Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home

199 Woodford Street, Portland, ME



May 14, 1961March 12, 2020

PORTLAND – Mark Gaudet passed away peacefully on March 12, 2020. His life was strengthened by the love and dedication of his mother, Helen Gaudet. As a tiny infant born with Down syndrome, Mark refused a bottle, prompting doctors to tell his mother that he likely would not survive. She disagreed, and kept him alive by feeding him with a dropper. From then on, she made it her mission to advocate for Mark, and to ensure he would experience a full life and everything it had to offer, just like his 12 other siblings.

In his sparkling eyes, she saw a child whose future would include school, friends, work, hobbies, sports, worship, laughter, and love. For 58 straight years, Mark has proven her right. Not only did he live a full life, he showed his siblings and friends just how much joy life has to offer.

Mark was one of the first five students to attend and graduate from Woodfords School for Trainable Children, which became Woodfords Family Services. He attended Camp Waban, landed a job at the Westbrook College (now University of New England), and saved enough money to buy his own condo, where he lived independently for many years, learning to navigate the Metro system to get back and forth to work. With encouragement and support from his sister Helene and her daughters, Mark proudly participated in the Special Olympics, and was the recipient of many medals and ribbons over the years. To see life through Mark’s eyes was to appreciate its simple pleasures – to look in wonderment of the beautiful creation of seashells, to revel in the deep satisfaction of a good cup of coffee, and to sing along with the radio, pouring all your heart into it.

More than anything, Mark loved music (especially the Beatles and the Doors), and could name almost any classic rock tune just from the opening chords. He also loved dancing (especially STRIVE dance-a-thons), coffee (especially from Dunkin Donuts, where he was an honorary employee), good food, and pretty girls (especially his longtime girlfriend, Kathleen Maria).

Mark welcomed any invitation to get out and have some fun, including many family gatherings in Jackman, boating on Casco Bay (where he earned the title Captain Mark), and seeing the Red Sox at Fenway. He also attended concerts with much excitement, including the Beach Boys and the Monkees. Every week, he looked forward to his Saturday breakfast outing with the boys, a tradition his father started and his brothers continued. He was included in all family events, and his family wouldn’t have it any other way, as he was a joy to be around. He was a lifelong parishioner of Saint Pius X Church, and made his mother especially proud with his deep and sincere worship at Mass. When Mark prayed, mountains moved.

And when Mark hugged you, he hugged you completely, enveloping you in love. One of Mark’s favorite lines was “Don’t worry, be happy.” He was one of the happiest people you could be around, and his mood was contagious. He leaves a legacy of perseverance, strength, happiness, and most importantly, love.

When his father passed away, Mark lifted the mood for everyone by reminding us that his dad was now in heaven, like Jim Morrison, John Lennon, and Mark’s nephew Peter. While we wish we had more time with Mark here on earth, it brings us comfort to know that Mark will be singing and dancing in Heaven with all the people he has been praying he would meet there one day.

Mark is predeceased by his father Arnold Gaudet and mother Helen Gaudet. He is survived by his 12 siblings, including John Gaudet, who with his wife Susan served as Mark’s guardians and loving advocates, Norma (Everett) Conlogue, Anne (John) Colucci, Claire (Larry) Garvey, Arleen (Ken) Burke, Arnold (Donna) Gaudet, Leo (Pam) Gaudet, Claude (Shirley) Gaudet, Paul (Janice) Gaudet, James (Justine) Gaudet, Marie (Tim) Flaherty, and Helene (John) Porter, as well as many nieces and nephews who gave him lots of attention.

Family and friends are invited to attend a time of visitation on Friday, May 15, 2020 from 4 to 6 PM at Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St. Portland. Prayers will be said at the funeral home on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 9:30 AM followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM at St. Pius X Church, 492 Ocean Ave. Portland. Interment will follow at Brooklawn Memorial Park, 2002 Congress St. Portland.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating in Mark’s memory to Maine Special Olympics, 125 John Roberts Rd., #19, South Portland ME 04106, or online at somaine.org.


15 May

Visiting Hours

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home

199 Woodford St.
Portland , Maine 04103

16 May

A Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am

St. Pius X Church

492 Ocean Ave.
Portland , Maine

16 May


Brooklawn Memorial Park

2002 Congress St.
Portland , Maine



have a memory or condolence to add?

Robin Hargreaves

March 26, 2020

I’m so sorry about your loss. Mark was an awesome young man always giving thumbs up. I remember him coming to my wedding and holding my flowers for me. He was great to work with, have thought of him often. Now he can be with Patrick Swayze and all the other people he loved to watch and listen too.

Sarah Benn

March 25, 2020

I worked with Mark over twenty years ago when he had his first apartment. He had the most wonderful sense of humor and his smile was the best part of my day. He would make up his own lyrics to Beach Boy songs and went rock climbing a few times at the Maine Rock Gym. He could reenact whole scenes from his favorite movies and was an all around fabulously cool guy. I loved spending time with him and I’m lucky I got to know him. He was a sweet and beautiful soul.

Michael Murphy

March 19, 2020

To the entire Gaudet family, I am so sorry to hear of Mark's passing. It was a pleasure to have meet such an increditable individual. My prayers and thoughts go out to you in these trying times.

Michael and Helen Murphy

Viann Nappi

March 19, 2020

Dear Marie and Family, sending love, hugs and prayers your way.
The obituary of your sweet brother was simply beautiful, what a lovely man!!
Love, Viann and Anthony Nappi

Jack Fox

March 17, 2020

Mary and I were saddened to hear of Mark's passing and offer our sincere condolences to the Gaudet Family and all of Mark's friends. His life has added fun, understanding and a brighter outlook to our lives. The Woodfords School experience was more beneficial to the staff than it was to the students..... what a great time. Thank you to the Gaudet Family for being pioneers and Mark's greatest advocates. And Mark.... thank you for teaching us how to live a good life

Kendall White

March 16, 2020

My late sister-in-law Jan White first met Mark in a professional capacity due to her work but Mark’s unique, sweet character soon changed that to a close, personal friendship with Jan and my brother Bill that lasted for many, many years and certainly had nothing to do with work. It was based on the joy ,happiness and affection that Mark infused every gathering with.
I sympathize with the Gaudet family for your loss but sincerely thank you all for the pleasure of your brother’s companionship through the years.

Catharine Fox

March 16, 2020

I remember Mark well from his Woodfords days. That great smile and his twinkling eyes!! I'm sorry for your loss. May your fond memories bring a smile to your faces as it does mine.
Sincerely, Catharine Fox

Betsy Wooster

March 16, 2020

My condolences to my dear cousins on the lost of their brother Mark. I didn't know Mark well personally but I knew him from the tales his siblings told me. The stories were full of love and I was glad to see one being retold the obituary. He was well loved and he loved you all in return.

Becky Howland

March 15, 2020

John and Susan Gaudet. Your care and love was an incredible example of the best that humanity can give. It was wonderful to know Mark and to watch your love.

Tammy Reynolds

March 15, 2020

I will forever remember Mark's smile and laugh. He was truly a happy person put some music on and he was all smiles. I had the pleasure of knowing him and will miss his loving nature. To Susan, you were his person. In the last 10 years if anything was wrong he wanted to know where Susan was and when he saw you, especially with coffee in hand, the world was again right and joyful.