Raymond David Gauvin
June 27, 1929 – March 11, 2021
Raymond David Gauvin June 27, 1929 - March 11, 2021 (age 91)
Portland- With the quiet strength that he displayed throughout his life, Raymond David Gauvin, 91, of Portland, died peacefully on March 11, 2021 after a brief illness. Raymond was born on June 27, 1929 in Caribou, ME, the eldest child of Romey and Anna (Blanchette) Gauvin. Raymond graduated from Caribou High School, attended St. Joseph’s Seminary for a year, and then completed a degree in chemical engineering at St. Francis Xavier in Nova Scotia.
When he was 21, Ray married Welena Parady, and during their 45 years of married life, they raised nine children in Caribou and then in Portland. Ray worked for a variety of construction companies, first at Loring Air Force Base, and then all over Maine. He was a project manager for many of the large construction projects in Maine, many of those while he was with Consolidated Constructors and Builders out of Portland. Ray eventually opened his own engineering consulting business, in part to allow him to spend more time with Welena. Two years after Welena’s death in 1995, Ray married Connie Jennings who shared his church and volunteer interests. Connie was widowed in 1983. They married in St. Joseph’s Church in 1997 and Ray welcomed Connie’s eleven children and their families into his heart. They both loved attending hundreds of sporting, school, theater and other events to support their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In 1976, Ray began to volunteer at Project FEED, an emergency food depot housed at the Woodfords Church. He was still on the Board of Directors and served many years as the Treasurer. In 1988, Ray became an important fixture at the Wayside Evening Soup Kitchen starting as a volunteer coordinator. He eventually became a member of Wayside’s Board of Directors and also served as the organization’s treasurer for many years. He helped Wayside evolve from a three-times-a-week church-based soup kitchen to the critical part of Portland’s safety net for hungry people that it is today.
Perhaps because of the need for blood that he saw during Welena’s battle against tuberculosis in the early 1950’s, Ray was a life long donor for the American Red Cross. In 2008, he was inducted into the Red Cross’s Donation Hall of Fame. Ray donated through platelet pheresis 699 times, a Maine record, before his health forced him to stop just a few years ago.
Ray was a mentor for the Right of Christian Initiation for Adults at St. Joseph’s Church where he also served as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and President of the Parish Council. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus. Ray and Connie were active in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church when they lived in Windham after their marriage. They both were active in the St. Pius parish when they moved back to Portland. Ray attended daily mass there until pandemic restrictions started last year.
Ray was pre-deceased by his wife Welena Parady (1995), wife Connie (St.Onge) Jennings (2015), brothers Roger (1964) and Rodney (2013). Ray is survived by four daughters and five sons: Mary Gallar and husband Peter of Tampa, Fla., Royal Gauvin and wife Theresa of Windham, Ryan Gauvin and wife Carol of Pfluggerville, Texas, Russell Gauvin and wife Janet of Portland, Karen DeCarolis and husband Richard DeCarolis, D.O. of Bethel, Robin Gauvin and wife Theresa of Cumberland, Ronald Gauvin and wife Katie of Libertyville, Ill., Joan Hughes and husband Dan of Dunedin, Fla., Jean Picard and husband David Picard, M.D. of Concord, NH; eleven step-children; Patrick Jennings and wife Suzanne of Daniel Island, SC, Joan Jones and husband Christian of Columbus, NJ, Carol Jennings and husband Mark Schussler of South Portland, Eileen Jennings and husband Anthony Garton of Falmouth, Thomas Jennings and wife Nancy of Mission Viejo, Calif., Diane Jennings of Portland, Donna Jennings and husband Troy Gerton of Manchester, NH, Colleen DiPierro and husband Charles of South Portland and Collette Wain and husband John C. Wain, M.D. of Milton, Mass., Mary Anne McCaffery and husband Robert of So. Walpole, Mass., Shawn Jennings and wife Karen of South Portland; a sister; Doris Thibodeau of East Hartford, CT; 15 grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren, 25 step-grandchildren; and 19 step-great-grandchildren.
Ray's amazing love and kindness, and his life of volunteering and giving was inspiring to many, and his legacy will be carried onward.
Public visiting hours will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 16, 2021 at Jones, Rich and Barnes Funeral Home 199 Woodfords St., Portland. Private prayers will be recited at the funeral home on April 17, 2021 at 09:15 a.m. followed by an 10:00 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Pius X Church, 492 Ocean Avenue, Portland. The Mass will be for family and invited guests to help comply with pandemic restrictions, but will be live-streamed for everyone to view at https://www.facebook.com/jonesrichbarnes. Interment will follow in New Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.jonesrichandbarnes.com
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ray's memory may be made to: Project FEED in Portland at projectfeed.org or to the Wayside Food Programs, PO Box 1278, Portland, Maine 04104.
