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BIDDEFORD -- Roland R. Bouthillette, 88, died on Tuesday surrounded by family. Born on Dec. 26, 1924, to Arsene and Laura Bouthillette, he was a lifelong Biddeford resident.
Roland enlisted in the U.S. Navy on April 27, 1943, and served as a cook on the USS Clay in the South Pacific during World War II invasions of Saipan, Leyte, Luzon and Okinawa. He was honorably discharged on Dec. 18, 1945, and maintained Biddeford American Legion membership. Following his service, Roland worked 13 years at Saco-Lowell and 31 years at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, retiring as a general foreman in 1986.
Prior to leaving for the war, Roland had met the love of his life Gisele Cadorette, whom he married on June 12, 1945. Together, they raised two sons and spent many hours entertaining a core group of friends at a cottage they built on Fortunes Rocks Beach.
When Gisele lost her fight to breast cancer in 1988, Roland lost his soul mate. But he was a charmer and it wasn't long before he found a second love. He and Muriel Belanger bonded over the loss of their beloved spouses. The two spent many Friday nights cutting up a dance floor somewhere around southern Maine.
In addition to being an avid golfer, Roland was a gardener and wood craftsman who fashioned many small- and large-scale birdhouses. In retirement, he worked at Dutch Elm Golf Club and spent many hours as his granddaughter Emma's chauffeur and caretaker, teaching her how to count by playing endless games of cribbage.
Roland was predeceased by his parents; siblings; spouse Gisele; and companion Muriel. He is survived by his son Peter; daughter-in-law Diane; and granddaughter Emma, all of Biddeford; and son Guy; daughter-in-law Eva; and grandson Michael, all of Saco.
Visiting hours will be from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, at Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm St., Biddeford. A service at the funeral home and burial at St. Joseph's Cemetery will immediately follow. Condolences may be shared at hopememorial.com.
Roland R. Bouthillette
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Feb. 7, 2013