OBITUARY

Alfreda M. Veilleux

June 7, 1922December 24, 2018
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Alfreda M. Veilleux, 96 Waterville - Our Mom, Alfreda M. Veilleux (Rossignol), died peacefully Christmas Eve morning, December 24, 2018, surrounded by her loving family at the Oak Grove Care Center in Waterville. She was 96 years young. She was born June 7, 1922 in Ashland, Maine, the seventh child of Octave P. Rossignol and Helen E. Landry. Her family moved to Waterville in the early 1920’s, and she resided in the Waterville/Winslow area for the remainder of her life. Mom married our Dad, Fernand O. Veilleux on August 17, 1940 and together they raised six boys on North Street and Edgemont Avenue. They enjoyed 42 years of marriage together until Dad’s unexpected death in 1982. Spending summers on North Pond entertaining and cooking for her extended family are memories we will all cherish forever. Gardening, canning, fishing, crocheting, knitting and puzzle making brought great joy to her life, but the time spent with her family were the most precious of all. She worked as a seamstress for the C. F. Hathaway Company, retiring in 1984 after 28 years of dedicated service. She was a skilled quilter using samples to make numerous patch quilts that many of her family received as treasured gifts. Freda, as she was affectionately known, was a strong Christian and a faithful communicant of Sacred Heart Church. She was also a member of the Daughters of Isabella. Her faith was of utmost importance in her life and this strong faith along with the love of her family carried her through many personal losses over the years. She will be forever remembered as our “rock”. She was predeceased by her parents and siblings: Emily Buzzell, Oram Rossignol, Roland Rossignol, Irene Couture, Lorraine Gagnon, Louis Rossignol, Rose Grenier, Noella Rossignol, Madeline Mattall, Harold Rossignol, Jackie Rossignol, her mother and father-in-law, Esdras and Roseanna Veilleux and numerous brothers and sisters-in-law on the Rossignol and Veilleux side. She was also predeceased by sons Gene, David and Daniel Veilleux and grandson Matthew Veilleux. Mom is survived by three sons: Alan and wife Susan of Winslow; Steven and wife Sally of Belgrade; Leonard and wife Ella of Florida; three daughters-in-law Sheila (Gene) Veilleux of Florida; Rachel (Daniel) Veilleux of Rhode Island; Cheryl (David) Veilleux of Georgia; 14 grandchildren: Michelle (Greg) Stanek, Sara Ryckis, Alycia (Joseph) Monroe, Therese (Jerome) Pascuzzi, John Veilleux, Aaron (Toni) Veilleux, Anthony (Kristen) Veilleux, Danielle (Stephen) Taber, Andrea (Jason) Kipp, Ryan Veilleux, Melissa (Joseph) Peters, Lauren (Philip) Joseph and Nathan (Whitney) Veilleux; 22 great-grandchildren: Toby, Benjamin, Dylan, Cullen, Camryn, Zachary, Nicholas, Rebecca, Gabriel, Olivia, Aiden, Allison, Zachary, Grace, Jackson, Lidia, Maya, Isabella, Molly, Avery, Christopher and Benjamin. She is also survived by two close brothers: Bert Rossignol of Florida; Ronald Rossignol and wife Shirley of Waterville; sisters-in-law: Barbara Marino of Florida; Lorraine Zelenkewich of Connecticut; Juanita Veilleux of California; Bertha Bolduc of Arizona and Joyce Armstrong of Kentucky. Our special thanks to the entire staff at the Oak Grove Care Center, Maine General Home Care and Hospice and Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area for their exceptional care, kindness and support during her stay. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday January 19, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 72 Pleasant Street, Waterville, Maine and a spring burial will be held at the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Augusta, Maine. Please visit www.veilleuxfuneralhome.com to view a video collage of Mom’s life and to share condolences, memories and tributes with her family. Donations may be made in Mom’s memory to: Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, 101 Silver Street, Waterville, Maine 04901 or to the charity of your choice.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, January 19, 2019

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Burial - Spring 2019
REMEMBERING