- Romey Gauvin, Father (deceased)
- Anna (Blanchette) Gauvin, Mother (deceased)
- Welena Parady Gauvin, Wife (deceased)
- Connie (St. Onge) Jennings, Wife (deceased)
- Mary Gallar (Peter Gallar), Daughter
- Royal Gauvin (Theresa Gauvin), Son
- Ryan Gauvin (Carol Gauvin), Son
- Russell Gauvin (Janet Gauvin), Son
- Karen DeCarolis (Richard DeCarolis, D.O.), Daughter
- Robin Gauvin (Theresa Gauvin), Son
- Ronald Gauvin (Katie Gauvin), Son
- Joan Hughes (Dan Hughes), Daughter
- Jean Picard (David Picard, M.D.), Daughter
- Patrick Jennings (Suzanne Jennings), Step Son
- Joan Jones (Christian Jones), Step Daughter
- Carol Jennings (Mark Schussler), Step Daughter
- Eileen Jennings (Anthony Garton), Step Daughter
- Thomas Jennings (Nancy Jennings), Step Son
- Diane Jennings, Step Daughter
- Donna Jennings (Troy Gerton), Step Daughter
- Colleen DiPierro (Charles DiPierro), Step Daughter
- Collette Wain (John C. Wain, M.D.), Step Daughter
- Mary Anne McCaffery (Robert McCaffery), Step Daughter
- Shawn Jennings (Karen Jennings), Step Son
- Roger Gauvin, Brother (deceased)
- Rodney Gauvin, Brother (deceased)
- Doris Thibodeau, Sister
Raymond was also survived by
15 grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren, 25 step-grandchildren; and 19 step-great-grandchildren.
- Project FEED
Wayside Food Programs
P O Box 1278, Portland, Maine 04104
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home
Private Mass of Christian Burial
Raymond David Gauvin
March 31, 2021
My fondest memories of my Grandpa (Papa) were of our trips to Mount Katahdin. Growing up in a military family, we were not in Maine more than once a year to visit. As such, these camping trips during those visits took on a much higher meaning. What better way to get to know the man but in his element. He would tell stories of his time leading scouts through the same terrain. With each trip there, I would get more capable (as I got older) and thus I would frustrate him less. I would like to think that these moments were special to him as well. I know that in the trips I have taken to Katahdin after his knees prevented him from going any longer, I have thought back on our time together and smiled fondly. It's hard to imagine a finer example of a father and grandfather. He will be missed and forever loved.
Conrad &Roberta Walton
March 24, 2021
Our condolences to all the families. What an amazing life he led. Our thoughts and prayers will be with all of you as you celebrate his life.
March 22, 2021
Russ, Robin, and extended family. Very sorry to read about the loss of your dad. Sounds like a great person.
March 21, 2021
I worked with the platelet pheresis staff for many years at the American Red Cross Blood Services. Ray was a core of that program. He gently donated his platelets( a two hour process) and read his book while doing so. We were always delighted to see Ray and Connie walk through the door. I am so thankful to have known him and honor, honor, honor his contribution to those who have needed platelets. My conversations with him are a cherished memory. Meeting members of his family was a treat for the whole ARC pheresis staff. God speed and so many thanks for your generosity in all realms.
Catharine Fox, RN, former director of platelet collections in Maine.
March 19, 2021
Ray's devotion to family was so clear but his devotion to others with need was as well through his years of volunteer work with Project Feed, a food pantry, as Board member and treasurer. The attached photo is from the annual picnic put on by the Board to recognize the volunteers - a special treat for all.
Dorothy Ouellette - Gauvin
March 17, 2021
I first met Raymond when I was in high school while dating his brother, Rodney( who became my husband). He and his family welcomed me into their family. We loved to visit them whenever we could.
A few years later he was our best man and Russell was our
ring bearer at our wedding.
He will be missed.
March 16, 2021
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Ray both as a fellow board member for Wayside Soup Kitchen and later during my year as ED of that organization. We were always happy to see one another and glad to connect whenever our paths crossed in later years. He was a very special person in my life.
March 15, 2021
I had the pleasure of working with Ray for several years at the Paul G. White Tile Co. and always appreciated his professionalism and the gentle manner he brought to work everyday. I know he was dedicated to his family and to his faith and I am certain he will be missed by his family and friends.
March 14, 2021
So very sorry for your loss, Russ , to you and all your family. May you find comfort in all the memories you have all shared with your Dad and Papa❤️❤️❤️
March 13, 2021
Our hearts are broken, but you lived your life well and are now with our Lord.