JACKMAN AND AUGUSTA - Ronaldo J. Ouellette, 98, passed away peacefully at the Veterans Administration Hospice Unit in Togus, Maine on January 15, 2016. He was born in St. Francis, Maine, on July 7, 1917 to Abraham and Marie Jandreau Ouellette.
His father died when Ronald was 12 years of age. He and his siblings worked after school in the potato fields and potato houses to help their mother during the Depression years. During his teen years, Ronald spent one summer in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) helping to build parks in the Camden area. With lack of employment in northern Maine, Ronald moved to Connecticut where he worked for Pratt & Whitney until being drafted on July 9, 1942, two days after his 25th birthday.
During World War II Ronald was assigned to the 88'" Infantry Division (Blue Devils) and shipped to Morocco, Africa. He served in both the African and European campaigns during the war. He was wounded several times and received two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star. He was discharged from the military in September 1945.
Ronald worked for the Maine forest Service in the Allagash River area in Northern Maine. It was during this time that he met his future wife, Winifred Paquet, who lived near Churchill Lake. They were married in St. Francis on June 14, 1947. Ronald graduated from Barber school in Bangor and opened his own barbershop in St. Francis. Later he worked for the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad. Their first two sons were born during the years they lived in St. Francis.
In 1956 Ronald returned to work for the Maine Forest Service and moved the family to Clayton Lake. He worked for the Forest Service during the spring, summer and fall months and was employed by International Paper Company during the winter months.
After the birth of their third son, the family moved to Jackman in the fall of 1963. Ronald worked for Merrill Transport Company delivering fuel and oil products to lumber camps in Northwestern Maine, retiring from Merrill Transport in 1982.
After his retirement, Ronald worked part time at the Moose River Golf Course and volunteered his services at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Jackman. He was a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the American Legion, VFW and Disabled American Veterans. In 2012, at the age of 95, he was presented with the Veteran's Eagle Cane.
After Ronald's final retirement at age 88, he enjoyed sitting on his porch, watching Moose River gently flow by and feeding the wild ducks from the riverbank. Ronald was well known as a weather forecaster and a great gardener.
He was predeceased by Winnie, his wife of 68 years; his parents, Abraham and Marie J. Ouellette; three brothers, Wilfred, Auguste and Oscar Ouellette, and two sisters, Elodi Caron and Reda Michaud. He is survived by his three sons: Ronald L. and wife Colleen of Augusta. Brian J. of Meredith. NH. and Mark Steven of Jackman. Five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren also survive him.
Funeral services will be held in the spring at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Jackman and burial will follow.
Funeral arrangements are by Giberson Funeral Home of Bingham, Maine.