Alfreda M. Veilleux

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Danielle Taber

January 1, 2019

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Biography

Alfreda M. Veilleux, 96
Waterville - Our Mom, Alfreda M. Veilleux (Rossignol), died peacefully Christmas Eve morning, December 24, 2018, surrounded by her loving family at the Oak Grove Care Center in Waterville. She was 96 years young.
She was born June 7, 1922 in Ashland, Maine, the seventh child of Octave P. Rossignol and Helen E. Landry. Her family moved to Waterville in the early 1920’s, and she resided in the Waterville/Winslow area for the remainder of her life.
Mom married our Dad, Fernand O. Veilleux on August 17, 1940 and together they raised six boys on North Street and Edgemont Avenue. They enjoyed 42 years of marriage together until Dad’s unexpected death in 1982. Spending summers on North Pond entertaining and cooking for her extended family are memories we will all cherish forever. Gardening, canning, fishing, crocheting, knitting and puzzle making brought great joy to her life, but the time spent with her family were the most precious of all.
She worked as a seamstress for the C. F. Hathaway Company, retiring in 1984 after 28 years of dedicated service. She was a skilled quilter using samples to make numerous patch quilts that many of her family received as treasured gifts.
Freda, as she was affectionately known, was a strong Christian and a faithful communicant of Sacred Heart Church. She was also a member of the Daughters of Isabella. Her faith was of utmost importance in her life and this strong faith along with the love of her family carried her through many personal losses over the years. She will be forever remembered as our “rock”.
She was predeceased by her parents and siblings: Emily Buzzell, Oram Rossignol, Roland Rossignol, Irene Couture, Lorraine Gagnon, Louis Rossignol, Rose Grenier, Noella Rossignol, Madeline Mattall, Harold Rossignol, Jackie Rossignol, her mother and father-in-law, Esdras and Roseanna Veilleux and numerous brothers and sisters-in-law on the Rossignol and Veilleux side. She was also predeceased by sons Gene, David and Daniel Veilleux and grandson Matthew Veilleux.
Mom is survived by three sons: Alan and wife Susan of Winslow; Steven and wife Sally of Belgrade; Leonard and wife Ella of Florida; three daughters-in-law Sheila (Gene) Veilleux of Florida; Rachel (Daniel) Veilleux of Rhode Island; Cheryl (David) Veilleux of Georgia; 14 grandchildren: Michelle (Greg) Stanek, Sara Ryckis, Alycia (Joseph) Monroe, Therese (Jerome) Pascuzzi, John Veilleux, Aaron (Toni) Veilleux, Anthony (Kristen) Veilleux, Danielle (Stephen) Taber, Andrea (Jason) Kipp, Ryan Veilleux, Melissa (Joseph) Peters, Lauren (Philip) Joseph and Nathan (Whitney) Veilleux; 22 great-grandchildren: Toby, Benjamin, Dylan, Cullen, Camryn, Zachary, Nicholas, Rebecca, Gabriel, Olivia, Aiden, Allison, Zachary, Grace, Jackson, Lidia, Maya, Isabella, Molly, Avery, Christopher and Benjamin.
She is also survived by two close brothers: Bert Rossignol of Florida; Ronald Rossignol and wife Shirley of Waterville; sisters-in-law: Barbara Marino of Florida; Lorraine Zelenkewich of Connecticut; Juanita Veilleux of California; Bertha Bolduc of Arizona and Joyce Armstrong of Kentucky.
Our special thanks to the entire staff at the Oak Grove Care Center, Maine General Home Care and Hospice and Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area for their exceptional care, kindness and support during her stay.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday January 19, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 72 Pleasant Street, Waterville, Maine and a spring burial will be held at the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Augusta, Maine. Please visit www.veilleuxfuneralhome.com to view a video collage of Mom’s life and to share condolences, memories and tributes with her family.
Donations may be made in Mom’s memory to: Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, 101 Silver Street, Waterville, Maine 04901 or to the charity of your choice.

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The following Words of Remembrance were given by Alfreda's son Steven Veilleux during her Mass of Christian Burial at Sacred Heart Church on Saturday January 19, 2019:

On behalf of our entire family I would like to thank all of you for being here this morning to celebrate our mom’s amazing life. I would also like to thank Father Dan for opening up Sacred Heart Church for this celebration.

Life goes somewhat full circle in that my parents were married in this church in 1940. This church has also been a strong focal point in our family over the years. We have enjoyed many beautiful occasions from baptisms to confirmations to weddings but have also shared many sad times in this church with the funerals of some of our immediate family members. My brothers David, Danny and Alan were also altar boys in this church and one of the proudest moments in my mother’s life was the day David was ordained as a Deacon in the Catholic Church. Needless to say, this is the only place our family could truly say goodbye to our mum.

Mum was born on June 7, 1922 in Ashland, Maine. She was the seventh child of 14 children. She was the last child of their Rossignol family to be born in Ashland. Her family then moved to the Waterville/Winslow area where mum lived for the rest of her life. She came from a generation of hard working people who did what they had to do to survive, did not complain, had amazingly strong faith and love of family. She shared a strong bond with her brothers and sisters. They shared many good times together over the years. Whenever they got together there was always lots of joy, laughter and storytelling. As years passed, so did almost all of her siblings. She found it very difficult when each of her siblings passed, but their passing only made the bond stronger with the siblings that remained.

