SAINT AGATHA - James Montfort Chamberland, 71, a lifelong resident of St. Agatha, passed away on Friday, November 14, 2020, in the comfort of his home surrounded by his wife, children, and granddaughter. He was born Feb. 22, 1949, in St. Agatha, the son of Gerard B. and Eva (Guerrette) Chamberland.
He attended St. Agatha schools and graduated from Wisdom High School in 1967. He then attended the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham (USM), where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1971. That same year, he married his high school sweetheart and classmate, Rita Morin. James taught Industrial Arts at Madawaska High School for 13 years while also working at Gerard B. Chamberland & Sons, a family business. He then purchased and operated the family business, now known as Chamberland Building Supplies, with his wife Rita for the next 30 years.
He was instrumental in the development of St. Agatha Housing, the towns first elderly, subsidized apartments. He was a charter member, served on the board of directors, was secretary clerk and manager from 1972 to 1991. James was the developer and co-owner of Montfort Heights housing where he also was responsible for the management and maintenance from 1978 to 2018. He built the St. Agatha Fire Department and Municipal Town Garage. He also developed and constructed the first subdivision in town on James Street and was involved in many other projects.
James enjoyed gardening, fishing, working on his land, and taking pontoon rides on Long Lake with his family. One of his favorite places was Quebec City, a place where he could connect with his strong French cultural heritage. A love for this area was instilled when he first visited as a child with his parents on their annual trip to the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.
He was predeceased by his parents; sister Louise, brother Ronald and infant brother Ellis. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Rita (Morin); daughter, Michelle, her fiancé, Dan Brown, of Brewer; son Mark, of Boston, MA; granddaughter, Alyssa, her partner, Patrick Gunn of Bangor. He is also survived by his siblings, Jacqueline and husband, Frank Blesso, of Patterson, NJ, Arlene and husband, Ken Lerman, of St. Agatha, and Jeanne Chamberland of St. Agatha; many nieces and nephews.
James was known for his strong work ethic, love for his family, and community along with his selflessness and generosity. His family will be forever grateful for the many cards, beautiful flowers, and countless prayers offered to help him through his 5-year battle with cancer.
Due to the current pandemic, funeral services will be private and by invitation only. Rev. James Plourde officiating. His headstone will be placed in the lower cemetery at a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to the Long Lake Public Library, St. Agatha Historical Society or Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund. Written condolences may be sent to the family at PO Box 206, St. Agatha, ME 04772.
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