GORHAM -- Francis Lee Berthiaume, 64, passed away on June 10, 2013, at Maine Medical Center in Portland, surrounded by his loving wife Susan and three sons after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born in Waterville on Aug. 4, 1948, the son of Leopold and Lillian Jane (Bubier) Berthiaume. Francis was a class of 1966 graduate of Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale and later got his degree in physical education from the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1970. He went on to earn his master's in guidance at the University of Southern Maine in 1983.
Fran spent 34 years of his life dedicated to educating the community of Fort Kent. He spent the early part of his career teaching physical education alongside his wife before taking over as athletic director. After earning his master's degree, he finished his career as a guidance counselor for Maine School Administrative District 27 working in both the high school and middle school setting. He spent one year serving as president of the Maine Counselors Association. Fran was a very dedicated educator who loved working with young adults and the community he cared very much about.
While attending college, Fran found the love of his life, marrying his wife, Susan (Brewer) of Bath, on Aug. 23, 1969. They moved from Presque Isle to Fort Kent in 1970, where they started their teaching careers and family together. They spent 34 years teaching in the Fort Kent Community School system before retiring and moving to the town of Gorham to be closer to their three sons, their families and grandchildren.
Fran was an active member of the Fort Kent Rotary Club and spent time serving as president of the club. Fran also was a member of the Fort Kent Golf Club for many years. He loved teaching and coaching his sons as they were growing up. He was also an active coach in Little League baseball.
Fran loved attending the athletic events and activities of his three sons along with his wife. They spent many hours traveling the roads of Maine to watch their boys compete in three athletic seasons for the majority of their school years. All three sons went on to play athletics at the University of Maine at Farmington, and whether it was fall, winter or spring, they were on the sidelines to watch their sons compete in soccer, basketball and baseball.
He also adored playing the game of golf with his friends and family. He taught his sons how to play and spent many days on the course trying to perfect his game. Although his crowning moment came on May 19, 2001, when he hit a hole-in-one on the par three 12th hole in Fort Kent, he felt that nothing was better than spending a regular day golfing with his friends and family. He loved passing along his knowledge of the game to whoever would listen.
Fran cherished riding his Harley-Davidson whenever he got a chance. He loved to go out riding with friends or even by himself to enjoy the open road and free time enjoying the scenery of the Maine roads. Whether it was taking a ride to Allagash or in southern Maine, he would spend a day on his bike. When asked at a recent wedding why his marriage was so successful, he jokingly responded that it was because his wife allowed him to take a Harley ride anytime he needed.
Among other things, he had a great fondness for bird hunting in the fall each year and snowmobiling in the winter. He cherished spending time with his loved ones at the family camp every summer and enjoyed boating around Cobbossee Lake in Winthrop. In his later years, he really enjoyed his winter home in St. Petersburg, Fla.
He was predeceased by his father, Leopold. He is survived by his wife, Susan, of 43 years, of Gorham; his son, Aaron, and wife Suzanne, of Gorham; son Laughn and wife Lisa, of Gorham; son Tyler and fiancee Katelyn, of Gorham; grandchildren Nickolas, Gianna and Aidan; mother Lillian J. Berthiaume, of Farmingdale; brother Guy and his partner, Jane Rau, of Augusta; sister Terry and her husband, Bill Perfetto, of Farmingdale; and sister Tina and her husband, Jim Hanley, of Gray.
Visiting hours will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 14, at Dolby and Dorr Funeral Chapel, 76 State St., in Gorham. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, at Church of St. Anne, 299 Main St., Gorham.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of kidney donor the Rev. Stephen Burkett to The
of Maine Serving New England, 85 Astor Avenue Suite 2, Norwood, MA 02062 or online at www.kidney.org.
Online condolences may be sent to www.dolbyfuneralchapels.com.