On August 17, 1940 mum married dad and their wonderful life together began.

I want to talk today a little bit about the two lives of our mother. One life being what I am going to term BS, which is Before Steven and the other being AS, After Steven. Before Steven were the years when mum and dad saw some challenging times; mainly, working hard, both day and night, to support five boys. My brother Alan talks about days of working in the gardens at Edgemont Avenue and Fairfield Center. Then came the endless canning - numerous quarts of vegetables just to survive.

While working full time at the Hathaway and raising 5 growing boys, mum also took on the huge task of caring for our Uncle Richard, a quadriplegic who lived with us for about 8 years. At this same time, my father’s parents lived on the second floor of our house in a makeshift apartment, while my older brothers slept in bunk beds in the second-floor bedrooms. 8 Edgemont Avenue certainly holds a lot of memories and the house still remains in our family today.

There were always good times nestled in with this hard work and Alan also talks about the early days at our camp in Smithfield, the trips to the coast (digging our own clams and enjoying a nice lobster and clam feed), summer vacations tenting out at Stockton Springs in an old army surplus tent with Uncle Bob, Aunt Ethel and their family, family get togethers on Christmas Eve with mum cooking 25 to 30 tourtierre pies, going to midnight mass and after mass enjoying a huge family party until the wee hours of the morning. Alan also reminisced about the days of ice fishing with Aunt Irene and Uncle Roland. Bundling up the kids, driving to their destination, parking and then walking out onto the ice and digging every hole by hand. Sounds like fun doesn’t it?

Alan shared another memory which amazes me…picture Mum and Aunt Lorraine loading, at times, at least 10 of their children collectively, on the floor of our Uncle Ray’s milk truck and driving to the Skowhegan State Fair. No seatbelts back in that day!

Many of you don’t know this, but there was twenty years difference between me and our oldest brother Gene and ten years difference between me and my brother Alan. After all my brothers had grown up and left the house, it was just my parents and I that were left together. That is why I term this portion of remembrance, Life After Steven. There are many things that I remember about mum growing up. Number one, her being a great cook. Delicious aromas were always alive in our kitchen - from her famous homemade soups, Saturday night and special occasion baked beans, cabbage rolls, her molasses cookies, tourtierre pies and the list goes on and on. I guess I inherited my love of cooking from her.

During the summers at camp, it became an annual rite of summer that the Veilleux and Rossignol families visited, spent time and enjoyed family while playing horseshoes, cribbage, swimming and playing cards, but I think what mum enjoyed the most was being in the kitchen cooking and cleaning for everyone. For some unknown reason Mum enjoyed doing dishes.

The Skowhegan Fair, Whitmore’s Restaurant on Saturday night and the long drives up around Moosehead Lake and Greenville just to go for a ride were some of my favorite summer memories with my mum and dad. Don’t tell anybody, but this is how I learned how to drive, and I am not going to tell you how old I was at the time!

Mum and dad would also take off with our little 14-foot boat and venture over to Little North Pond spending hours fishing for white perch. I remember many nights that mum would sit at the kitchen sink at camp cleaning a five-gallon bucket of white perch. I can tell you that she never fileted one perch in her life. Every fish was completely scaled, cleaned, de-finned and put in the freezer to be eaten in the days to come. I can remember going to the sink and seeing perch scales all over the place. Mum never complained about doing this because I think down deep she was playing her part in feeding her family.

We always loved winter and especially spending time at our camp in Smithfield. Mum and Dad enjoyed long snowmobile rides often leaving me at camp alone for numerous hours. I distinctly remember them leaving me one time and coming back so late that I missed the squirt hockey travel team tryouts. I cried and cried but eventually got them back. For the next several years, they were forced to spend many days in hockey rinks and travel all over New England taking me to numerous hockey tournaments. However, down deep, I think that mum and dad really enjoyed this time together as a couple. They were truly two peas in a pod. They never went anywhere unless they were together. I can only hope that our families will know the joy of sharing a bond as special as the one that they had.

Fast forward to when Dad started getting sick and mum spent most of her time taking care of him. What a trooper she was. Finally getting her driver’s license to take dad to his appointments, driving them back and forth to camp, continuing to work and most importantly, getting them to church on Sunday morning. I think the hardest day in mum’s life was when dad died unexpectedly. She truly felt that she could not go on without our father. However, her strong faith and devotion to her children and grandchildren is what drove her to be the person that we can only hope to become someday.

