Urbain Joseph Paquette, 83, of Biddeford, died on Friday, January 11, 2019 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice in Scarborough following a long and trying illness.
He was born on March 13, 1935 in Biddeford, Maine, one of 13 children (7 brothers and 5 sisters). His parents were Albert and Obéline (Bégin) Paquette.
The Paquette family ancestors came to the United States from St. Honoré, Quartier Beauce, Province de Québec, Canada. He was educated in local schools.
Urbain (Ben) proudly served his country in the United States Army from January 17, 1958 through December 31, 1959. He was stationed in Panama and several other foreign and stateside posts.
On September 9, 1961 he married Huguette Couture in St. Joseph’s Church. They were married for 57 years.
Ben was employed as a wood craftsman at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for over 30 years. He was very dedicated to his work and received numerous meritorious achievement awards. Ben retired from “the yard” on April 30, 1993. After retiring, he worked several years as a groundskeeper and handyman at the University of New England.
Ben had an outgoing personality and well-honed sense of humor. He loved to laugh and he had a heart of gold. Growing up in the Post-Depression years, Ben learned to be frugal, resourceful and religious. He led a life filled with hard work and self-sacrifice. His commitment to family was strong and unwavering. A devout Roman Catholic, Ben attended mass regularly, sang in the church choir and was involved in church activities.
Ben was blessed with many gifts. He enjoyed gardening, woodworking and could usually be found helping others. A gifted musician, he loved playing the accordion, piano and harmonica.
He especially enjoyed spending days at the family camp on Lake Sokokis in Limerick where he also taught his son Marc to love hunting and fishing. He was an avid New England Patriots fan and did not accept their losses calmly or silently.
All that we are as a family and have become as individuals is owed to him.
He showed us what it means to be a loving husband and father. He led a life of purpose, a life of meaning and of fulfillment. He truly believed that only a life lived for others, is a life that is worth living.
We can now take comfort in that Ben, as a devoted husband and father, handyman extraordinaire and family hero has now awakened to a life that is more glorious than any imaginable on this earth. Today, he is living in Heaven’s eternal light, free of earth’s confining bonds, in the embrace of those who have gone before him.
We will miss him dearly. Our family will not be the same without him.
He brightened our lives with his love, caring and contagious smile.
We thank all of you who have expressed love and support during the difficult years he battled with debilitating illnesses. Your prayers for him and for our family are sincerely appreciated.
Preceding him in death were:
Brothers: Raoul Paquette, Rosaire Paquette, Father Fernand Paquette, M.M. and John Paquette.
Sisters: Jeannette Courtois and Simonne Perron
Huguette Paquette (his spouse), of Biddeford
1 son: Marc Paquette of Saco
3 daughters: Lise Cote of Lyman,
Ann Antonakos of Biddeford,
Lynn Hathaway of Biddeford,
Dustin Cote of Wells, Maine
Peter Antonakos of Asheville, North Carolina
Kegan Hathaway (and spouse Brianna) of Gray, Maine
3 brothers: Fr. Hubert Paquette of Saco,
Gerard Paquette of North Waterboro and Clearwater, Florida,
Roger Paquette of Biddeford,
3 sisters: Therese Gagnon of Biddeford,
Marguerite Poirier of Gorham,
Helen Berube of Biddeford,
Several nieces and nephews
Visiting Hours will be 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm Street, Biddeford, ME 04005. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church on Thursday, January 17th at 10:00 a.m. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery. To share condolences online, please visit www.HopeMemorial.com.