WINTERPORT, Maine — She never married or had a family of her own, but Virginie “Virginia” Beland had her own special calling in keeping house for the late Rev. Lucien Chabot, former pastor at St. Gabriel Catholic Church on Main Street. When he moved, she moved; where he served, she served.
Beland celebrated her 100th birthday on April 30 in Lewiston with 52 guests from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, California and Canada.
Born in 1911 to Joseph and Eugenie (Otis) Beland in St. Damase, Quebec, she came to Maine in 1929 to help her sister, Louise Gaudreau, who was expecting her first child. After 17 years of traveling between Canada and Maine, she became an American citizen in 1946.
Beland was engaged in her 20s, but her fiance was killed. She made her life cooking, sewing, gardening and serving the Roman Catholic Church in several locations throughout Maine. She has a zest for life, a hearty laugh and a fabulous memory, according to family members.