Velma Provencher, a dedicated member of St. Matthew Church in Limerick, who worked for the Southern Maine Agency on Aging as area coordinator of its Meals on Wheels program for many years, died Sunday after a long illness. She was 85.

A lifelong resident of Limerick, Mrs. Provencher was known for her work and service in the community. As a member of St. Matthew Church, she served as a Eucharistic minister and was active on many church committees. She also volunteered at church functions such as fairs and bean suppers.

Mrs. Provencher joined the Southern Maine Agency on Aging in the 1970s as area coordinator of its Meals on Wheels program. Her job was to recruit, coordinate and dispatch volunteers to deliver prepared meals to the area’s most needy residents. Her daughter, Deborah Hamilton of Limerick, said she also prepared meals and delivered them when volunteers couldn’t.

“She got to know the community well,” her daughter said. “She liked staying connected with seniors in the community itself. She liked being able to provide a service and befriending people who were in need.”

Mrs. Provencher also worked side jobs cleaning local post offices, municipal buildings and banks in the Limerick area for more than 30 years, she said.

She was a loving wife of the late Rudolphe Provencher, her husband of 35 years, who died in 1981. The couple raised two children. She also leaves a son, Wayne Provencher.

Hamilton described her mother Monday as a loving, giving and caring woman, who was always there for them.

“She always put her children first,” Hamilton said. “She would go without before she would ever deny us anything. She always put other people first.”

Mrs. Provencher dedicated much of her life to helping others. It was one of the first things her daughter talked about Monday. She reminisced about the year her mother organized a trip to Hawaii for a group of 30 seniors. Hamilton said many in the group had never been on an airplane.

“She hovered over them and made sure she didn’t lose anyone,” her daughter said. “She thoroughly enjoyed every moment. She was pleased that she could share that experience with people. I remember the joy it brought her. She was so happy to have been able to put that together for those folks.”

Hamilton also touched on the small ways her mother made a difference in people’s lives. She said her mother would cook, clean or run errands for family and friends.

“She was a wonderful person. She was always there for anyone that needed a helping hand,” her daughter said. “That was her personality. She was a great friend. She was always there if one of her friends needed anything.”

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

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