ROSAIRE (ROSS) PARADIS
Rosaire (Ross) Paradis, Jr., 83, passed away peacefully on his birthday, May 5th, at High View Manor in Madawaska, where he was a resident for two years. He was born on May 5, 1940, in Ste-Agathe, Maine, son of Rosaire and Cecile Gagnon Paradis; he was one of nine children. Ross was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 26 years ago, like his dad, Rosaire, brother Yvan, Uncles Raoul and Valère before him.
It was a pleasant surprise for Ross when he went to long-term care and was attended by some of his former students from Wisdom High School and Madawaska High School where he taught. He considered this a priceless gift. He accepted his diagnosis with equanimity, but it changed his life so dramatically physically, but his intellect remained intact. He accepted his new reality and never complained. Pourquoi pas moi! Why not me! The qualities he learned throughout his life endured for him – courage, patience, fortitude, respect for others, tolerance, kindness, and a smile for everyone who crossed his path.
He started his formation at Dewey Elementary School in Frenchville with the Holy Rosary Sisters followed by St. Joseph High School Bucksport with the Marist Priests and graduated at the top of his class. He did undergraduate work at l’ Université St. Louis in Edmundston, N. B. with Eudist priests and earned a BA at Boston College with the Jesuits.
He was the first male teacher hired at l’Academie Notre Dame de la Sagesse in Ste-Agathe, a boarding school for women and public school. He coached all the sports, and became a teacher of English, French, and Latin. This is where he met Judy Ayotte, who became his wife. They would have been married 53 years on June 12th, 2023. They became a team and supported one another throughout their lives. They gave Marriage Encounter weekends for three years in New Brunswick, Québec, and Louisiana; Ross translated the talks in French.
At the Madawaska Middle-High School, he organized several trips to Europe where students experienced the French language and culture. He wanted to give back to the young people in our area. Europeans were amazed that these young Americans could speak French fluently! He also started a school newspaper, the Night Owl, and helped with the yearbook. Ross chaired the language department. He was in the teaching profession for 36 years. He was a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus.
Ross then embarked on a legislative career in 2000 as a Maine State House Representative. He remained a strong advocate for and champion of Maine’s large Franco-American population with emphasis on the preservation of the French language and culture. He co-founded Le Club Français and was president of the Association of French-speaking parliamentarians, an international group dedicated to democracy and justice in over 30 nations where French is either the primary language or a prominent second language. He was inducted into Maine’s Franco-American Hall of Fame.
Ross is survived by his wife, Judy Ayotte Paradis, of Frenchville; four sisters: Gilberte Galko of Georgetown, Texas; Rose Marie McQuarrie of Frenchville; Rita and her husband Bob Hines of East Hartford, Connecticut; Janice and her husband Norman Dufour of Madawaska; one brother James and his wife Melvena of Orting, Washington; 17 nephews and nieces - Michelle, Andy, Mike, Dee, Joe Jr., Steve, Greg, Paul, Nina, Peggy, Dan, Marcie, Julie, Sarah, Andrea, Katelyn; 23 great nephews and nieces, Spencer, Owen, Neal, Caleb, Rachel, Alex, Paige, Ava, Emily, Abigail, Jake, Nathalie, Grace, Parker, Addison, Joselyn, Damase, Elena, Mia, Catherine, Isabelle, Daniel, Xolani, Nizhoni Rocco, Iona, Sigrid; 6 godchildren; Julie Paradis Crosslin, Tee Jai Lee, Jim Melvin, Katelyn Dufour, Steve Galko, and Andrew McQuarrie, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Arlene Paradis, Thérèse, Joan, Jackie, Doris, Clarence and Helen, Mary Ann LeBlanc, John and Clara, Larry and Theresa, many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, brothers Yvan and Ronnie, sister Irene, brothers-in-law, Joe Galko and Andrew McQuarrie, niece Edith Ann McQuarrie. We acknowledge the kind support of Sheila Jans, Marilyn Beaupré, Linda Ayotte, Claudette Francoeur, Rachel Corriveau, among others.
The wake is at the Michaud Funeral Home in St. Agatha on Friday, May 12, 4 to 7 pm. The celebration of life Mass will be held Saturday morning 10:00 am, May 13, at Ste-Agathe Catholic Church with Fr. Agustin Sebasthiyan and Deacon Don Clavette officiating. The burial will follow the service at the Ste-Agathe lower cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Carl and Thérèse Michaud Funeral Homes. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Long Lake Public Library in Ste Agathe.
Condolences may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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