AUGUSTA - Irene E. Arroyo Lemelin, known to many as "Mom" and "Meme," 86, died Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 at her home surrounded by her loving family following a long illness. She was born in Sterling, Colo., on March 13, 1927, a daughter of the late Joseph and Marguerita (Aguerilera) Arroyo.
Irene married Henry G. Lemelin, and together they raised a family of nine until his death in 1977. She was a waitress and caregiver for many years, but was a homemaker for most of her life. She was a member of the Veterans of Foreign War Auxiliary.
She was proud of her Mexican heritage and shared it with her family and friends. These were the times when she was happiest. Mom's life was built around her children and grandchildren. Never a day she didn't spend with one of her children. There was nothing that Irene loved more than her family. Her home was always open regardless of day or time. Anyone who ever spent any time in her presence was made to feel like family.
She enjoyed going to beano, Veterans of Foreign Wars
, American Legion and to play pull tickets. She loved country music and listening to Kenny Frost sing to her. Mom loved to camp and have cookouts with her children. She will be greatly missed by many.
Mrs. Lemelin was predeceased by her husband, Henry G. Lemelin Sr.; a son, Daniel Lemelin; four brothers: Moses, Alphonso, Manuel and Salvador Arroyo; and three grandchildren: Raven Lemelin, Tony Lemelin and Robert Studley Jr.
She is survived by five sons: Henry G. Lemelin Jr. and his companion, Gail, of Augusta, Jimmy Lemelin and his wife, Eileen, of Terryville, Conn., Stephen Lemelin and his wife, Diana, of East Livermore, Randy Lemelin and his wife, Debbie, of Sidney, and Jay Lemelin and his wife, Lisa, of Rome; three daughters: Lucy Jones and her husband, Jim, of Augusta, Cecile Studley and her husband, Robert, of Sidney, and Cheyenne Joslyn and her husband, Donny, of Windsor; two sisters: Beatrice Vallejos, of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Terri Luxford, of Albuquerque, N.M.; a daughter-in-law, Jackie Lemelin, of Southington, Conn.; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, a great-great grandchild; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins, especially her very special nephew, Philip Arroyo; and her best friend of 50 years, Gloria Skidgel.
The family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Better Choice Health for the care and compassion they showed to Irene and her family throughout her illness. A special thank-you to granddaughter, Lisa, who never left her side until mom's passing.
A gathering of family and friends will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta, where a memorial service will follow at 1 p.m. Burial will follow in the old Maine Veterans' Memorial Cemetery, Civic Center Drive, Augusta. Those who desire may make donations in Irene's memory to HealthReach Hospice, P.O. Box 828, Waterville, ME 04903. Condolences, photos and memories may be shared at www.plummerfh.com.