Bonnie Jean Nadeau, 90, passed away peacefully Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at Tall Pines Healthcare Commons in Belfast. She was born Sept. 16, 1926, daughter of Willard and Minnie Main of Farnhamville, Iowa.
After growing up and graduating from high school in a lovely little town nestled in the vast Iowa cornfields of Middle America during The Great Depression, she left home and worked as a secretary until meeting a man named Richard (“Dick”) A. Nadeau who turned out to be the love of her life. After the end of World War II and a prolonged and eventful courtship, they were married Oct. 1, 1949, in Chicago and enjoyed 57 loving years together. In 1950 they moved to Dick's hometown of Fort Kent. They were both very active in various organizations such as the Fort Kent Fire Dept., BPW, American Legion, VFW, Lion's Club, and COF, where they made many lifelong friends.
She enjoyed a good laugh, voicing her opinions, snowmobiling, card and board games, and closely following the athletic endeavors of her children and grandchildren. You always knew when Mom was in the bleachers or on the sidelines when things were not going well for the Nadeaus. After spending time managing water companies in Fort Kent, Pittsfield, and Southwest Harbor, they settled in Searsport where Dick did likewise for many years until his retirement at 65 in 1992.
Dick and Bonnie enjoyed many years as "snowbirds," commuting between their homes in Searsport and St. Petersburg, Fla., according to the seasons. Mother was an avid Red Sox fan and she got to know some of the players personally during winter ball and spring seasons in Florida. The last few years of her life, our matriarch lived at 75 State St. Independent Living Facility in Portland with much help and the love of Bob and Jill, mostly. This was a place she especially enjoyed along with her daily phone calls from her loving daughter Donna and visits with relatives and friends. The last few weeks of her lifelong journey she lived in Belfast where she quickly became a favorite of many of the Tall Pines staff.
Besides her late husband Richard, she was also predeceased by her son, Joel, in 1961; granddaughter Ginger in 1998; and grandson, Duane II, in 2016, all of which affected her deeply. Bonnie also was predeceased by her parents and her siblings.
She was a tough little lady, but to know her was to love her. She was feisty but gentle, unpretentious and unassuming and would give the shirt off her back to just about anyone; but never wanted anyone to "make a big fuss" about her. I know we, her children, are obviously biased, but we know that if one could actually place an order from a catalog or online for "The Best Mother Ever," who you'd get would be Bonnie Jean Nadeau and you would only hope for more time with her down the road. Our time with Mom has come to an end much too soon and our hearts are broken, but for as long as our time and memory lasts, our love for her will never wane.
Mom is survived by her loving children: daughter, Donna and husband Donald of Bristol, Conn., son Eric and partner Donna Nielsen of Searsport, son Duane and wife Carrie Ann of Orrington, and son Robert and wife Jill of Scarborough. Also, sister-in-law, Elizabeth (Betty) Nadeau of Brewer, and brother-in-law, Frank Carroll of Portland. Also seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren — soon to be 14!
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 22, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Belfast. with reception in the parish hall immediately following. A memorial service and Christian burial will be held later at St. Louis Cemetery in Fort Kent. In lieu of flowers please send donations in memory of Bonnie Nadeau to Fort Kent Fire Dept., 416 West Main St., Fort Kent ME 04743.