MARCELLA B. VIOLETTE

Posted Sept. 25, 2008, at 11:15 p.m.

VAN BUREN and BANGOR Marcella B. Violette, 84, of Van Buren died Oct. 17, 2005, in Bangor, after a brief illness. She was born July 28, 1921, in Van Buren, the daughter of Emile and Cecile (Sirois) Belanger. Her life was characterized by unwavering love and dedication to her family and Roman Catholic faith, fierce pride in her French-Canadian heritage, love of history and music, and great affection for the people of the St. John Valley, their culture and their history. Marcella graduated from Sacred Heart High School in 1939. She graduated from the College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, N.Y., received a masters degree in French and English from Boston University and earned a Ph.D. in sociological history from St. Louis University, Edmundston, New Brunswick. She was the first woman from the St. John Valley to earn a doctorate. In 1946, she married Elmer H. Violette, her high school sweetheart, at St. Bruno’s Roman Catholic Church, Van Buren. Marcella and Elmer had five children. Marcella taught history in Strong, Stearns High School in Millinocket and Van Buren Boys High School. Later, she taught religious education to students in Van Buren for more than 25 years. Marcella was a valued partner and advisor to Elmer as he established a law practice in Van Buren and later served in the State Legislature and on the state Superior and Supreme Courts. Marcella’s strong devotion and passionate commitment to her Catholic faith, her French-Canadian heritage and the expansion of educational opportunities for others led her to serve on numerous state and local committees, councils, advisory boards and organizations. She was indeed a woman of conviction and action. Marcella and Elmer were longtime and ardent advocates for maintaining the University of Maine at Fort Kent as an essential institution and resource for the people of northern Maine. She established the Elmer H. and Marcella B. Scholarship at UMFK for students engaged in the study of French and Acadian culture or forestry and environmental studies. Elmer and Marcella had a special fondness for Quebec City and they traveled there often throughout their lives. They also enjoyed several extended trips to Europe and the Middle East. In her formative years and as a young adult Marcella was deeply influenced by the sisters of various religious orders who taught her, especially the Daughters of Wisdom, Sisters of the Good Shepherd and the Ursuline Sisters. She maintained lifelong friendships with many members of these religious orders. Marcella was predeceased by her husband, Elmer, who died June 18, 2000. She will be deeply missed by her children, Dennis Violette and his wife, Holly, of Orrington and their children, Julia and Hugh, Marc Violette and his wife, Margaret Lanoue, of Albany, N.Y. and their son, Zacharie Lanoue, Paul Violette, of Westbrook, Louise (Violette) Ansari and her husband, Hamid, of Brunswick and their children, Sarah Ansari Burgoyne, Shirin Ansari, Esmael Ansari, Nasrin Ansari, Maryam Ansari and Nahid Ansari, Thomas Violette and his wife, Mary, of Bangor, and their children, Danielle and Leanne; and two great-grandchildren, Madalynne and Hannah Burgoyne. Her death will also be mourned by her brother, Joseph Belanger and his wife, Charlene, of Auburn. Relatives and friends may call 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 and 9-10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21 at Ouellette-Thibault Funeral Home, 118 High St., Van Buren. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21 at St. Bruno-St.Remi Church, Main Street, Van Buren. A committal service and interment will follow the funeral in the parish cemetery immediately behind the church. In lieu of flowers those who wish may contribute in Marcella’s memory to the St. Bruno-St. Remi Memorial Fund, 180 Main St., Van Buren, ME 04785 or to the Marcella B. and Elmer H. Vio-lette Scholarship Fund, University of Maine at Fort Kent, 23 University Dr., Fort Kent, ME 04743. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

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