February 16, 2020
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MARIE-ANNE GAUVIN

Contributed | BDN
Contributed | BDN

MADAWASKA – Marie-Anne Gauvin, 79, died Tuesday, April 14, 2009, at a Madawaska health care facility, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was born June 8, 1929, in New Canada Plantation, better known as Daigle in Northern Maine, the daughter of Auguste and Bertha (Caron) Gauvin. When she was 5 years old, the family moved to Madawaska, where she attended local schools and graduated with honors from Madawaska High School in 1948. Thereafter, she attended Aroostook State Normal School, now the University of Maine – Presque Isle, from which she received a three-year certificate in education. After four years of teaching in the county, she attended Gorham State College to receive a bachelor’s degree in education. Armed with a Bachelor of Science degree, she moved to Connecticut continuing to teach in elementary grades. Discovering that Connecticut colleges offered studies in French, she quickly enrolled into a master’s degree program at Central Connecticut State College. Still teaching and pursuing her dream of becoming a French teacher, she completed her studies in 1965 receiving a master’s degree in French education. In addition to her master’s degree, she also received a six-week study of French in France. The study in France was made possible by the University of Ohio. Her thesis, “Linquistic and Cultural Heritage of the Acadian’s in Maine,” has been published and has been a source of enlightenment for citizens of the St. John Valley and others. At last she had become a French teacher and experienced success in both elementary and secondary levels, teaching her favorite subject, French! She occasionally gave lectures about Acadian history and their heritage to educational groups and organizations. During the next few years she received a teaching certificate to teach basic Spanish. She also received a certificate of advanced studies in French; these studies were completed at Trinity College, Hartford, Conn. She also pursued many other interests, one of which was how to build a house. After completing a course in Hartford, Conn., she was able to make a scaled blueprint from which a scaled model of her dream house was built by local contractors, understanding completely her blueprint of a “Quebecois Style” home. She retired in 1988 and came back to her roots in Madawaska. There she supervised the building of her “Quebecois style” home and settled in for 20 years of enjoyed retirement. During her retirement years, she eventually became involved in the founding of “Le Club Francais” of the St. John Valley. Her mission was to promote and pursue their French language and culture, which was already becoming lost after many years of abuse in school against the language. Miss Gauvin’s activism for “Le Club Francais” led to several awards and recognitions. In 1999, she was one of the 12 county women featured in the “Women, Work and Community” of the year 2000 calendar in recognition of her inspiration and contributions to family and community. In 2000, she was elected to the Franco Acadian Hall of Fame by the 121st Legislature in Augusta. In recognition as one of the founding members of “Le Club Francais,” as an active member, she created the “CLUBS” inspirational and meaningful newsletters, “Le Fanal,” which included her personal articles under the name “La pie bavarde.” As chair of the organizations of finance committee, which she led with common sense, she was instrumental in securing a trust fund for “Le Club Francais” from Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Mikesell of Chicago. She remains an inspiration to Franco-Americans of all ages. She also received an award from Maine American Heritage Council, of which she was a past member that served on the education committee. In 2006, the University of Maine – Fort Kent, conferred upon her degree of Doctor’s of Humane Letter, Honoris Causa, noting in particular, her outstanding lifelong career as an educator and scholar of the French language, as well as the heritage and contributions of the Acadian people’s culture. Marie-Anne was also the guest speaker at the University of Maine – Fort Kent graduation of 2006. She has a well-deserved reputation as a relentless advocate for the preservation and active use of the French language in the valley. Miss Gauvin is survived by two sisters, Francoise Gauvin Ouellette and her husband, Romeo, and Pierrette Gauvin Ringuette and her husband, Adrien; and a brother, Ghislain “Gus” Gauvin and his wife, Martine. A funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Friday, April 17, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Madawaska. Family and friends may call 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday until the time of service at Daigle Funeral Home. Spring interment will be at the parish cemetery.


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