After dad’s passing we were not sure how mum would handle the life of being alone without her soulmate but she was truly remarkable. She never complained and for the next 35 years took life one day at a time, again relying on her faith and the love of the family. Mum enjoyed many hobbies such as knitting hats, mittens and slippers which we all were given during birthdays and holidays. She crocheted intricate doilies and had a knack for creating the most remarkable patchwork quilts that most of us have in our homes today. During her time alone, she really enjoyed playing solitaire, but I think her most important past time was making puzzles. Whenever we visited, she would always take pride in showing us the puzzles she completed and how beautiful they were. She was always certain to express her disappointment when there was that one DAMN piece missing,

For a few years she and a couple of her friends began taking bus trips together, but the true highlight of her travels was a trip to Rome to see the Pope, any devout Catholic’s dream!
At 90 years young, she would cross a busy street with her walker to visit her friend Amanda. Hearing impaired mum crossing to visit her vision impaired friend. Quite a pair but they enjoyed long summer days spent on the swing with her other Winslow friends. Just sitting outside and watching the traffic go by with Juliet brought her great enjoyment.

When we would visit at her apartment in Winslow, we would never know what we might find her doing when we opened the door. Nothing she did ever ceased to amaze us. Catching her watching naked and afraid on tv (and of course her sharing her version of what happens on the show), carrying her sewing machine from the bedroom to the kitchen in her walker basket because she had a pair of pants she had to hem. Making soup, grilled cheese, hot dogs in a frying pan (with a room full of smoke) and making her molasses cookies. She was always dusting and cleaning an already clean house (usually without her walker) – she was an immaculate housekeeper and she never slowed down.

As a lot of you will recall, mum loved to talk, loved conversation, but most importantly loved to spice up a story. This was especially true during the last ten or fifteen years of her life when she struggled with slight dementia. That said, there were many times that Alan and I would look at each other and one of us would say, “you know, that story was actually true”. Endless summer Sunday’s at Alan’s Pool watching her grandchildren and great grandchildren learn to swim and listening to mum tell her stories are now cherished memories that we will hold dear. We enjoyed many delicious lobster bakes at the pool together over the years. Even at 96 years old, mum could still take careful time to clean and destroy a plate of lobster.

Losing Dad and our brothers Gene, David and Danny were almost more than we thought mum would be able to bear. Her strength during these times made us all stand a little taller and keep going. She was our “rock”. That said, Memorial Day was a very important holiday to her. She always looked forward to our day spent together bringing flowers to our dad and brothers’ graves. We would pick her up, the car full of red, white, and blue flag-adorned arrangements and she literally did not stop talking the entire day. To Waterville, Skowhegan, a brief pitstop at our house for lunch and finishing at the Veterans Cemetery in Augusta proved to be a wonderful day. She could not thank us enough for making it happen year after year. Between Alan and I, we never missed a year celebrating that day with her.

One of the hardest decisions we had to make was moving mum from her apartment to the Sunset Home and eventually to Oak Grove, taking her independence away. She had a couple days of complaining, but I think down deep she knew it was the right thing to do. One thing that mum did not want to be was a burden on any of us. In her time at the nursing home, I can honestly count on one hand the number of times she said that she wanted to go home. The wonderful staff at the Oak Grove Center grew to love mum and enjoyed sharing her antics with us. Her personality and quick wit always kept them on their toes. One of her favorite nurses told us she went up to mum one day, gave her a big hug and said, “when I grow I want to be just like you!” Special thanks to all the angels who cared for her and cared for us during our last days together.

As a Grammy, she was one of the best. She was blessed with 14 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. Each one of you felt her love. Watching you grow and become the special people you are today brought her immense joy. Even until the very end, she knew you were there with her.

During the last couple weeks of her life we kept hoping that mum would say to us that she was ready to go. She never did – not even at the end. We know it wasn’t the fear of what lied ahead in her pending passing; but more importantly, mum did not want to leave the beautiful family and legacy that both she and dad had created.

Mums passing has left a big void in our lives and an even bigger hole in our hearts. Even though she was 96 years old, we would have been happy to have a healthy her around for another 10 years. We are thankful for the sense of humor that she has bestowed on all of us. As you all know, she did have quite a sense of humor, sometimes saying things that were more than borderline inappropriate, but that was our mum and we will all miss her. Again, our beautiful mother’s amazing sense of humor still makes us smile today.

There seems to be a common theme in our mother’s life, the 3 F’s – Faith, Family and Fun. In the words of Father Dan, you are leaving here today with some homework. In mum’s memory, please be true to your faith and let it be your guide, love your family like it is your last day with them and enjoy fun and laughter like there is no tomorrow.

I want to end today by quoting the famous philosopher, Winnie the Pooh. Winnie said, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” We were lucky enough to have had mum for 96 plus years and it truly has been hard to say good bye.