The Fortin Group


Normand M. Cote

21 septembre 193111 avril 2021
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Normand M. Cote passed away April 11, 20201 at the Auburn Hospice House.

He was born in Lewiston September 21, 1931 the son of William and Melanie Grenier Cote. Norm attended St. Mary’s Parochial School and graduated from St. Dominic High School, class of 1949. He was a member of Holy Cross Church - Prince of Peace Parish. . After high school Norm enlisted in the US Navy. He went to boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Training Station. From there he went to Philadelphia, PA at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard to attend Damage Control School, where he learned his skills of carpentry, boat repair, welding, sheet metal working, and as well as diving. A skill required to dive to work on the ship’s hulls and propellers. He was then assigned the USS Ajax AR6, a repair ship docked in San Diego, California. In June of 1950, a call came to the Ajax asking for volunteers to go to Point Barrow, Alaska on a resupply expedition, the Expedition was called Barex 50. Being only 19 yrs. old, and anxious to see the world, he volunteered along with 12 of other Ajax shipmates. They boarded the USS Washburn, AKA 108, an attack cargo ship docked in San Diego. The ship traveled along the coast of California and Washington, docking at different ports to load assorted supplies to be delivered to the US Naval Petroleum Reserve #4 at Point Barrow, Alaska, where in June there is the “Midnight Sun” which was very disorienting for the crews of the ships involved.

As the convoy traveled through the Bering Straits between Alaska and Siberia, the war broke out in Korea when the Chinese crossed the 38th parallel, with the United States entering into the Korean War. The crew hurried to unload their supplies at Point Barrow, and the USS Washburn proceeded to Seattle, Washington, where they took aboard part of the 1st Marine Division who were deployed to Korea. Norm took a bus from Seattle to San Diego, to rejoin his ship, the USS Ajax, which immediately proceeded to the Far East stopping in Hawaii for a few days of relaxation before resuming the voyage to Yokosuka, Japan where the US Navy had a large base. Sometimes the Ajax would go to Pusan, Korea to work on ships there as well. The Ajax repaired ships of the United Nations, from reboring ships’ guns, and to making parts that they did not stock and could not purchase, they had to make their own. The ship had its own pattern shop, foundry, machine shops, electrical and electronic shops, operating rooms and as well as dental offices.. The Ajax worked on destroyers, minesweepers, cruisers and battleships and aircraft carriers of all United Nations Navies. Norm was honorably discharged in May 1953 with the rank of Damage Controlman 2nd Class Petty Officer.

After the war, Norm returned to Lewiston, Maine in May of 1953 where his high school sweetheart Rita Dionne, had waited almost 4 yrs. for his return. Norm would receive letters when he was overseas that were scented with perfume called “Desert Flower” that Norm had bought for her for that wonderful summer of 1949 before leaving for the Navy. After a few months back home, Norm and Rita married at St. Mary’s Church on September 7, 1953. Honeymooned in Niagara Falls, then settled down in Lewiston to raise their family at 23 River St. in Lewiston. He built his own home on Pineland St., Lewiston in 1964 and moved in a year later. Their daughter Rachel was born in Dec. of 1954, and son Roger born in Sept. of 1956.

In 1953 Norm first worked at Stevens Tank and Tower in Auburn under the GI Bill, making wooden fishing boats, wood silos, water tanks, penstocks, flumes and other wood products. Then he joined the Carpenters Union Local 407. He worked as a millwright and carpenter all over central Maine. Then in 1956 he joined the firm of Charles Bellegarde & Son, General Contractor. He installed over 1,200 kitchens in the area while working for Bellegarde working both in commercial and residential work, building beautiful homes in the area. He worked 35 yrs for them as a foreman. Later he worked for BCD Distributors as Shop Foreman for 3 yrs. Then in 1986 Norm started working for Ed Hebert & Sons, General Contractor starting as a carpenter then to foreman then to Project Supervisor.

Norm was a perfectionist, he belonged to the National Wood Carvers of America, and he carved some beautiful pieces. He made a chess set that won many awards at State Fairs, along with carved flowers, parcheesi boards, inlaid woodwork. His most prized accomplishment was a spiral staircase he built for the late Jim Costello, publisher of the Sun Journal, when Charles Bellegarde Jr. built Jim’s home on Buttonwood Lane in Lewiston. Norm was interested in just about everything, including politics, religion, genealogy, photography and current events. He enjoyed working in his garden. He could fix anything. Proficient in computers specially Macs, buying his first Mac in 1985. Enjoyed photography, and sailing at Flying Point in Freeport on a sailboat he built named the “Rita” (After his wife). He managed the website for the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society. Norm was devoted to his co-veterans and was Resourcer of the L-A Veterans Council. He also drew the maps of St. Peter’s Cemetery and Mt. Hope Cemetery, St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Brunswick, and 26 other cemeteries using his CAD software on his computer where he would draw blueprints for different jobs during his career.

Norm was predeceased by his parents, and his loving wife Rita in 2009, a brother Robert in 2005. He leaves his daughter Rachel Cote Kidder RN of Lewiston, and her son Jason Fecteau, a son Roger Cote of Evansville, Indiana. Grandchildren Teressa Kerr and her husband Drew, Quintyn Taylor, great- grandchildren Sky Kerr, Koaldon Kerr, Jocelyn Kay Kerr, Arlee Ann Kerr of Indiana. He also leaves his beloved “kid sister” Estelle Bouchard and her husband Lawrence “Pete” Bouchard, sisters-in-law Bernadette Cyr, and Rose Dionne.

He will be missed by family and friends who had the pleasure of knowing him. Norm loved everyone. Specially his family which came first in his life.

