February 4, 2013

Marie Poitras, 90, always made the best of any situation

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

BRUNSWICK - Marie Rose Poitras was one of those people who could always find some good in a tough situation.

PASSAGES

Each day the newsroom selects one obituary and seeks to learn more about the life of a person who has lived and worked in Maine. We look for a person who has made a mark on the community or the person's family and friends in lasting ways.

Both her parents had died by the time she was a teenager, and she had to help support her siblings by working at a local textile factory, Verney Mill.

But she eventually became trained in the skilled -- and male-dominated -- job of repairing the giant weaving looms.

"That was something she was pretty proud of," said her daughter, Nancy Dorr of Brunswick.

Then, in her later years, she became an avid bowler, but eventually her eyesight became so bad she couldn't really see the pins.

So someone told her to focus on the arrows on the lanes -- which she could see -- and when she did that, her average score went up.

"She was legally blind by then, but when they showed her what to aim at, her score went up," her daughter said. "She couldn't see what happened when the ball hit the pins."

Mrs. Poitras died Friday. She was 90.

Even near the end of her life, while at Horizons Living and Rehab Center in Brunswick, she had a positive outlook and found something to look forward to.

She was a film buff with expansive tastes, for instance.

Just a week or so ago, her daughter said, Mrs. Poitras watched the 1937 tear-jerker "Heidi" with Shirley Temple, followed by the 1990 action film "Hard to Kill" with Steven Seagal.

Mrs. Poitras worked at Verney Mill until it closed in the 1950s.

Then she made money by taking care of children in her home, while raising her own two children, her daughter said.

"It was usually just a few kids at a time, people we knew," her daughter said. "The kids loved her. Some would come back to visit years later."

After her husband, Leo, died in 1986, Mrs. Poitras made an effort to get out and try new things, to be with people.

That's when she took up bowling, and with her sister Irene Doyon, she began taking bus trips to places she had never seen. Those included Niagara Falls, Nashville, Tenn., and Disney World.

Mrs. Poitras and her sister were exceptionally close.

They slept in the same bed as children, lived three houses apart as adults, then lived in the same retirement community, the same assisted living facility and the same nursing home.

"They lived together their whole lives," Dorr said. 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com

 

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