. At age 48, she decided to go back to school and complete a four year Bachelor of Science degree in Education at the University of Maine in Portland. She would also receive the University's Pop Hoyt award on two occasions.

This was a busy time for her. First husband, Fred Egan had recently died and she was left to raising her four boys alone while teaching full time, attending college, attending to a disabled sister, supporting a son with serious medical needs, and getting dinner on the table by 5 o'clock each day.

In 1972, six years after losing her first husband to cancer, she met Ed Bolduc. They were married two years later and her family doubled in size. They were happily married for 15 years. Ed died in 1987. Ed's youngest daughter, Lori, became the daughter she never had.

Now in her 80's, she left OOB and moved to the Cottages at Atlantic Heights in Saco where she met a whole new generation of friends. She became a member of the Straw Hat Ladies of Atlantic Heights and would always attend exercise classes (taught by daughter Lori) right up until recently. Trips over to Martels ice cream stand became a favorite.

She will be missed by all who knew her.

In addition to her two husbands, she was predeceased by two of her sisters, Loretta Shaw and Thelma Michaud; a son, Jim Egan; and daughter-in-law, Michelle Egan.

She is survived by her children, Fred Egan and wife, Jane of York Harbor, Lori Bolduc Saltz and husband, Barry of Scarborough, Tom Egan of Saco, Don Egan and wife, Robyn of Windham, James Bolduc and wife, Becky of Goldsboro, NC, Michael Bolduc and wife, Valerie of Newark, CA, Charlene Bolduc Young and husband, Thomas of San Bruno, CA; 17 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sister, Yvette Michaud of Old Orchard Beach and daughter-in-law, Shirley Egan, also of Old Orchard Beach.

Friends and family may call at the Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home, 365 Main Street, Saco on Thursday, May 14, 2015, from 4 to 7 PM. A Requiem Mass will be held Friday, May 15, 2015, at 10:00AM at St. Margaret's Church, 6 Saco Avenue, Old Orchard Beach. A committal at Laurel Hill Cemetery will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Maine Center for Cancer Research, 100 Campus Drive Unit #107, Scarborough, ME 04074.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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