GORHAM – Cleo Minard, a loving wife and mother who worked hard her whole life to create a fulfilling life for her family, died Saturday. She was 94.

She grew up in Aroostook County as one of 12 children. At a young age, she worked in the potato fields to help support the family.

She graduated from Washburn High School in 1935, then moved to southern Maine to work at the South Portland shipyards. She was a welding Inspector on the Liberty ships.

There, she met James Minard, who would be her husband for 48 years. They were married in 1945 and settled in the White Rock section of Gorham. The Minards raised four children.

Her son, Gerald Minard, said she was a good mother, who balanced her duties at home with her work.

She had numerous seasonal jobs, such as picking potatoes at Daigle Farm in Gorham and packing fish in Portland.

Her son remembered as a kid joining her to pick potatoes.

“We all went down and had to pick our share of potatoes, too,” he said.

Mrs. Minard worked in the maintenance department at the University of Southern Maine at Gorham for about 10 years.

She cleaned the administrative offices, classrooms and dormitories. Her husband worked there in the same capacity.

“Both of them enjoyed that work,” her son said. “They helped each other out. She always wanted to be working when she could.”

Outside work, Mrs. Minard was active in the community. She and her husband cleaned School Street United Methodist Church.

Mrs. Minard was a charter member of LifeChurch in Gorham and a longtime member of the White Rock Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary. She was also an active member of the White Rock Community Club.

In her early years, Mrs. Minard enjoyed camping and snowmobiling in Gorham, Rangeley and throughout Aroostook County.

Mrs. Minard and her husband also enjoyed traveling. Some highlights of their travels included trips to Canada, Florida, Yellowstone National Park and Niagara Falls.

“They went all over the place,” her son said. “They had a good life.”

Mrs. Minard also had passions for knitting, quilting and cooking. Her son said she enjoyed family gatherings.

“I’ll miss her taking care of us,” he said. “Her family was always her main thought and concern.”

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

[email protected]