Roger Jean Gendron
March 4, 1943 – May 12, 2019
Portland - Roger J. Gendron, 76, of Portland ME passed away on May 12, 2019 at the Gosnell Hospice House in Scarborough. Roger was born in Biddeford, ME on March 4, 1943 the son of Normand Jean Baptiste and Gertrude Eva Pooler. After graduating from Biddeford High School Roger went to Ohio State University for 2 years before he was drafted to serve his country in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1967. Once returning home, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Maine in Gorham graduating in 1976.
Roger worked for 38 years at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as the Business Manager. One of his primary responsibilities was to act as a consultant with Washington DC for BRAC closures. While there he worked with Senators Mitchell and Cohen to ensure that PNSY stayed open saving hundreds of jobs. Prior to his retirement in 2002 many people gave Roger credit for saving the shipyard in the latest round of closures. Although Roger loved his job at PNSY and his 3 years as a full-time consultant, his true passion was with the 18 years as a Professor of Astronomy at USM teaching night classes.
His love of astronomy was so strong that he would travel to his children and grandchildren’s classes to talk to their classmates about it. Anyone that traveled to his home can talk about his passion as he built his very own full functional one of a kind Astronomical Dome in his backyard. He belonged to the Astronomical Society of Northern New England, traveled to many Stellafane meetings in Vermont where people came from all over the world to meet many prominent Astronomy scientists and hear them speak.
Roger had something that was even more special to him, however, and that was his grandchildren, children, and wife Donna. Together Donna and Roger traveled often; attending Red Sox games in Toronto and Baltimore, trips to Alaska and Hawaii, cruises, and even to Germany to watch an eclipse. They could frequently be found at Sebago Lake Campground camping with 7 couples for over 20 years always making friends where they traveled. He loved his New England sport teams always rooting them on to victory and he could always hear the roar of “Go Buckeyes!” during college football season.
Roger was the rock of his family and recently stated his family was his biggest achievement. Being the best husband, father and Grampa for his family was what Roger did. His grandchildren loved and cherished their Grampa always wanting to be around him.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years (6/7/1969) Donna (Bledsoe) Gendron; his son Bill and his wife Kim Gendron of Gorham, daughter Michelle and her husband Anthony DiPietrantonio of Gorham, grandchildren Katelyn, Ryan, Meghan, and Tyler Gendron, William and Bryce DiPietrantonio; sister Geraldine and her husband John Lambert of Alfred; brother Russell Gendron of St. Louis Missouri; his Sister in Law Sharon Rogers and her husband Dean Rogers and nephew Mark Rogers all of Westbrook; mother in law Virginia Vaillancourt of Portland. He was predeceased by his parents and father in law William. Vaillancourt.
The family invites you to a time of visitation on Friday May 17th from 4:00 to 7:00pm at Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St, Portland. A Funeral Service will be celebrated on Saturday May 18th at 9:30am at Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St, Portland followed by a Committal Service at Brooklawn Memorial Park in Portland.
You may offer your condolences and share your memories at www.jonesrichandbarnes.com
- Normand Jean Baptiste, Father
- GErtrude Eva Pooler, Mother
- Donna Gendron, Wife
- Bill Gendron, Son
- Kim Gendron, Daughter-in-law
- Michelle DiPietrantonio, Daughter
- Anthony DiPietrantonio, Son-in-law
- Katelyn Gendron, Granddaughter
- Ryan Gendron, Grandson
- Meghan Gendron, Granddaughter
- Tyler Gendron, Grandson
- William DiPietrantonio, Grandson
- Bryce DiPietrantonio, Grandson
- Geraldine Lambert, Sister
- John Lambert, Brother-in-law
- Russell Gendron, Brother
- Sharon Rogers, Sister-in-law
- Dean Rogers, Sharon's Husband
- Mark Rogers, Nephew
- Virginia Vaillancourt, Mother-in-law
- William Vaillancourt, Father-in-law
- Visitation Friday, May 17, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, May 18, 2019
- Committal Service and Military Honors Saturday, May 18, 2019
Roger Jean Gendron
Wanda Ratliff and Dave LaRochelle
May 16, 2019
Dearest Cousin Donna,
We are so deeply sorry for your loss. Roger was an extra special person, and you and Roger shared an exceptional, enduring bond. I always admired your devotion to one another and to your families.
I have such fond memories of Roger... his passion for astronomy, showing us the observatory he built in your backyard, explaining how he constructed it, and showing us through his telescope the wonders of the night sky... his love for photography, comparing camera features and tips with Dave, and sharing his many wonderful photos from Bunt's 60th birthday party... and most of all, his kindness, support, and obvious love for you, his family, and for Uncle Billy and Aunt Virginia.
While Roger was most often behind the camera, here is a photo Dave took of Roger at Aunt Virginia's surprise 90th birthday party. I will always remember Roger's kind heart and warm smile, and the twinkle in his eyes when he smiled.
Love & Hugs,
Wanda and Dave
May 15, 2019
To the Gendron Family,
I offer my heartfelt condolences. Roger was a wonderful man and a class act. May he Rest in Peace and prayers for the family.
Melinda Colucci (Geason)
May 15, 2019
Few people are as fortunate as you have been to have such a loving and devoted husband. I remember your “glove compartment” story when Roger proposed to you, and how beautiful your wedding day was! I recall playing, and losing, every game of UNO at the table when I visited. I shall always admire the kind of father he was, along with you, to have raised such exceptional children who are raising lovely children of their own. And I especially respect and cherish everything he did to make your mom’s life easier after your dad passed away. You and Roger had the kind of special relationship and partnership that every marriage should aspire to, one based on a deep love and appreciation for each other, and for family. He will be sadly missed by many, but happily remembered by all...
Sharon, Dean & Mark Rogers
May 14, 2019
Roger you were the greatest....we are going to miss you so very much. I promise to help Tippy through this time.
Donna, Bill & Michelle and family our hearts ❤️ has been ripped in half. I pray that all of you will find the strength to go on....one day at a time. Keep reliving all the wonderful times we’ve had as a family and all the amazing trips you both were so fortunate to experience.
Roger was in the Over Thirty League with Dean and here is photo of Roger, Mark and Dean . One of Deans greatest joy was to play ball with his brother-in-law. They were heading to a big game that day. Roger#9 and Dean #97 on the Mets team. So very proud. Rest In Peace my loving brother -in-law.🥰🥰😘😘💗💗💗♥️♥️💕💕
May 14, 2019
There were many family events Roger and Donna have attended. Roger was always enjoyable to talk to and always had very interesting comments about topics. One particular Thanksgiving at our family home, my grandfather had a mechanical puzzle to solve. He handed it to Roger and asked him if he would like to try it. Roger worked on the puzzle quietly and meticulously for about and hour. I marveled at his attention to the puzzle and the methodical method of solving it.
Another time, Roger invited several of us to see the backyard observatory. He was very proud of it and showed us various stars and planets while we were there. I always enjoyed discussions with Roger, we will miss him.