Arrangmetns are under the care and direction of The Fortin Group 217 Turner St. Auburn. Please vist to leave heart felt messages to Normand’s family and friends.

Visitation will be held Thursday April 15th at The Fortin Group 70 Horton St. Lewiston 2-4 and 6-8. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday April 16th at Holy Cross Church starting at 11am with a committal to follow at St. Peter’s Cemetery.


  • Visitation

    jeudi, 15 avril , 2021

  • Visitation

    jeudi, 15 avril , 2021

  • A Mass of Christian Burial

    vendredi, 16 avril , 2021

  • Graveside Service

    vendredi, 16 avril , 2021


Normand M. Cote


Christiane Grenier Simoneau

21 avril , 2021

Dear cousins,

I am your uncle Adrien’s (& Doralice) daughter from Canada and actually the last person in my family able to share your loss. My brothers Gilles and Daniel both passed already in their sixties way too early.

I remember cousin Normand as a warm and dear person who made a point always to keep in touch with my parents, sending letters and cards. Family ties were very important growing up, that’s how we were raised and we carry on by showing example.

My heart goes out to you at this time of grief.

Marlene Don Martin

19 avril , 2021

Mr. Cote was such a sweet caring man. He always had a smile and kind words to say. He was very gifted with his wood working. Always ready to lend a hand when needed. He will be greatly missed by all who had the honor to know him. RIP

Louise Roy

18 avril , 2021

Rachel et Roger, Estelle et Pete,

Je suis de tout cœur avec votre peine et l’acceptation que Normand ne soit plus dans votre entourage mais ... il sera toujours là où votre cœur se retrouvera !

Louise, cousine du Canada

Claude, Yvonne et famille GRENIER

16 avril , 2021

Dans les enfants de Lucien Grenier, Normand était, de par son âge, le plus proche des cousins d'Yvonne; sa mère n'avait pu venir au mariage de Lucien et Marie-Anne car elle lui donnait naissance cette semaine là.
Enfant, Normand venait quelquefois passer plusieurs jours pour aider son oncle Lucien aux travaux de la ferme, comme les foins.
Ses visites ont toujours été une fête pour la famille Grenier, où il a laissé le souvenir de quelqu'un de très gentil. Tout le monde l'aimait beaucoup dans notre famille.
Céline a aussi gardé un beau souvenir de son dernier téléphone avec lui, à Noël dernier; il était toujours aussi aimable.
Anne-Marie se rappelle avec beaucoup de plaisir de sa dernière visite avec Estelle, juste avant le décès de Lorette.
C'était quelqu'un qui tenait beaucoup à la famille et cultivait ses relations.
Estelle, Rachel et Roger, nous vous prions de recevoir toutes nos pensées et notre sympathie; savoir que Normand était prêt pour son dernier voyage doit être apaisant pour vous et pour les personnes qui l’ont apprécié et aimé.
Nous garderons de lui le souvenir de quelqu'un qui a été profondément engagé dans ce qu'il entreprenait et dans les relations qu'il créait,
Au nom de la famille de Lucien Grenier

Brandon Pelletier

15 avril , 2021

Norm was a Veteran who dedicated countless hours after his own service, to ensure the proper honors are restored the Veterans in our community. As the Treasurer of the L-A Veterans Council (among so many other jobs), Norm set the standard to which each of us Veterans should strive to hold ourselves. Despite death knocking on his door, Norm continued to work to better Veterans lives until the very last moments. Calling me from hospice to see that I was properly taken care of so that I may assume the role as Treasurer. Despite promising to do my absolute best, I know that effort will still stand far beneath the gigantic shadow Norm casted as the true Treasurer of the L-A Veterans Council. You will never be forgotten but forever be missed. RIP Mr. Cote and thank you for your service to our country and Veterans.

Lucie Roy

14 avril , 2021

This picture was taken in 1996 during one of their trips to Canada. Normand was always special to us when they visited. I knew a bit about his life, his generosity to serve his Country, and in my eyes as a little girl, he represented the best. And he was cute too :) ... Later in life, I saw him on different occasions right up to last September when I was in Lewiston and we had lunch at Estelle and Pete's.

Normand, you will stay in my heart, along with Rita. I feel privileged to have known you. May God bless you on your new journey, and protect your family, always!

Cousin Lucie (Canada)

Diane Manooshian

13 avril , 2021

Rachel, your dad and mom were always special to me. Your dad was always interested in all of our activities as school girls and beyond. Always inquiring about family and mutual friends. Always hospitable whenever I came over! He could talk about anything and knew so much about everything. I was always impressed with his knowledge of computers before computers were even mainstream. My mom always enjoyed working with your dad through the French genealogy group. He was always so helpful and interested. I am very sorry for your loss, Rachel. Losing a dad is so tough but your dad certainly did it his way! I’m sure he will be missed by all! My sympathies to you and your family❤️

Madeleine Roy

13 avril , 2021

À Toi, CHÈRE ESTELLE ! Avec le départ de Normand, tu restes la seule enfant de notre chère Tante Mélanie! Nous t'accompagnons dans cet autre deuil qui t'est surement très pénible. Nous gardons un si bon souvenir de votre visite avec Normand en avril 2014 et de toute l'affection qui nous unit.
Merci chère Estelle d'avoir contribué à créer des liens si forts avec ta parenté du Canada... nous te chérissons grandement!
CHÈRE RACHEL, reçois aussi nos sincères sympathies ainsi qu'à ton frère! Nous savons que rien ne peut remplacer la présence d'un Papa et d'une Maman: aussi nous prions que RITA ET NORMAND ainsi que Robert et Muriel soient heureux de se retrouver tous, et qu'ils vous protègent toujours!
Denise & Madeleine Roy p.s.s.f. (Filles de Juliette Grenier)