Joseph G.Y. Pelletier
January 2, 1932 – November 28, 2018
Joseph Guy Yvon Pelletier, age 86, of Auburn, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours of November 28th at Marshwood Center in Lewiston. He was born in Riviere-Bleue, Quebec, Canada on January 2, 1932 to Isaie Pelletier an American and Isabelle (Beaulieu) Pelletier a Canadian. At a very young age, his father was hit and killed by a drunk driver in North Caribou, ME, and his mother was unable to care for four small children on her own, so he and his brothers and sister became wards of the state of Maine. Growing up a foster child in Fort Kent, he often faced harsh treatment from his host family and worked long hours on their potato farm. Seizing upon an opportunity to run away in his teens, he joined the King’s Brothers Circus when they rolled into town, embarking on many exciting adventures with the traveling show. At 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and proudly served his country overseas in the Korean War. Honorably discharged following the war, he endured many years of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (long before PTSD was known about or treated). He also suffered from several other service-related health issues, including a serious heart condition that he lived with for more than half his life, surviving five major heart attacks and a triple bypass. After leaving the Army, he lived in CT for a while and worked for the Underwood Typewriter Company and then assembled airplanes for Pratt-Whitney Aircraft. At 26, he felt led into the ministry and enrolled at Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, MA. While attending a Seventh-Day Adventist camp meeting nearby, he met the love of his life, Eleanor Lashua, and they married in Boston five years later. They moved to Keene, NH for two years, where they both taught public school in nearby towns, and where their first child was born. Soon after, he accepted a call to be an assistant SDA minister and moved the family to Auburn, ME in 1963. Eleanor started a career teaching mathematics at Lewiston High School and he also taught school for a while at Pine Tree Academy in Freeport. Other jobs over the ensuing years included working at The Christian Braille Foundation, social work for the state of Maine, and insurance sales. However, declining health and an eight-month stay at Togus VA Hospital in his thirties all while still suffering from PTSD, left him unable to work and he was eventually granted full and permanent disability by the VA. At that time, poor health also prevented him from completing a master’s degree he was pursuing at USM, leaving him only one course shy of graduating. Throughout his lifetime he enjoyed some unusual hobbies and had a variety of interests: handwriting analysis, astronomy, bird watching, making hooked rugs, playing harmonica and the musical saw, singing, reading, operating his HAM radio as N1QHW, bicycling, RV camping with his family along the Maine coast and Canada, and discussing war, politics, and religion. With his easy smile, sparkling eyes, and outgoing nature, he seldom met a person he didn’t make friends with. This year he and his dear wife celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and he enjoyed a spirited Thanksgiving Day at home with his family. He cherished his children, grandchildren, and great granddaughter. Patriotic as ever, he remarked this past Veterans Day that “he’d gladly sign up to serve his country again if they’d take an old guy like him”. A lifelong Christian, he credited God for seeing him through his many hardships and close calls with death. He will be lovingly remembered for having a full life, an unwavering “will to live”, and persevering against all odds. He is predeceased by his beloved mother-in-law, Dorothy Lashua; and survived by his loving wife, Eleanor (Lashua) Pelletier of Auburn; his children, Jonathan Pelletier of Yucatan, Mexico; Dorothy Hill Dyck and husband Dennis of Otisfield, ME; Esther Pelletier of Intervale, NH; and Joel Pelletier of Portland, ME; his grandchildren, Elliana Hill Dixon and husband James; Micayla, Matthew, Tashala, and Solomon Hill; and his great granddaughter, Shania Dixon. Funeral and graveside services are planned for early June 2019, when the ground thaws, and details will be announced in late May. For questions, contact The Fortin Group Funeral Home in Auburn 783-8545. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Hope Haven Gospel Mission, a homeless shelter at 209 Lincoln Street, Lewiston, ME 04240, a cause he cared about.
- Graveside Service