HOULTON – Milton Joseph “Pete” Gervais, 85, died Feb. 24, 2014, peacefully at home with his devoted wife at his side. He was born April 8, 1928, in Stockholm, the son of Alsime “Sam” and Regina “Doris” (Gagnon) Gervais.
As a young man, Pete worked with his father in the woods of Maine, hauling lumber for Atlas Plywood of Houlton. He was also a truck driver for A & P stores. Pete was a self-made and very successful real estate developer. He started his career by building homes in Millinocket and Woodland, then moved on to build and renovate numerous homes, hotels, apartment buildings, condominiums and dormitories from Maine to Florida. He designed and built beautiful homes for several family members. In Caribou, he bought and renovated the Crown Park Inn and built the Caribou Inn & Convention Center, and the apartment complex, A Place for All Seasons, which his son, Mark, now owns and manages. Pete and Terry moved to the North Road in 1953 and then to Madigan Street in 1961. In 1975, they took ownership of the Shiretown Motel from Pete’s parents. Together, Pete and Terry developed it from the 24-room motel his father and mother had started in 1953, to the Shiretown Inn and Suites of today. In 1992, Pete and Terry retired, and their son, Marty, now manages the family business. Pete was a great story-teller and was never happier than when surrounded by his extended family. Holiday gatherings and time spent with his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at the family camp at Drews Lake, with his two special boys–his pups, Jake and Charlie–by his side, filled him with joy and gratitude. His family, his God, and his faith were the central components of his life.
Pete was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle and brother, and he will be deeply missed by his beloved wife of 66 years, Theresa “Terry” Kathleen (Downing) Gervais; and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Carol, Richard and Jess Speake, Sally and Brian Cole and Emily, Dan, Collin and Jacob Lilley, and Katherine and Bruce Currie, Linda Goodall and Becky, Jeff, Alexis and Jackson Cowie, Mark Gervais and Carolyn Campbell and Hannah and Olivia Gervais and Megan and Connor Arnott and Heather, John, Jazmine, John Jr. and Micah Curtis, Marty, Leslie, Porter and Ian Gervais, Judy and Dana Williams and Dana, Casey and Saige O’Keefe and Justin Wisniewski, Rachael, Chris and Anna Yarsevich, Carie, Spencer, Orley and Vita Garrett, Elizabeth and Kristen McIntire, Hayley, Dan, Willow and Rowan Newman, George Eyerer and Andrew Gervais; one great-great-grandchild, Benjamin Wisniewski; by his sister, Nancy Ellis, and her children, Rick and Elen; his sisters-in-law, Mary Graham and Anna Downing; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Pete was predeceased by his parents; his wife’s parents; and several brothers and sisters-in law.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at St. Mary of the Visitation Church in Houlton. A reception to celebrate Pete’s life will be held immediately following at Saint Mary’s Family Center. Spring interment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make gifts in Pete’s memory the Milton Gervais Scholarship Fund; Ark Animal Sanctuary; or St. Mary’s Food Pantry, care of Dunn Funeral Home, 11 Park St., Houlton, ME 04730. Guest book and condolences at www.dunnfuneral.com.