WINSLOW -- The family of Priscilla Fortin mourns the loss of our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who entered into heaven peacefully on Sunday, Nov. 4.
She was born Helene (Priscilla) Violette on Feb. 19, 1926, the daughter of Thomas J Violette and Lorette (Corriveau) Violette in Augusta.
Born during the Great Depression, she remembered the hard times her family faced. She was very proud of her family ancestry and was a member of the Violette Association. The Violette family entered Acadia along the St. John River in the early 1700s from France. Francois Violet was the first to arrive on the ship Intrepide in 1749. They settled in Van Buren, which is known now as Acadian Village. She loved attending French events at Le Club Calumet to celebrate her French heritage. She spoke French fluently and often did so with many of her friends.
She married Donald J. Fortin on June 24, 1946, at St. Augustine Church in Augusta. They settled in Winslow, where they raised a family of eight children on Garland Road. Living on the farm was busy as there were many chores to be done. The large barn was full of cattle, which were raised for the family business, Fortin's Meat Market. Haying was done in the summer months, which filled the barn and was a great place to play and build cabins. The boys would be out early to clean the barn before school.
The family also had a large vegetable garden that needed to be tended in the summer, where our mother worked very hard canning vegetables and storing for the winter months. The family farm also had a small apple orchard, plums, pears and grapes. We always loved homemade apple pie, grape jelly and grape juice made by our mother.
Priscilla had a talent for knitting, and all of her grandchildren had special sweaters, hats and mittens made by her. She also made her special dishcloths that we all received at Christmas. She was talented at sewing, as well. Many of our Easter outfits were made by her. She was a devout Catholic and a member of St. John the Baptist Church in Winslow. She never missed Mass until her health began to decline.
She was predeceased by her parents, Thomas and Lorette Violette; and siblings Cecile and Constance. She was also predeceased by her son, Michael Leo Fortin, who lost his battle with cancer at the young age of 28; former husband, Donald Fortin; and a special friend and companion Nelson Roy.
She is survived by her only sister Hope (Violette) Tyler and husband, Mendall, of Florida. She is also survived by her loving children, Donald J. Fortin Sr. and his companion, Nancy Reynolds, Richard N. Fortin, Elizabeth "Betty" Coonan and husband, Mike, Beverly Rhoades and husband, Bill, Deborah Dubois and husband Rodney, Theresa Macklin and husband, Bob, and Jennifer Harrison and husband Steve.
She was so very proud of her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren including Heidi and Kendric Robbins and their children Alayna and Ansley, Eric and Laurie Rhoades and their children Justin and Joshua, Andy and Jody Rhoades and their children Ashley and Emily, Clayton Fortin, Sherri and Craig Steiner and their children Jeanna, Erich and Jakob, Kim Fortin, Ryan and Jessica Fortin and their daughter Arianna, Christina Dubois and companion Matt Cyganiewicz and their son Braiden, Rob and Katie and their children Maya and Layla Dubois, Natasha and Jake Hanson and their children Jade, Jacob and Wyatt, Rachel and Jason LaGasse and their children Natalie and Layton, and Brittany Macklin and Paul Macklin.
She was known as "Aunt Pat" to her extended Fortin family.
A very special thank-you to her neighbor, David Truman, who would look out for her during the night and Emily from Spectrum Generations who would come in daily to assist her and take her out for rides to enjoy the scenery.
Visiting hours will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm St., Waterville. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at St. John the Baptist Church, 25 Monument St., Winslow. Committal prayers and burial will follow in St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, 78 Grove St., Waterville.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name may be made to Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, P.O. Box 2584, Waterville, ME 04903.
Online condolences may be expressed at gallantfh.com.