Elaine Marie Martineau, 61, of North Waterboro, passed away on 21 October. Elaine was born September 14, 1956 to Doris and Fernand Martineau. She graduated from Biddeford High School in 1974, and like her parents, she chose to serve others and graduated with a degree in social work from the University of Southern Maine. Anyone who ever met her would immediately see she was a people person, and stories abound about her generous spirit, outpouring of love, and selfless service. She touched the hearts of many and was well known for her bright eyes, warm smile, and friendly, caring demeanor. She was the type of person who would fast become your friend and embrace you for life.
Elaine began her career in the local area working in social services and welfare first at PROP, followed by Southern Maine Medical Center. At Jackson Brook Institute in South Portland she worked in Admissions and later in the role as discharge planner. During her last 20+ years in social work she proudly worked at Catholic Charities of Portland in Support and Recovery Services as a case worker/social worker once again using her skills and attributes to help those in need of guidance and assistance to ensure success.
Her kind-heartedness was not just for people. She found a deep love for animals early on with family cats being part of her daily life. As she grew older, her love for animals expanded into volunteer opportunities for the Animal Welfare Society (AWS) of Kennebunk at various events and in the shelter itself. She would later donate her own funds and time to make homemade catnip bags to be sold at her veterinarian’s office with the proceeds going directly to the AWS. She was a strong proponent of adopting cats in need as opposed to purchasing a particular breed of cat. Cats who had been lost or displaced or simply forgotten had a way of finding her wherever she lived and when they did she would take them into her heart and home forever.
What many people around her might not have known was that while working and volunteering, she had been battling ovarian cancer for nearly 10 years. Despite her challenges with her health, she was so devoted to her work, her coworkers, her clients, and her causes, that she decided just this year to stop working. The outpouring of love and support and friends and family made her once say that she felt like George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) in her favorite Christmas move “It’s a Wonderful Life” that she was the richest woman in town.
Elaine is survived by six siblings: Kim Bryant (Steven), Brenda Martineau Alper (Eric), Linda Demers (Bob), Denise Fecteau, Fern Martineau, and Ken Martineau (Ari) and step mother Mary Rose Martineau. She has several close cousins, including Joyce Bisson and a number of nieces and nephews whom she adored. Her friends were also a very special part of her life, and she embraced them as part of her extended family. She left a mark on all who met her, and she will be dearly missed by all who were lucky enough to have known her.
A special thanks goes out to the doctors, nurses, and staff of Maine Health, Maine Med’s Gibson Unit, and Hospice of Southern Maine who cared for her with kindness and compassion and helped her persevere to the very end of her epic battle.
Her memorial service will be at Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm Street, Biddeford on Saturday, 28 October at 2:30, with a calling hour from 1:30-2:30. To honor Elaine and her fight with ovarian cancer, feel free to wear something teal or with pets (cats preferred J). In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate donations in Elaine’s memory to the Animal Welfare Society, PO Box 43, West Kennebunk, Maine 04094.