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SACO -- Kenneth D. Cormier, 80, of Saco and Poinciana, Fla., died on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, in Celebration, Fla., following a brief illness. He was born on Oct. 7, 1932, in Augusta, the only son of Albert and Mary (Flanders) Cormier. Ken was educated locally, graduating from St. Louis High School in the class of 1952, participating in many varsity sports.
On Nov. 11, 1952, he married Violet Richard at St. Joseph's Church in Biddeford. In February 1953, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, stationed in Korea. He received an honorable discharge in February 1955.
In February 1955, he worked in Hartford, Conn., before enrolling at St. Francis College, now the University of New England, graduating with the class of 1959. While taking classes, he also held three part-time jobs. During the summer seasons, he and his wife Violet ran the Palmer House in Old Orchard Beach. After graduating in 1959, he worked in the St. Francis College Accounting Office as Bursur, at Components (now AVX) in Biddeford as Controller, and in the Accounting Office at Scarborough Downs.
In 1960, he and his wife Violet started the Marvel Drive-In on U.S. Route 1 in Saco. In 1967, he and Violet started Funtown USA in partnership with Andre (Ted) and Muriel Dallaire, Violet's sister and brother-in-law. In 1996, Ken and Violet purchased the Cascade Water Park and Amusements from the Dallaire Family, creating Funtown Splashtown USA.
Ken was very active in the amusement and attractions industry. He served a three-year term on the Board of Directors and Audit Committee for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) from 2008-2011. He was inducted in the New England Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (NEAAPA) Hall of Fame in 2005. He was named Small Business Person of the Year for Maine in 2001.
Kenneth was a big fan of the Thornton Academy football team, New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and professional boxing. He also shared a love of animals.
Kenneth is survived by his wife of 60 years, Violet Cormier of Saco; six children, William Cormier and his wife Karen of Biddeford, Gail Cormier, Kevin Cormier, Karen Ann Cormier, Candace Galbreath and her husband Walter, Kimberly Hutchinson and her husband Cory, all of Saco; eight grandchildren, Keith, Cory, Jessica, Chaz, Vanessa, Ashley and Alexander Cormier and Pace Hutchinson; and five great- grandchildren, Carter, Caleb, and Cameron Cormier Chase Johnson, and Mason Holland.
Visiting hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, at Hope Memorial Chapel, 480 Elm St., Biddeford. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, at St. Joseph Church in Biddeford. To share condolences online, please visit www.HopeMemorial.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ken's memory may be made to:
The Saco Food Pantry
P.O. Box 246
Saco, Maine 04072
or to the Animal Welfare Society P.O. Box 43
West Kenneunk, Maine 04094
Kenneth D. Cormier
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram from Jan. 15 to Jan. 20, 2013